Protests in Israel Grow as Netanyahu’s Detractors Temporarily Unite
Another weekend, another jam-packed anti-Netanyahu protest near the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem. Approximately 20,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of the holy city Saturday night, disrupting traffic and calling for Netanyahu’s resignation over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak and his alleged corruption. The marchers arrived at Netanyahu’s official residence in full force – only to find an unfamiliar scene: dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews, usually loyal allies of the prime minister, who came out in a protest of their own against Netanyahu’s decision to ban all travel to Ukraine for the annual pilgrimage to the burial site of a rabbi they revere. Unlike last week’s demonstrations, confrontations with police on Saturday were held to a minimum, as the protests remained mostly peaceful. Only 16 arrests were made, perhaps thanks to the unrelenting heatwave sweeping Israel that may have checked the protesters’ and police’s appetite for physical confrontation.