Hundreds attend rally after police remove anti-Netanyahu demonstrators to prevent clash.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a rally Thursday evening near his official residence in Jerusalem that has been the site of large anti-Netanyahu demonstrations, Walla News reported Friday.
Some 400 people gathered to back the embattled leader who has seen a drop in public support over the past several months.
The supporters carried Israeli flags and posters of Netanyahu with the slogans “The protector of Israel,” “The people rely on Netanyahu,” and “We’re with you,” among others
Organizers also showed a video of statements by anti-Netanyahu protesters, including death threats against the prime minister.
Likud Knesset member May Golan addressed the supporters, slamming Netanyahu’s opponents for trying to topple the government.
“There are people who are protesting on the other side. They are not protesting economic distress or the corona. It is to incite, divide and overthrow the prime minister,” Golan said.
After the rally, Golan tweeted about her impression that Netanyahu’s opponents were dividing the nation.
“On one side, the right[-wing] was full of love for the people of Israel and the land of Israel, and the other side was full of hatred. Hatred for the prime minister, his family, the Likud, the right and the entire national camp,” May tweeted.
“And I wonder: It’s allowed not to agree, to criticize and to disagree, but why hate, incite and divide? In the end, are we not one people?” Golan said.
Before the rally, police forcibly removed an anti-Netanyahu protest after demonstrators refused to evacuate. Police said the Netanyahu supporters had applied for a permit to demonstrate in the location and that there were no other requests for permission, as is required under Israeli law.
The anti-Netanyahu protestors were asked to leave temporarily until the pro-Netanyahu rally had finished in order to keep a separation and prevent friction between the two sides.
Several of those opposing Netanyahu refused to leave. Police arrested four people for refusing to obey orders.
The “Black Flags” group that organizes the anti-Netanyahu protests called the police action “part of Netanyahu’s election campaign.”
“The State of Israel is in the final stages of democracy as a democracy. This is our last chance to go out and fight before we turn into Belarus and Turkey,” the Black Flags statement added.
Police rejected the claim, saying, “We will continue to allow the protests to take place while maintaining the law.”