Labor MK Naama Lazimi: Protests are saving the State of Israel

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

The thousands of anti-government demonstrators who came out on Sunday evening to demand elections are “saving the state,” Labor MK Naama Lazimi tells The Times of Israel.

Speaking on the sidelines of a massive protest outside the Knesset, the liberal lawmaker says that the government did not support canceling this spring’s Knesset recess because it “doesn’t care about what is happening.”

“It’s not just something symbolic, that the hostages are there and we’re here. It’s also a substantive matter. If we can’t help the public during a time of war, then the public has fewer answers from the overseeing authority, the Knesset. It’s a great disconnect. Wartime is a unique time. There are the displaced and the hostages and people who need us to be there for them now. Reservists who came home.”

Noting that the Knesset had a shortened recess in 2020, she says: “At least they could leave us parliamentary tools.”

Asked if the protests would have an impact, Lazimi responds that a year of anti-government protests helped to block Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Yariv Levin from passing their controversial judicial overhaul program.

“Yariv Levin wanted a dictatorship within two months. So certainly protests help,” she says. “They saved Israel from dictatorship and they will help now. They will help save Israel from the destroyers within, from those who endanger the security of Israel, [from those] who sit in the government who endanger the existence of this nation.”

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