Ex-PM, MK call for ‘illegal uprising,’ probe launched

Former premier, lawmaker call for anti-judicial reform protesters to engage in mass revolt that includes illegal activity; police investigation opens.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Ex-prime minister Ehud Barak and former far-left Meretz MK Yair Golan are the targets of a new probe into incitement after the pair made statements calling upon Israeli citizens to engage in a mass uprising, which includes illegal actions.

Barak and Golan are vehemently opposed to legislation aimed at reforming Israel’s judicial system and have encouraged the public to embrace “civil revolt” after a bill aimed at ending the so-called “reasonableness clause” was put back on the Knesset agenda earlier this week.

“We will present unequivocal and clear civil resistance, and if we have to reach a large-scale and non-violent protest, that is what we will do. I am calling here, within a reasonable framework and without resorting to violence – to do illegal things as well,” Golan told Kan News on Tuesday afternoon.

“In the fight for democracy, you have to do non-violent things that are on the fringes of the law – there is no choice but to do it,” he added, saying Israelis should take inspiration from other countries regarding “how to fight a dictatorship.”

Golan’s remarks were echoed by Barak, who told demonstrators at the weekly anti-government protest last Saturday evening that they should prepare for a large-scale “revolt” and encouraged “nonviolent civil disobedience.”

In the past, Barak has called the current right-wing coalition “fascist” and rejected any attempt at negotiations between the government and opposition parties.

“Victory, however painful, is preferable to a rotten compromise,” he said. “The purpose of the protest must be clear. There are no compromises with someone who tried to destroy democracy, failed this time, and works again to destroy it in a slightly different way.”

Hebrew-language media reported on Tuesday evening that National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir ordered an anti-incitement task force, composed of police officers, prosecutors, and Shin Bet officials, to investigate Barak and Golan. If their comments are determined to fall under the category of incitement, they could face criminal charges.

Golan told Ynet that the probe did not change his stance. “Let them investigate whoever they want to investigate,” he said.

“Civil revolt is not an exaggeration,” he added, doubling down on his apparent call for disruptive, illegal protests. “We have to fight for democracy.”