Around 2,000 people demonstrated outside the Jerusalem residence of Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening on the eve of a crucial vote in parliament that could end the reign of Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.
Parliament must vote on whether to install a “change” coalition government and end Netanyahu’s 12 consecutive years in power.
The anti-Netanyahu bloc includes right, left and center parties as well as a conservative Arab-Islamic party – united by hostility to power from the prime minister known by his nickname Bibi.
To the tune of the song Bella Ciao by Italian supporters, protesters sang “Bibi Ciao” in celebration after nearly a year of rallies outside his home demanding his departure.
“For us it’s a big night and tomorrow will be an even bigger day. I almost cry. We fought peacefully for this and the day has come, ”protester Ofir Robinski said.
“Netanyahu only tried to divide us and pit each part of society against the other. But tomorrow we will be united: right, left, Jews and Arabs.
Protesters blew vuvuzelas or beat drums, while some wore T-shirts that read in Hebrew: “Bibi Lekh” (come out).
“We are on the verge of ending a dark era for Israel,” said Ram Shamir.
Another protester, Gali Israel Tal, 62, was also optimistic that the Knesset vote on Sunday would mean Netanyahu’s political demise.
“It’s our last Saturday here. We won. Tomorrow the Knesset will vote and this prime minister will go. It’s good. He will go, ”she said.
Anti-Netanyahu protests have been organized every Saturday since July of last year to denounce his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economy.
Protesters condemned Netanyahu, who became the first sitting Israeli prime minister to be charged while in office and who is on trial for corruption.
He is accused of accepting inappropriate gifts and seeking to exchange regulatory favors with media moguls in return for positive coverage – allegations he denies.
© 2021 AFP