Israeli police clash with anti-Netanyahu protesters

Netanyahu: "freedom to demonstrate is not freedom to bring the country to a halt."

Photo by Nir Hirshman (ניר הירשמן) / Nir Hirshman Communication on Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

Thousands gathered across Israel yesterday to participate in a “national disruption day” to protest against the government’s judicial overhaul plan. The two main evening protests were held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Hundreds surrounded a hair salon tending to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s wife in Tel Aviv and proceeded to block several main roads. Meanwhile, police managed to prevent protesters from blocking the road as they attempted to march toward the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem.

The anti-government protests turned violent for the first time as police engaged protesters with stun guns and water cannons.

“Citizens of Israel, the right to demonstrate is a fundamental democratic value; however, freedom to demonstrate is not freedom to bring the country to a halt,” declared Prime Minister Netanyahu, repeating the words of former President of the Supreme Court, Aharon Barak.

“The freedom to demonstrate is not a license to drive the country into anarchy, to chaos, because a sovereign country cannot tolerate anarchy,” he continued.