Ben-Dror Yemini
Ben-Dror Yemini
Anti-government protesters after being attacked by alleged Netanyahu supporters in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night

Netanyahu, this street violence is on you

Opinion: A small, violent group can endanger democracy, and these thugs look up to you, believe they are doing your bidding, while you and your son spread lies about legitimate demonstrators and do nothing to rein in the mob

Ben Dror-Yemini |
Published: 07.29.20 , 11:57
Dear Prime Minister,
In recent weeks I have turned into a frightened citizen of the State of Israel. Over the years I have stated repeatedly that democracy is stronger than those wanting to do it harm.
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  • I have written about what I saw as your great accomplishments, even if I did not vote for you.
    I even justified some of your efforts to pass laws circumventing the courts and have claimed you should not be put on trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust while still in office.
    תומכי נתניהו היכו מפגינים של הדגלים השחוריםתומכי נתניהו היכו מפגינים של הדגלים השחורים
    Anti-government protesters after being attacked by alleged Netanyahu supporters in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night
    But now, things have drastically changed.
    No single political party holds a monopoly on the truth. Your party made some good points in the fight against your criminal prosecution, but they also made very bad ones. The same can be said about those now demonstrating against you.
    But this is no longer a legitimate difference of opinion. You are no longer interested in legitimate arguments. You are the problem, Mr. Netanyahu because you are interested only in yourself.
    בנימין נתניהובנימין נתניהו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: GPO)
    It does not take much to destroy democracy; you don't need massive crowds or rioting mobs who promote anarchy and burn down parliaments.
    All you need is a small violent group of supporters who look up to you, their leader, while you remain silent as they commit violent crimes in your name.
    This small group of thugs has made their presence known. The first knife has already been drawn and a stabbing has already occurred.
    מפגינים נגד נתניהו הוכו בתל אביבמפגינים נגד נתניהו הוכו בתל אביב
    An alleged Netanyahu supporter attacks a protester against the government in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night
    (Photo: Asaf Sapir)
    Demonstrators have already fallen victim to pepper spray directed at them by your supporters as they sing the praises of Yigal Amir, the right-wing extremist Jew who murdered Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
    But unlike in the days leading up to that terrible murder, you cannot today claim ignorance. You cannot say you were unaware of the violence.
    These evil legions don't need marching orders to march. They know what you want because they hear the rhetoric coming from your camp. You are the instigator.
    Lies, once the primary domain of anti-Semites, have become part of your main arsenal. The protesters are not spreading disease, as your son repeatedly claims on social media, and rather than silencing his vile lies, you echo them.
    הפגנת הלה-פמיליה מול פסל המנורה בירושליםהפגנת הלה-פמיליה מול פסל המנורה בירושלים
    Members of the far-right 'La-Familia' gang demonstrating in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    You have also enlisted your lackey, Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, who has attempted to coerce the police to ban demonstrations.
    God knows I've agreed with some of his claims that the courts have on occasion overstepped their authority, but he has crossed every red line in his campaign to destroy the judiciary to protect you.
    You even silence those in your own camp when they question your decisions.
    Likud MK Yifat Shasha-Biton, who chaired the Knesset coronavirus committee, was removed simply for exercising parliamentary oversight.
    ועדת קורונה ועדת קורונה
    Ousted chair of the Knesset coronavirus committee, MK Yifat Shasha-Biton
    (Photo: Knesset Channel)
    Regardless of whether her actions were justified or not, it is symbolic of the attitude within your party. It is only a matter of time before the same thugs or some other far-right activists go after her too.
    Most Likud voters, even those regarded as your "base," are not a mindless herd. Many on the right are beginning to think differently, Some have spoken out against you.
    The problem lies in a small and very dangerous minority. one that wants to frighten and silence critics and will not hesitate to drag us into a civil war.
    מפגינים נגד נתניהו הוכו בתל אביבמפגינים נגד נתניהו הוכו בתל אביב
    A screen shot allegedly showing Netanyahu supporters using pepper spray against anti-government protesters in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night
    (Photo: Asaf Sapir)
    Only you can prevent us from tumbling down this slippery slope. You can put a stop to this. And if remained within you even a modicum of concern for the national interests – you would do so immediately.
    The choice is now yours - make the right one.
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