Police Pepper Spray Protesters as Thousands Rally Against Anti-Democratic Laws in Israel

Originally published on Tikkun Daily.

In Israel, conservative lawmakers are attempting to legislatively intimidate journalists and muffle criticism via a series of draconian bills slated to come before the Knesset.

In response, several thousand protesters took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening, voicing their opposition to what many view as a series of anti-democratic measures that threaten Israel’s democratic standing.

One such measure – a bill that would effectively amend Israel’s libel law such that claimants could sue newspapers for libel without having to prove damages – would send a chilling message to journalists, particularly those penning articles critical of the government. Another bill, which seeks to limit foreign funding to human rights organizations and NGOs, could financially impact many leftist organizations, including those charged with monitoring Palestinian rights, the occupation and settlements.

After the main rally concluded, several hundred protesters blocked the streets outside Likud’s headquarters – the party to which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and many in the current cabinet belong. Police clashed with the protesters, spraying them with pepper spray and arresting several.

Below are some of the scenes from Tuesday’s protests:

Protesters blocking a police car in a demand to release a protester who was arrested.
Police used force to disperse the protests around Likud headquarters.
Approximately 2,000 protesters rallied on November 22, 2011 in Tel Aviv against the flurry of anti-democratic bills and legislation being pushed through parliament by right-wing legislators.
A protester silenced by a sticker that reads “police.”


Follow me on Twitter @David_EHG

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About David Harris-Gershon

David Harris-Gershon – a blogger for Tikkun magazine and a freelance writer on Israel, the Middle East and America’s role in the region – has recently published work in The Jerusalem Post, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, AlterNet, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Colorado Review and elsewhere. His memoir – What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife? – is forthcoming from Oneworld Publications (2013). He received his MFA from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and has worked extensively as an educator, teaching creative writing and Israeli History / Jewish Studies in university and high school classrooms. Follow David on Twitter @David_EHG

Posted on November 23, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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