Leaders of the ongoing anti-Netanyahu protests held in front of the PM’s residence recently stayed the night at the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Leaders of the anti-Netanyahu protests in Jerusalem held in Paris Square near the prime minister’s residence were the object of ridicule after it was revealed that they stayed at the fancy Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem on Saturday night.
Chaim Shadmi and Yishai Hadas, two of the protests’ main organizers, were photographed enjoying the Waldorf Astoria’s breakfast buffet after spending the night in the hotel.
Another prominent figure in the protests, attorney Gonen Ben Yitzhak, was seen dining alongside the pair, reported Israel Hayom.
The Waldorf Astoria is widely known as one of Jerusalem’s most luxurious hotels. Located on the corner of King David and Agron streets, within walking distance of the protests’ central point of Paris Square, the hotel’s website lists the cheapest room on a weekday as costing 1,100 shekels (about $320).
On Monday, Channel 20 news presenter Shimon Riklin posted the photos of the protest leaders at the Waldorf Astoria on his Twitter account.
“The meeting of the ‘protest’ leaders at breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria this morning,” he tweeted alongside the images. “The most expensive hotel in Israel … and it is important that you continue to contribute [financially] to them. What a joke.”
Last week, Riklin was forced to apologize by Israel’s Broadcasting Authority after calling the protest leaders lunatics, perverts and pedophiles on the air.
Riklin’s remarks were in reference to his belief that the anti-Netanyahu Black Flag protests are being financed by Ehud Barak, who has recently come under scrutiny for his close ties to Jeffrey Epstein.
The ongoing protests, which have seen hundreds illegally camping on residential streets near Netanyahu’s home, have put a major strain on the residents of Jerusalem’s Rehavia neighborhood.
Locals have complained about noise into the late hours of the night, public urination, property damage, and garbage can fires set by protesters.
Gonen responded in a statement to Israel Hayom, framing the decision as a matter of safety. “Shadmi, Hadas, and their security guard spent one night at the Waldorf Astoria. It should be noted that they had received threats that attackers would reach their homes.”
He added that Shadmi and Hadas paid out of pocket for their stay, and did not use money donated to the protest fund.