הפגנת הדגלים השחורים מול מעון ראש הממשלה בבלפור ירושלים
Demonstrators call for Netanyahu ouster outside his residence in Jerusalem
Photo: Tal Shahar
Demonstrators call for Netanyahu ouster outside his residence in Jerusalem

Netanyahu rails at media over protests calling for his resignation

In a six-minute rant at the cabinet meeting, PM accused the media of 'a distorted, Soviet-like mobilization' to justify the protests while ignoring alleged calls 'to murder the prime minister and his family'

Associated Press |
Published: 08.02.20 , 14:49
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu railed on Sunday at swelling protests against his rule, saying they are egged on by a biased media that distorts facts and cheers on the demonstrators.
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  • Netanyahu has faced a wave of protests in recent weeks, with demonstrators calling for the long-serving, indicted leader to resign and panning his handling of the coronavirus crisis. Netanyahu has painted the protests as dens of “anarchists” and “leftists” out to topple “a strong right-wing leader.”
    הפגנת הדגלים השחורים מול מעון ראש הממשלה בבלפור ירושליםהפגנת הדגלים השחורים מול מעון ראש הממשלה בבלפור ירושלים
    Demonstrators call for Netanyahu ouster outside his residence in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Tal Shahar)
    The protests have largely been peaceful. In some cases, they have ended with clashes between demonstrators and police. In others, small gangs of Netanyahu supporters and individuals affiliated with far-right groups have assaulted demonstrators.
    In a six-minute rant at a meeting of his cabinet, Netanyahu slammed the media for “inflaming” the protests and for misrepresenting incidents of violence against the protesters.
    בנימין נתניהו בנימין נתניהו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    “There has never been such a distorted mobilization - I wanted to say Soviet but it has already reached North Korean terms - of the media in favor of the protests,” he said.
    Netanyahu said the media ignored “wild and unfettered incitement, including daily calls — including the day before yesterday — to murder the prime minister and his family.”
    He said the protests were breeding grounds for the virus that were being allowed to take place with no limits, shutting down streets and neighborhoods. He said right-wing protests have not been given such free rein.
    הפגנה נגד בנימין נתניהו ב מעון ראש הממשלה ב ירושלים מעצרים עצוריםהפגנה נגד בנימין נתניהו ב מעון ראש הממשלה ב ירושלים מעצרים עצורים
    Demonstrators call for ouster of Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Getty Images)
    He condemned violence “from all sides” at the start of his remarks before tearing into the media he has long viewed as hostile toward him.
    Also at the cabinet meeting, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who is the country’s “alternate” prime minister under a power-sharing deal, said the protests must be allowed to take place with protesters shielded from violence.
    “The right to protest is the lifeblood of democracy and violence is the erosion of the foundation of democracy,” he said.
    הפגנה נגד בנימין נתניהו ב מעון ראש הממשלה ב ירושליםהפגנה נגד בנימין נתניהו ב מעון ראש הממשלה ב ירושלים
    Protesters call for the ouster of Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem
    (Photo: AP)
    Netanyahu’s tirade came as his son Yair Netanyahu was summoned to a Jerusalem court after tweeting the names, addresses and phone numbers of prominent protesters, calling his followers to demonstrate outside their homes “day and night.” The court granted the 28-year-old Netanyahu an exemption from appearing in court. Protesters said they received threatening calls after the tweet.
    הפגנת הדגלים השחורים מול מעון ראש הממשלה בבלפור ירושליםהפגנת הדגלים השחורים מול מעון ראש הממשלה בבלפור ירושלים
    Demonstrators hold meditation session outside the residence of Prime Minister Netanyahu as they call for his resignation
    (Photo: Tal Shahar)
    Throughout the summer, thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets, calling for Netanyahu to resign, protesting his handling of the country’s coronavirus crisis and saying he should not remain in office while on trial for corruption charges. Though Netanyahu has tried to play down the protests, the twice-a-week gatherings show no signs of slowing and Saturday night’s Jerusalem gathering drew more than 10,000 people.

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