Banish the Darkness! There is no democracy with occupation! Rally confronting Israel's bad new government
Yesterday was a very hectic day. The new Israeli government was inaugurated, in which an outright racist was given charge of the Israeli police and a settler leader was given the power to regulate settlement construction on the West Bank and an outright homophobe was given charge of the curriculum in Israeli schools.
This government was long in arriving. There were nearly two months of often acrimonious negotiations between Netanyahu and his various unsavory partners. Though there are no big ideological differences, there is clearly no love lost, and these people have not the slightest trust in each other. Hopefully, this jury-rigged cabinet will eventually fall apart in a burst of vicious infighting - though unfortunately, they will likely cause a lot of harm before they fall.
While inside the Knesset hall in Jerusalem Netanyahu presented his cabinet to the sound of repeated heckling from the opposition benches, outside there was a large and militant rally bringing together various strands and groupings in Israeli society which are determined to confront and oppose the new government from its first day. A further rally took place in the evening in Tel Aviv, initiated by the gay community - apprehensive that the government might turn back the long and patient struggle they had been waging for decades.
For the benefit of those who could not be there is person, the following is a translation of some of the calls for action which had been circulating on the net.
There is no democracy with occupation! Protest in the Knesset during the swearing in of the government.
Tomorrow (Thursday) starting at 10:30 we will stand in front of the Knesset, for the beginning of the struggle against the abominable government that has come upon us. We will join dozens of organizations representing different communities.
Together, during the swearing in of the government, all of us - Arabs and Jews, religious and secular, straight and LGBT, women and men, anti-occupation organizations, anti-corruption organizations and refugee organizations - will all stand together.
We will stand together against the racists, the discriminators, the exclusionists and the blacklisters, against those who want to perpetuate rule over another people, against the judicial system, the police and the education system.
We will protest together against the government of dissolution, for a democratic state of law, a state of equality, freedom and peace, where there is a place for everyone!
Together - we are a power!
The detention of journalist Israel Fry, on charges of so called "support for terrorism" is the harbinger of what we can expect when the racist Ben Gvir takes charge of the police. We in the Black Flags Movement will fight relentlessly for the freedom of speech!
The detention of journalist Israel Fry, however unpalatable his opinions, is a milestone in the porocess of turning Israel into a dictatorship in the style of Erdogan's Turkey or Orban's Hungary.
It seems that the prosecutor's office and the police are trying to please the new government and intimidate citizens against expressing their opinions.
Detaining journalists for expressing an opinion is not what happens in a democracy, it takes place in dark dictatorships. We call on all members of anti-Netanyahu "Change Block" to stand by Fry!
When one person is denied Freedom of Speech, it is denied to everybody!
Tomorrow, Thursday, starting at 10:30 - we will all stand in front of the Knesset, to launch the struggle against the coming Israeli dictatorial rule.
The evil government has arisen - the struggle is just beginning! Block the hatered - stand in support for the gay community tonight (Thursday) 18:00 at the government compound on Kaplan Street, Tel Aviv.
They are trying to deny our rights, to push us back into the closet and exclude us from the public sphere. This is the time for all of us, members of the gay community and anyone who stands for a tolerant Israel, to stand up and speak with a clear voice against discrimination and hatred.
You who are forming this new government: You were elected to serve the people - not to dismantle the democratic regime. We are here, standing proudly in front of the government compound and form a defensive wall to the judicial system, the public media, the gay community, women and Arab society. We will not be second-class citizens, we will fight for our place in the State of Israel!
When we went out to protest against Netanyhau holding onto power even while being prosecuted on corruption charges, there were those who told us it was useless. They said it was useless to demonstrate on Balfour Street [PM's residence in Jerusalem], that we will achieve nothing, that no one cares.
But we came out, and we demonstrated, and we made a big noise - and guess what? We got Bibi out of Balfour, at least for a year and a half. So now he comes back? Well, we will fight, and we will throw him out all over again! Together we will win! Onwards - to Banish the Darkness!
In the words of our song:
We have come To banish the darkness. We carry light and fire. Each of us is a small light Together we are a strong light. Away,darkness! Away! The light is coming!