Yesterday, as we walked again toward Habima Square for the demonstration calling for the removal of Netanyahu from office, the narrow street was filled with demonstrators. The people behind us commented on the fact that each week more and more people were turning up (last night was the 6th demonstration since the beginning of the war). Then they started discussing the protests against the judicial overhaul that began over a year ago. One of them, a woman, asked what had happened to the 40th demonstration. It seemed that for a moment, she didn’t remember that October 7th marked the 40th Shabbat of demonstrations against the Judicial Overhaul. Throughout last year, when one of the prominent leaders of the protest Shikma Schwartzman Bressler used the expression “the government of the destruction of the Temple” (In Hebrew the word for the Temple and the word for home is the same: Ba’it), I preferred to think about the destruction metaphorically. Unfortunately, she was right.
So last night, thousands of frustrated and fed-up people gathered again in Habima Square to demand the removal of Netanyahu. We heard from Noga Freedman, a widow whose husband Ido, was killed on October 7th. She said she couldn’t just mourn and be sad because she was raging. She said, “I am not willing to regard the death of Ido, and others as a story of sacrifice; it needs to be an indictment against the government and the prime minister.” She added that she wasn’t supposed to be at the rally, filled with rage, she was supposed to be at home mourning. “But we can’t stand it anymore. How many demonstrations do we need to hold until the government resigns? This country is losing its best sons and daughters, abandoning the hostages, and not taking responsibility. They try to silence us and says that only together can we win this war, but this togetherness must include the authorities that are currently disconnected from everything. Unity is a noble and true sentiment that is being cynically exploited in the service of one man.
Last night, we only attended the protest calling for the removal of Netanyahu from office. While I believe that the most important issue is the return of the hostages now, I fear that we won’t be able to get them back until he is removed. That’s why I can’t, in good conscience, stand in the Kidnapped Square and refrain from demanding his removal https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/day-106-of-the-war-shame-is-an-important-word/. Instead, I shall stand in Habima and fight for Netanyahu’s removal along with the return of the hostages.