Israel: Netanyahu denounces Tel Aviv salon protesters

Jerusalem –

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies on Thursday denounced protesters as “anarchists” after gathering outside a Tel Aviv salon where his wife had her hair done.

Sarah Netanyahu has long been a polarizing figure in Israel, and the incident in Tel Aviv’s posh neighborhood late Wednesday was seen by opponents as an existential threat to the country, leading Israel to overhaul. Demonstrators outside the saloon yelled “shame, shame” but did not force their way inside. Hundreds of police were dispatched to the scene and eventually escorted her to a limousine.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu and his political partners showed no signs of easing the pressure to pass a series of bills to overhaul Israel’s judiciary. It has further irritated the country and sparked the largest protests in more than a decade.

Protest organizers planned further demonstrations for Thursday, a day after a self-proclaimed “day of turmoil” turned violent when police used a strong hand against participants at a rally in Tel Aviv.

Demonstrations in Jerusalem on Thursday are expected to include speeches by former government ministers and senior security officials. Two former heads of the Bank of Israel and former top economists, including a Nobel laureate, were scheduled to speak at a conference in Tel Aviv about the economic impact of the overhaul.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin, one of the driving forces behind judicial reform, said Wednesday night that Netanyahu’s government “will not stop legislation” despite mounting public outcry.

The proposed bill would give politicians and Congress the power to appoint judges, overrule the Supreme Court, and pass laws that are not subject to judicial review.

Critics of the plan include a growing number of former military officers, academics, economists and business leaders. They say the change will erode the country’s delicate system of checks and balances and erode democratic institutions. Netanyahu and his ultranationalist and ultra-Orthodox allies say change is needed to curb the power of unelected judges.

The battle over judicial reform comes as Netanyahu’s trial on charges of bribery, fraud and treason drags on. The longtime leader has dismissed charges against him as part of a biased “witch hunt” by law enforcement, the judiciary and the media.

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of Israelis took part in nationwide demonstrations against Netanyahu’s new government in what it sees as an attempt to undermine the Supreme Court and concentrate power in the hands of the ruling coalition. .

Protesters blocked highways and major intersections in Tel Aviv and gathered outside the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem. The protests came two months ago after hardline nationalist settler Public Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gubir ordered police to take tougher action against demonstrators he claimed to be “anarchists.” For the first time since its inception, scenes on the streets are violent. At least 11 people were hospitalized and police arrested dozens.

Wednesday’s events reached a crescendo outside a plush salon in northern Tel Aviv, where the prime minister’s wife was getting her hair done.

Salon hairstylist Moshe Butbur told Israeli news site Ynet that another client posted a selfie with Sarah Netanyahu. Although claimed, the actual number of protesters may have been lower, judging by videos posted online.

A reporter at the scene said the crowd kept their distance and did not attempt to enter the saloon. He said he had ordered police to “save her life” from the victim.

Hundreds of police, including mounted police, blocked the aisles of the demonstration to prevent SUVs from approaching. Sarah Netanyahu was protected by a police phalanx, escorted out of the saloon into a car and driven off under a strong police escort.

“Anarchy must stop,” Netanyahu said in a Facebook post with a photo of him embracing his wife. “This can lead to loss of life.”

Netanyahu’s allies came to Sarah Netanyahu’s defense Thursday morning.

Garit Distel Atbaryan, Israel’s Minister of Public and Foreign Affairs, called the incident “a three-hour terror in which a woman was besieged by an incited mob.” Another Likud lawmaker wrote on Twitter that the prime minister’s wife was “rescued from a lynching” by an “anarchist” mob.

Yair Golan, a former general and former member of the Merets Party, told Kang Radio, “With all due respect, Sarah Netanyahu is a politician.”

Referring to what critics consider her political clout at the prime minister’s office to be enormous, Golan said, “She is involved in decision-making at the national level and approves appointments to senior positions left and right. I do,” he claimed.

Netanyahu has been criticized for having no contact with normal Israelis and living a lavish lifestyle at taxpayer expense. Approved new funds.

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