Anti-Netanyahu Protests Merge With 9th of Av Mourning
The protests taking place almost daily outside of the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem have merged with the day of national mourning on the Jewish calendar. Thousands of Israelis are expected to spend Tisha B’Av – the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, which commemorates the destruction of the two holy temples in ancient Jerusalem and all evil done to the Jewish people throughout history – calling for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s resignation. The demonstrations began on Wednesday evening and are expected to roll-over into Thursday, seizing on the obvious: comparing the loss of the temples to what the demonstrators see as the collapse of the Jewish state under Netanyahu. In Tel Aviv, protesters returned to Rabin Square, the scene of Tuesday’s demonstration-turned-violent where witnesses say as many as 10 men dressed in black viciously attacked anti-Netanyahu demonstrators. Those beaten complained that they were “ignored” and “abandoned” by police. Nevertheless, at least three arrests were made. Large numbers of police have been deployed throughout Jerusalem in anticipation of Thursday’s planned demonstrations.