Nowadays, protests seem to be the norm. Along with rising coronavirus cases and even deadlier, the anxiety of it, is urging citizens of their nations to protests vehemently for issues concerning its citizens. Our inactivity for the past several months has led to heightened need for human collaboration and an anti-establishment belief we hope to be true.
It just so happens our premonitions are turning into reality. Be it the George Floyd protests which has scabbed the deep wound of racism or the Belarusian protests, where it’s a nation's unity versus a leader's thirst for power. The latter, is true even for Israel, as 10,000 Israelis are protesting in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence. The protestors have been embroiled in what they deem as a battle of democracy, accusing and believing Prime Minister Netanyahu to be a totalitarian in power.
Such accusations have been hurled in the past but have found new ground amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic. Even though Israel was lauded for its initial response towards Corona, a recent surge in cases has amplified and motivated Israelis to protest. At the root of this scenario was the Prime Minister's eagerness to open the country for the sake of the economy, a decision in retrospect, he believes was wrong.
Yet, the pandemic has affected everyone, but why a protest, especially in Israel? For many the pandemic is a blanket, on top of the issues the country was facing prior to the pandemic. Prime Minister Netanyahu is currently on trial for corruption charges, a charge that has led to the relinquishing of his ministry portfolios. Yet, still Netanyahu holds the position of Prime Minister. It is the PM’s stubbornness for power, which is the root cause of Israeli protests.
"The gap between citizens whose lives have been so badly damaged and people who claim to be leaders but pad themselves to no end is unbearable," says Ofer Shelley, 50, a pianist. Similar sentiments have been resonated by countless Israelis who believe PM Netanyahu along with the support of right-wing Likud party, have breached the democracy. Such belief is further purported by PM Netanyahu’s opinion on the media, who he believes are “leftists” and “anti-government” for broadcasting the protests against him. Although majority of the protests have been peaceful, some have turned violent as a group of 30 protestors were arrested and said to have disturbed the conduct of the protests.
Israel is a nation with resolute principals, principals so set in stone they are willing to fight anyone who encroaches them. The Israelis have illustrated their vigour, after all, democracy is at stake.