Demonstrators filled, and overflowed, the Museum Plaza in Tel Aviv last night in a protest organized by the opposition parties against the proposed bill giving immunity from prosecution for members of the Knesset. The bill would restore the situation that prevailed before 2005, in which the state prosecutor had to ask the Knesset to lift the immunity of any member who was the subject of an indictment. If passed, the bill would prevent the indictment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the three corruption cases in which he is a suspect. Before Israel’s recent general election, Netanyahu denied that there was any intention of introducing such a bill.
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz opened the speeches at the demonstration, saying, “There is someone trying to change the rule of the people for the rule of an individual, to subordinate an entire nation to his interests. The struggle is over the image and likeness of the State of Israel.
”We will not allow Israel to be turned into the fiefdom of a sultanate or a monarchical family. We will not allow you to paralyze the police, to demolish the media, and we will not allow you to destroy the courts. I call for the establishment of a national alliance. Democracy and Zionism belong to all of us, not just to the left and not just to the right. All Israelis of the right and the left must arise and defend democracy now so that it will defend us in the future,” Gantz added.
Speaking after Gantz, Yair Lapid said, “We will not let you turn us into Turkey. He (Netanyahu) is ruining the country. He is proceeding with the supersession bill (which would enable the Knesset to overturn a Supreme Court decision to void a law as unconstitutional). What does he think, that we’re stupid?”
Lapid called on Likud Knesset members who were ideologically opposed to these bills to act in accordance with their values. In response, the Likud party issued a statement saying, “Lapid talks about democracy in danger and Erdogan? The next time that there will be primaries in his Yesh Atid party will be in 2045. Yesh Atid Knesset member Adi Kol opposed chairman Lapid and was instantly expelled from the party. Lapid is a joke.”
Labor leader Avi Gabbay, Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg, Blue and White’s Moshe Ya’alon, and Hadash-Ta’al leader Ayman Odeh also addressed the demonstration.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 26, 2019
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