ISRAEL. Jerusalem. Thousands of Israeli citizens marched to the Prime Minister’s residence on Balfour Street, Jerusalem. They want Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu to resign because of corruption and mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, the Prime Minister will stay in office despite the corruption charges against him.
The protests began in May, with many Israeli citizens parading the streets of Tel Aviv and ending up violently arrested. After three days, an immense crowd of protesters marched to Balfour Street where the police violently disseminated them but, the group did not back down.
More recently, 120,000 Israeli citizens took part in the protest against the police. The police continue to unlawfully arrest anyone they choose but Israeli citizens will not tolerate this. As an example of the brutality, a police officer attempted to grab a 71-year-old man with a camera, then tripped over him and fell to the ground, injuring the man’s arm.
Prime Minister Netanyahu charged with three cases of corruption
Prime Minister Netanyahu was charged with bribery, bridge of trust, and fraud. In a BBC news report, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit pointed out his involvement with millionaires, a media group, and a telecommunication company. Even if he denies the accusation, the corruption convinced the Israeli citizens to take action.
Taking bribes from millionaires and the use of his authority for their interest is unacceptable to Israeli citizens. Only the Prime Minister’s resignation is likely to stop the protests.
A mother and daughter determined to protest
Israeli citizens face the second lockdown with 273,826 COVID-19 cases as of 6 October 2020. Despite the risk of infection, people like Dikla Dayan Zilberstain and the daughter of the injured 71-year-old man join the protests.
“He betrayed the country and neglected the needs of the people,” Zilberstain tells Transcontinental Times. She feels the Prime Minister’s actions are unacceptable and the Knesset and President need to take action.
The COVID-19 crisis frustrates her and the people lost their voice in the parliament so they go out on the street to voice their dissatisfaction. She added, “This corrupt government needs to end.”
COVID-19 is the people’s catalyst
Countries such as Cameroon are also struggling with corruption amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. But, the people of Israel are determined to stop the corruption in their government. Even if Prime Minister Netanyahu threatens and harms protesters through the police, the group grows in size to voice their concerns.
Zilberstain stressed that “COVID-19 [is] a catalyst for the things to come. The people who shut their eyes no longer ignores the lack of leadership.”