Netanyahu slams protests: ‘Corona incubators’ that ‘trample democracy’

“Here, in the name of democracy, I see an attempt to trample democracy,” the prime minister said.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the left-wing protests against the government that have taken place over the last weeks, including the largest on Saturday night, which drew 10,000. He made his remarks on Sunday at the weekly cabinet meeting.

While condemning violence from all sides, Netanyahu said that in the case of the protests, “Here, in the name of democracy, I see an attempt to trample democracy.”

“In these protests, I see a distortion of all the rules. First of all, no one limits the protests. Just the opposite, they greet them. These are corona incubators, there are rules that aren’t being enforced, no one is restricting this and no one is trying to restrict it,” he said.

“They’re fueling these protests, especially with the recruitment of the media which I can’t remember anything like. They’re permitted to close down neighborhoods, to block highways, in complete contradiction to everything acceptable in the past.”

The protests are another point of contention in the unity government. Alternate Prime Minister and current Defense Minister Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party defended the protesters’ right to demonstrate.

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Prior to the cabinet meeting on Sunday, he said “As the government, we are obligated to listen to people. As the rulers, the responsibility falls on us to permit protests and to defend the demonstrators, and sadly also yesterday they were attacked at a number of points.”

Gantz referred to attacks by right-wing assailants against the left-wing demonstrators.

Netanyahu’s remarks were prompted by Gantz’s comments. “I didn’t intend to address the protests but since you brought up the matter — I’ll respond,” the prime minister said before making his comments.