Protesters spit on Israeli minister: ‘Violence masquerading as democracy’

Energy Minister says protesters spat on him as he attended event celebrating 100 years of electricity in Tel Aviv; social media users post photos of his suit jacket covered in what appears to be saliva.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Energy Minister Israel Katz said that left-wing protesters demonstrating against his presence at an event in Tel Aviv spat on him, calling their behavior “violent” and “dark.”

On Sunday, Katz was rushed by protesters upon his arrival at a ceremony celebrating 100 years of electricity on Tel Aviv’s streets.

Social media footage from the event showed the Likud party minister being shouted down with cries of “Shame!” by demonstrators as he spoke.

“On the 100th anniversary of the [launch of] electricity in Tel Aviv, there were the protesters of darkness, who screamed, cursed, and.. also spat,” Katz wrote on his Twitter account regarding the incident.

“I won’t be deterred by violence masquerading as democracy. I will continue to build the country according to my way and vision,” he added.

Several social media users posted images of white staining, which appeared to be streaks of saliva on the back of Katz’s suit jacket following the event.

“Minister Israel Katz’s suit was covered with the saliva of ‘gentle’ left-wing protesters who spat on him as he left a conference in Tel Aviv, while screaming ‘pig,’ ‘fat’, ‘Putin’s friend,’” wrote right-wing radio commentator Avi Ravina on Twitter.

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“If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it.”

Another Twitter user, Or Keren, posted a clip of Katz being escorted by police and bodyguards into a waiting vehicle on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street, after leaving the event.

Protesters can be seen coming within arms’ reach of Katz, causing Keren to question operational procedures for protecting the physical safety of government ministers.

“Why is there no distance between the demonstrators [and the minister]?” she asked. “Why are they allowed to get so close to the minister?”

The incident comes several weeks after a left-wing protester was filmed intentionally striking Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter on the head with a flag.