Highest turnout in months at final pre-election protest against Netanyahu

Organizers reflect on previous nine months of rallies: ‘We were able to make a huge protest [movement], but without any means of channeling it’

20 March 2021,
photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

In a final mass protest before the March 23 elections, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Jerusalem on Saturday evening to call for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign.

Protesters from all across the country marched from the Knesset to Jerusalem’s Paris Square, which abuts Netanyahu’s residence on Balfour Street. Organizers of the demonstration said some 15,000 protesters attended at first, later estimating that a total of 40-50,000 were there — the highest turnout in months of weekly protests outside the Prime Minister’s Residence. Several Hebrew media reports put the number at 20,000 or over.

For nearly nine months, the demonstrators have been able to make the anti-Netanyahu gatherings a weekly feature of Israel’s political life. Despite dwindling turnout in recent weeks, protest organizers argued the pressure they leveled against Netanyahu helped push Israel towards its fourth elections in two years.

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