Chaos in the Knesset as protesters break in, opposition MKs escorted out

Chants of “shame” rang out during a speech by judicial reform architect Simcha Rothman, who promised to engage in dialogue with President Herzog as mediator. 

By World Israel News Staff

It was chaos in the Knesset once again as protesters broke through the barricades surrounding the building, protesting opposition MKs wrapped in Israeli flags are escorted out of the plenum ahead of a vote on two key measures of the judicial reform, and scuffles break out.

Opening remarks by Religious Zionism MK Simcha Rothman, chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, were met with heckles and chants of “disaster” and “shame” from members of the opposition. His remarks included a commitment to engage in dialogue brokered by President Isaac Herzog after the vote.

כך זה נראה: מפגיני השמאל מתפרעים והולמים על הזכוכית ביציע האורחים ומסולקים ע”י הסדרנים.

— Moti Kastel מוטי קסטל (@KastelMoti) February 20, 2023

Yesh Atid MKs, donning Israeli flags, staged a protest in the plenum ahead of the debate, before being escorted out of the hall.

Security guards also removed protesters from the plenum observation gallery, after they entered it illegally and beat against the glass walls separating them from the plenary area.

Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben Barak compared the judicial reform to the Nazi rise to power.

“What you are doing is worse than all the regimes we do not want to be like – the Turks, the Hungarians and the Poles,” he said during the plenum.

“Even in Nazi Germany, there was democratic rule,” he added.

Similar scenes at the Knesset took place earlier this month and last month, with hearings being interrupted by opposition MKs banging and climbing on tables and urging the masses to “revolt against this criminal fascist dictatorship.”

Municipal leaders and former military brass have called for bloodshed and violent rebellion against the government.

Thousands gathered outside to protest the vote, which would see the Supreme Court barred from overturning amendments to the Basic Law as well as increasing the government’s role in appointing new judges.

Opposition Leader MK Yair Lapid said the vote was another “dark day for Israeli democracy.”

“We will continue to work across all fronts, here in the Knesset, in the streets, in the courts,” he said. “We are working for the future of our children, for the future of our country and we do not intend to give up.”

Earlier on Monday, thousands of protesters shut down roads across the country, including Route 1, the primary thoroughfare linking Tel Aviv with Jerusalem.

Smaller groups of protesters prevented coalition lawmakers from leaving their homes and reaching the Knesset, including, in one instance, taping themselves to the front door of Likud MK Tali Gottlieb and blocking her autistic daughter from going to school.

Addressing the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement: “You talk in lofty terms of values, the rights of minorities and individuals, while you are trampling to dust the rights of a girl with special needs and the rights of an elected representative.”

“This is what the new Israeli democracy looks like: Do not respect the majority, try to block votes, do not allow speech,” the Israeli leader said.

“They do not accept the outcome of the election, they do not accept the majority’s decision, they do not condemn calls to kill the prime minister and his family, they block roads and call for civil disobedience, they call without shame for a civil war and for blood in the streets, they threaten Knesset members aggressively,” Netanyahu said.

After the raucous at the plenum vote, Netanyahu accused the opposition of “losing the plot.”

The post Chaos in the Knesset as protesters break in, opposition MKs escorted out appeared first on World Israel News.

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