Demonstrators marched from Habima Square to Rabin Square, protesting against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government.
Several hours prior to the march, the police had arrested one of the protest's leaders, Yishai Hadas, after he waved a sign that said "Crime Minister" in English while standing along the route of the Giro d'Italia bicycle race, which is taking place in Israel for the first time.
Hadas brought his sign to past demonstrations at Habima Square, but protest organizers claim the police confiscated the sign so it would not be captured by foreign media cameras covering the important race.
Attorney Daniel Haklai, who represents Hadas, called the arrest "unfortunate and disturbing."
"Hadas expressed his political freedom of speech by holding up the sign. Political freedom of speech is at the heart of the principle of freedom of speech," Haklai went on to say. "In a democratic country, political freedom of speech has to be defended, and the ones who use it cannot be arrested."
"Hadas wanted the foreign media covering the Giro d'Italia race to capture his sign and he insisted on his democratic right to protest in front of the entire world," Haklai concluded.
The police said Hadas had interrupted the race and failed to follow police instructions.
Protest organizer Eldad Yaniv argued that Netanyahu was warmongering to deflect from the criminal investigations against him.
"We were told that Netanyahu had treated the IDF with caution until he realized he's going to jail. All of his attempts to instigate conflict on the northern and southern borders and with Iran stem from his fear and understanding that his end is near," Yaniv said.
"It's also the reasons why last week Netanyahu passed a decision without anybody noticing—he can go to war just by consulting Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, without Cabinet," he went on to say.
Yaniv said the prime minister intends to "complete his mission by attempting to paralyze the High Court of Justice with his efforts to pass the override power bill. It's a disgrace."
The Zionist Union's Chairman Avi Gabbay said, "In times like these, we can't be sitting on the fence. Democracies collapsed when the majority sat on the fence. It's not the time to say everything will be alright."
"We came here tonight to support the citizens who protest and tell this government we'll fight for democracy. We won't allow our democracy to come to ruin or to transform us into Turkey or Russia," he went on to say.
"Only during the past week, Netanyahu and Lieberman decided they could declare war by themselves. We're talking about the same Netanyahu who said Lieberman is incapable of sitting through one Cabinet meeting and the same Lieberman who said Netanyahu is a fraud and a liar. Can anybody trust those two?" Gabbay wondered.
The Zionist Union's Tzipi Livni, who spoke at the march as well, drew attention to the fact that when everybody was busy with the prime minister's televised statement about Iran's nuclear program last week, three democracy-changing laws were approved.
"The prime minister and defense minister being allowed to declare war on their own volition without taking into consideration the government or the Security Cabinet, erasing the basic tenet of equality from the Declaration of Independence—these were among the laws approved last week," said Livni.
"Next week's plan is to pass the override power bill bypassing and paralyzing the High Court that defends Israel's citizens," she went on to say, explaining that the court had been delegitimized for the past few years and is paying the price since it's the gatekeeper responsible for keeping Jewish and democratic Israel's basic values and your rights as Israel's citizens."
Speaking at the march, Meretz Chairwoman Tamar Zandberg said, "We are at war for the State of Israel and we'll win, since the Israeli public wants and believes in a democratic country."