Netanyahu rails at media over protests

Netanyahu has faced a wave of protests in recent weeks, with demonstrators calling for the resignation of the long-serving leader, who is on trial for corruption charges and been criticised for his handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Netanyahu has painted the protests as dens of “anarchists” and “leftists” out to topple “a strong right-wing leader.”

The protests have largely been peaceful but in some cases they have ended with clashes between demonstrators and police.

In others, small gangs of Netanyahu supporters and individuals affiliated with far-right groups have assaulted demonstrators.

In a six-minute rant at a meeting of his cabinet, Netanyahu slammed the media for “inflaming” the protests and for misrepresenting incidents of violence against the protesters.

“There has never been such a distorted mobilisation – I wanted to say Soviet but it has already reached North Korean terms – of the media in favour of the protests,” he said.

He said the protests were breeding grounds for the virus that were being allowed to take place with no limits, shutting down streets and neighbourhoods.

Also at the cabinet meeting, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, who is the country’s “alternate” prime minister under a power-sharing deal, said the protests must be allowed to take place with demonstrators shielded from violence.

Read the article by Tia Goldenberg in The Canberra Times.