'Together we'll protect democracy'
Protester in Tel Aviv
Photo: Yaron Brener
'A democratic citizen isn't loyal'
Photo: Yaron Brener

Thousands protest loyalty oath bill

Masses gather in Tel Aviv to demonstrate against amendment to Citizenship Act. Demonstrators hold signs reading 'Lieberman, Lieberman, a fascist and a racist,' 'Together we'll protect democracy'

Protest over the amendment to the Citizenship Act continues – some 6,000 people on Saturday evening gathered in Tel Aviv's Gan Meir to protest of the loyalty oath bill, which was approved by the government on Sunday.


The participants, who marched toward the Sarona compound, carried signs reading: "Lieberman's voice, Netanyahu's hands", "Fascism and ethnic cleansing are standing proud" and "together we'll protect democracy."


Some demonstrators carried Israeli flags and red flags, and chanted, "Lieberman, Lieberman, a fascist and a racist too".


Leading the procession were Members of Knesset Dov Khenin and Muhammad Barakeh (Hadash), former MK Mossi Raz (Meretz) and Peace Now Director-General Yariv Oppenheimer.

Thousands march in Tel Aviv (Photo: Yaron Brener) 


"We are here to protest with the entire street against the dangerous policy of the government, which Labor ministers also support," Oppenheimer told Ynet.


"Democracy will prevail and racism will be defeated. There is no room for (Prime Minister Netanyahu) Bibi and Lieberman's games in the peace process. Everyone's interest is for a two-state solution. There will be no (population) transfer here," added MK Barakeh.


The protest organizers distributed leaflets titled: "The Israeli government's loyalty oath to the citizens of this country," which read, "I promise not to discriminate or deprive anyone because of their descent, sex, nationality, accent, color, culture, economic status or any other factor. We demand the members of Knesset to be loyal to us and grant us the right to live in dignity, security and hope for the future."


Many police officers were dispatched along the procession in an effort to maintain order. Some demonstrators placed a sticker on their mouths, which read: "I am being silenced."


The protesters marched to Sarona, in front of the Defense Ministry, where they held a rally.


Speaking on a park bench in Sarona garden, MK Khenin said, "The democratic freedom is in grave danger. The nightmare of a transfer is turning into a realistic plan, and that's why we stand here today. The foul wave that started with the Arabs has now reached the Jews who dare think differently.


"Attacks on universities, artists and academicians have also become part of the internal danger. We stand before a fatal battle for our future," he added.


Meretz Chairman Chaim Oron also spoke during the rally and said, "A bad spirit is hovering above this land. The test that stands before us is complicated and complex. The Knesset has 11 pending bills that are oozing of racism. We must stop this wave.


"We cannot run a democratic country as long as there is an occupation. We call on the government and the Knesset to freeze all racist laws and continue to freeze the construction in the settlements," he said.



פרסום ראשון: 10.16.10, 21:16
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