As Israel faces widespread protests against the government’s proposed judicial overhaul, right-wing activists have called for demonstrations and even violence in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. The situation has escalated to the point where protest leaders have asked the police for protection against potential attacks by far-right activists.
Additional Police Presence to Secure Protests
In response to the situation, Israel Police have announced that they will deploy additional forces to secure the protests, while the Shin Bet security service has expressed concerns about far-right attacks. Prime Minister Netanyahu has also called for peaceful demonstrations, urging protesters from both the right and left to act responsibly.
Far-Right Groups Inciting Violence
However, some far-right groups have been inciting violence against anti-government protesters. For example, in a group called ‘The Unapologetic Right’ run by a well-known rapper known as The Shadow, one member called for running over protesters with a jeep, while another suggested using gasoline, explosives, tractors, guns, and knives against them.
Racist Group La Familia Calls for Demonstrations
Meanwhile, the notoriously racist group La Familia, which supports far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, has called on its supporters to join a right-wing demonstration in favor of the government’s judicial overhaul outside the Knesset in Jerusalem. The group has a history of targeting its perceived opponents with violence, including during the 2020 protests against Prime Minister Netanyahu.
MK Simcha Rothman Urges Supporters to Protest
MK Simcha Rothman, chair of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and one of the drivers behind the judicial coup’s legislation, has also called on right-wing supporters of the judicial overhaul to protest in support of the government and against any freeze on the legislation. He has urged the government’s base of supporters to gather outside the Knesset in Jerusalem with a flag, and “not to give up on the people’s choice.”
Potential for Clashes Across the Country
Police sources have said that they are expecting clashes across the country throughout the evening, with some groups calling for protesters to block the entries to kibbutzim, traditionally associated with the Israel left. This situation has raised concerns about the potential for violence against anti-government protesters and underscores the deep political divisions in Israel.