Tel Aviv protest last weekend
Photo: Yaron Brener

MK Regev: Social protesters want Tahrir Square in Tel Aviv

Likud lawmaker says leaders of social justice movement concerned more about making headlines' than bringing change, adding 'you don't solve problems by shattering windows.' Meretz MKs: Police brutality unjustified

The leaders of the social justice protest want to turn Rabin Square into Tahrir Square and overthrow the government, Knesset Member Miri Regev (Likud) said Wednesday.


"(The social protest leaders) don't want change. They want to protest for the sake of protesting. The activists from the extreme Left want to turn Rabin Square into Tahrir Square (in Cairo)," she told the plenum.


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"They are promoting acts of vandalism, clashes with police, power struggles – they want more headlines. Our job is to preserve the democracy. When we deal with the protesters they say this is a police state. There is no place for violence. Their true face has been revealed," the lawmaker said during her speech, after which it was decided that the issue would be referred to the Knesset's House Committee.


"You don't solve problems by shattering windows. A group of anarchists is operating against the State. Who is Daphni Leef? Who does she represent exactly? Enough with your (protest leaders) charades. Make room for real leaders," Regev argued. 


During the session Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch also addressed last weekend's violent social justice protest in Tel Aviv. "The protesters threw eggs and stones at police officers. Afterwards, some of the protesters marched towards Rabin Square, and shattered the front windows of branches of Bank Leumi and Bank Discount at Gan-Hair," he said.


Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, who spoke before Regev, criticized the police's "aggressiveness and unjustified brutality" during the protest.


MK Dov Khenin of Hadash also expressed support for the social justice protesters, and slammed Mayor Ron Huldai for instructing police not to allow them to reestablish a tent camp on Rothschild Boulevard.


"It's not his personal space – it's public space," he said. "(Huldai) sent his inspectors and they used violence without any authority. This enraged the protesters, and justifiably so. Instead of arresting the inspectors, the police officers joined them," he said, while calling on authorities to prosecute officers who were filmed striking protesters.


Police arrested dozens of social justice protesters in Tel Aviv last weekend, claiming the demonstrations were illegal.


On Tuesday Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino backed the officers. "What we saw was not popular protest, but a series of planned violations of the rule of law," he said. "Freedom of protest must not turn into chaos."



פרסום ראשון: 06.27.12, 19:05
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