Netanyahu decries protesters after salon siege of his wife


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu And his allies denounced the protesters as “anarchists” on Thursday when they A Tel Aviv The salon where his wife was getting her hair done – a chaotic end to a day of protests against the government’s plan to replace the judiciary.

Sara Netanyahu has long been a polarizing figure in Israel, and the incident in a posh neighborhood in Tel Aviv late Wednesday reflected Israel’s emotional divide, which opponents see as an existential threat to the country. Seen as a threat.

Protesters outside the salon chanted “Shame on you, shame on you” but did not attempt to enter. Hundreds of police were dispatched to the scene and eventually took him away in a limousine.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu and his political partners showed no signs of easing up on pressure to pass a series of bills to reform Israel’s judiciary. The moves further infuriated the already deeply polarized country and sparked the biggest protests in more than a decade.

Protest organizers planned more demonstrations on Thursday, a day after their self-proclaimed “Day of Disruption” turned violent when police used a heavy hand against participants in a Tel Aviv rally.

Thursday’s demonstrations in Jerusalem are expected to include speeches by former government ministers and senior security officials. Former top economists, including two former heads of the Bank of Israel and a Nobel laureate, were set to speak about the economic fallout from the overhaul at a conference in Tel Aviv.
Justice Minister Yariv Levin, one of the architects of the judicial reform, said Wednesday night that despite growing public anger, Netanyahu’s government “will not stop the law.”

The proposed bills would give politicians and parliament control over judicial appointments, the power to overrule the Supreme Court and the ability to pass laws unfit for judicial review.

Critics of the plan include a growing number of former military brass, academics, economists and business leaders. They say these changes will undermine the country’s critical checks and balances system and erode democratic institutions. Netanyahu and his ultra-nationalist and ultra-Orthodox allies say the changes are necessary to rein in the power of unelected judges.

The battle over judiciary reform comes as Netanyahu is on trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The longtime leader has dismissed the allegations against him as part of a “witch hunt” by a biased law enforcement, judiciary and press.

On Wednesday, thousands of Israelis took part in protests across the country against what is seen as an attempt by Netanyahu’s new government to weaken the Supreme Court and concentrate power in the hands of the ruling coalition.

Also Read: Top Israeli, Palestinian officials to meet over escalation in violence

Protesters blocked highways and major intersections in Tel Aviv and gathered outside the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem. For the first time since the protests began two months ago, Public Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, a staunch nationalist resident, took to the streets after ordering police to crack down on protesters he claimed were “anarchists”. The scene turned violent. At least 11 people were hospitalized and police arrested dozens.

Wednesday’s events culminated in a miracle outside a bustling north Tel Aviv salon where the prime minister’s wife was getting her hair done. Moshe Butbul, a hairstylist at the salon, told Israeli news site Ynet that another customer posted a selfie with Sara Netanyahu. He claimed that “thousands of people arrived within minutes,” though the actual number of protesters may have been lower, judging by videos posted online.

Journalists present at the scene said the crowd kept their distance and did not try to enter the salon. Ben-Gvir then dispatched a large number of security forces to the salon, saying on Twitter that he had ordered police to “protect his life” from protesters who had “surrounded” the salon.

Hundreds of police officers, including mounted police, broke a path through the demonstration to allow an SUV to arrive. Escorted by a phalanx of police, Sara Netanyahu was escorted out of the salon and into the vehicle, which drove off under heavy police protection.

“The anarchy must stop,” Netanyahu said in a Facebook post accompanied by a picture of him embracing his wife. “It could cause casualties.” Netanyahu allies came to Sara Netanyahu’s defense Thursday morning.

Israel’s Minister of Public Diplomacy, Galit Distal Atbarian, called the incident “a three-hour terror in which a woman was surrounded by an angry mob.” Another Likud lawmaker wrote on Twitter that the prime minister’s wife was “saved from lynching” by a mob of “anarchists”.

Former general and one-time Meretz Party lawmaker Yair Golan told Kan Radio that “with all due respect, Sara Netanyahu is a political figure.”

Citing her political influence outside of critics in the prime minister’s office, Golan alleged that “she is involved in decision-making at the national level and approves senior appointments left and right.”

The Netanyahus have been criticized for being out of touch with regular Israelis and living a lavish lifestyle at taxpayer expense. Last week, an Israeli parliamentary committee approved new funding for Netanyahu and his family.

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