Itamar Ben-Gvir, the minister of national security, commanded the police to handle left-wing demonstrations in Tel Aviv like they handle Chareidi protests in Jerusalem, detaining demonstrators who block highways and brandish offensive signs with Nazi images.
The action follows a significant left-wing demonstration against the Netanyahu administration in Tel Aviv on Motzei Shabbos, during which PLO flags were flown, current government figures were compared to Nazis, and the Netanyahu administration was likened to the Third Reich.
Ben-Gvir remarked at an Otzma Yehudit party meeting in the Knesset on Monday, “I told the police command today – I’m in favor of protests, but those who block roads and riot should be detained.”
“I support freedom of expression, but we also witnessed damage to democracy, including incitement against [Justice] Minister Yariv Levin and roadblocks. Freedom of speech does not equal freedom to incite.
The police’s discriminating stance was denounced by Ben-Gvir earlier on Monday when he visited the national headquarters of the police in Jerusalem.
He said: “Discriminating amongst protestors is unacceptable; your discrimination between left-wing and right-wing protesters will not continue.”
Ben-Gvir called for the use of water cannons at left-wing demonstrations, and in response, left-wing organizations said: “A water cannon that will prevent the citizens of the country from fighting for democracy and our freedom has not yet been built.”
We advise you to recalculate. On Motzei Shabbos, I’ll see you.