An anti-Netanyahu protester carrying a violent sign has sparked criticism across the political spectrum.
By: Yona Schnitzer/TPS
A protester carrying a cardboard guillotine at Saturday night’s anti-corruption protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv has drawn condemnation from officials across the political spectrum.
“The guillotine from the Rothschild protests is incitement to murder Prime Minister Netanyahu,” a statement issued by Netanyahu’s Likud party read.
“The Left’s protests on Rothschild have crossed every red line,” the statement continued.
Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, the head of the Jewish Home Party, tweeted a photo of the man with the guillotine, adding a caption that read, “The protests are legitimate – but this madness must be stopped before it’s too late.”
President Reuven Rivlin issued a statement condemning the guillotine cutout as well. “This is blatant incitement, which crosses the lines of freedom of speech and the freedom to protest, and I condemn and denounce the message behind such a thing,” he stated.
Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay expressed his objection to the cutout, while taking the opportunity to call out the individuals who showed up wielding BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) signs, tweeting: “Also this week, tens of thousands of good Israelis took to the streets to protest the corrupt governing culture. The BDS lunatics don’t even represent themselves, and a guillotine is incitement which should not be present, and it only serves to distract from the main issue here – corruption.”
Amit Brinn, the man photographed with the guillotine, took to Facebook Sunday morning to clarify his stance and to explain the the meanings behind his actions, claiming he is a “pacifist.”
“I am a pacifist and am opposed to any form of violence. I have never used violence and have no plans to do so in the future. This is also the way I raise my kids, and I urge all who have interpreted things I’ve done or said as a call to violent action to stop. Anyone who interpreted my actions and words as a call to violence has been mislead,” Brinn wrote.
Eldad Yaniv, one of the main organizers behind the Rothschild protests, called the guillotine “an idiotic sign,” saying, “There were tens of thousands of Israeli patriots at the protest holding Israeli flags. The new hobby of the Balfour Mafia is to look for idiotic signs (in the crowd), and thank God, every Saturday night there is a resident idiot who shows up with an idiotic sign.”
Yaniv continued to take a jab at Netanyahu, who, during the weeks leading up to the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, was filmed at a protest walking aside a life-sized coffin that read “Rabin is burying Zionism.”
“Our name is not Bibi, and we don’t march with coffins. If someone diverts our attention to an idiotic sign, we say: ‘That’s an idiotic sign!’ And if we were to see such a sign, we would break it, and not march with it like Bibi,” Yaniv said.
Thousands of protesters converged once again on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard Saturday night, in order to voice their protest related to the corruption scandals plaguing the highest levels of government, as well as to protest against the perceived removal of the necessary democratic checks and balances being championed by members of the coalition.
This week, there was also a protest organized in Jerusalem from the right side of the political spectrum – aimed at combating the notion that everyone opposing government corruption comes from the political left.