As tens of thousands attend the main anti-overhaul rally at Tel Aviv’s Kaplan Square, protest leader Shikma Bressler dismisses talk of normalization as “spin” designed to divert attention from the coalition’s judicial legislation.
“We, Israeli citizens from across the political spectrum, are saying this evening and for 38 consecutive weeks — we won’t fall for any spin,” Bressler says. “We fully understand that just like the Abraham Accords [with other Arab countries] didn’t prevent the regime coup, also a deal with Saudi Arabia won’t stop those who want a messianic dictatorship.”
Retired IDF Maj. Gen. Amiram Levin makes a similar point at a rally in Haifa, deriding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s UN speech in which he emphasized the prospect of a Saudi deal and ignored the judicial overhaul controversy.
“We heard Netanyahu with an impassioned speech about peace,” he says. “Someone who is acting to destroy the court only wants to cement his power as a dictator and doesn’t really want peace.
“Even Netanyahu knows that if he reaches agreements with every Arab country in a way that doesn’t come at the expense of our democracy, it is not us in the protest movement who will thwart that,” he adds. “The obstacle is with him, with the extremists [Itamar] Ben Gvir and [Bezalel] Smotrich.”