‘My life is in danger’: Orthodox journalist mobbed by ‘defenders of democracy’ during protest

Katz had invited two lawyers, one in favor of the judicial reform and one against, to debate the matter.

By World Israel News Staff

A visibly Orthodox video journalist was mobbed by a crowd of protesters in Tel Aviv with shouts of “shame, shame.”

Yehuda Katz, from TribeJournal, set out to document the protests in Tel Aviv as he had done in past weeks as part of an ongoing surveyal of the pulse of the protesters.

According to Katz, he sought to hear what their concerns are about the judicial reform and why they believe it to be a “threat to democracy.”

Katz had invited two lawyers, one in favor of the judicial reform and one against, to debate the matter on camera in front of the Azrieli towers where the protesters were encamped throughout the day.

Within moments, Katz and the lawyers, one of whom was also visibly dressed as an Orthodox Jew with a large black yarmulke, caught the eye of surrounding protesters and were immediately surrounded by hundreds of angry protesters screaming, blowing horns directly into his ears, and attempting to drive him away. One protester warned Katz that he would not be allowed to “turn Israel into a halachic state.”

“Apparently I’m the only one who wants to understand both sides,” Katz said.

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“I’m beginning to understand how this works,” he added, as a cameraman and reporter from Israel’s Ynet TV approached him for a standup interview.

“The protesters make a ruckus, the media covers the ruckus, and then the protesters splash their messaging in the background as they photobomb the media’s coverage of the ruckus,” he said, as a woman behind the Ynet reporter held up a large sign reading, “Biblical disaster.”

“This isn’t democracy,” he added.

“My life is in danger,” Katz said, noting that he didn’t feel as threatened when filming face-offs between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem’s flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Katz noted, however, that on previous excursions to the protests, he had not encountered problems when
engaging protesters in intellectual discussions.

Most protesters he had met at the weekly Saturday night protests “were peaceful, welcoming and took the time to explain their issues with the judicial reform on camera.”

“These people are clearly distraught. A few hundred loud apples don’t spoil the whole bunch. Although I did not get to hear the two lawyers debate the issues, I can not say that I did not hear just how emotional the judicial reform is for this group of extremists.” He added, “It was quite strange and shockingly ironic that any group would silence conversation in the name of defending a democracy.”