Videos of antigovernment protests in Tel Aviv

September 12, 2023 • 11:30 am

By now you’ve surely heard of the antigovernment protests in Israel triggered by the Netanyahu administration’s dissatisfaction with the powers of the Supreme Court.  This is a complex issue, and I don’t have a dog in the fight, but I urge those of you who want such a canid to read up on the issues. Here’s one place to start, but it’s just a start.

My only comment is that if Israel had a constitution, which it doesn’t, these protests would be unnecessary, as the constitution would spell out a separation of powers that would settle the issues. However, it’s too late for that: 7 million quarrelsome Jews (and another 2 million non-Jews) could never decide on a constitution now. That’s instantiated by this old Jewish joke:

Yeshiva University wanted to burnish its image, so, taking a lesson from the Ivy League, decided to start a rowing team. But the crew came in last, and by a mile, in its first race. So the Yeshiva coach sent a scout to watch how the other schools trained for the races.

He came back and reported: “Coach, we have it all backwards. It’s supposed to be eight rowers and one coxswain yelling instructions, not eight coxswains and one rower!”

At any rate, I haven’t seen any demonstrations but one of my fellow travelers, Jay Tanzman, went to them on Sunday and took three videos. (There was no violence.) I’ve put them on YouTube with Jay’s permission and have added Jay’s notes (indented):

There was a main stage (not shown) on which bands and speakers appeared. This clip shows one of several screens set up throughout the area that showed what was happening on stage. I couldn’t gain a high vantage point from which to film to show the scale of the demonstration. However, toward the end of this clip there is an overhead shot, presumably taken by a drone I saw above. If you zoom in, you can see how big the crowd was. The media is saying there were 120,000 attendees (I had guessed 100,000).

Protestors marching:

At one point, the band played the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah [“The Hope”], and the crowd instantly stood up and started singing along. It was very moving to watch.

Watching these videos again, I was struck by the plethora of Israeli flags carried by the protestors.  They are parading their Israeli-ness while still protesting the government. I doubt that the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Capitol had that many American flags!

Here’s a more professional but less spontaneous version of Hatikvah, performed at “the 68th Israeli Independence Day Torch Lighting ceremony in Jerusalem, May 2016.” There are English subtitles.

8 thoughts on “Videos of antigovernment protests in Tel Aviv

  1. There was an article in the Post this morning. I guess the 15 judges begin today but the process may take a long time. The whole thing is pretty confusing to many of us over here. I think we have enough problems of our own especially now. The crazy republicans are beginning investigations into impeaching Biden. End of the month the govt. may shut down and i’m sure there are other things going one. The prime minister of Israel is coming over to see Elon Musk. He may or may not see Biden. As the world turns.

    1. “He may or may not see Biden” so can Biden still see him? Or hear him? He appears increasingly frail and confused.

      1. I think the way it was stated was he expected an invite to the white house but had not received one as yet. With Biden you don’t know – makes stuff up and says he was there when he wasn’t.

  2. Thank you Jerry and Jay. Very moving to this Jewish boy….brings a tear as the music and words put me back in time to shul in the 1950’s and the songs that ended services. I was born in 1948, as was Israel, and this was very meaningful to all of our 1961 bar mitzvah boys. It was a different America with a growing middle class at least around me and an optimism about ourselves and Israel…again at least around me. How I and my Southern friends could have been blind to the clear racism all around us, I don’t know.

  3. I like the joke 🙂 I just told a friend of mine a slightly modified version: They did not send a scout — the crew just turned up at the race, lost by a mile, and realized that they should have had one coxswain and eight rowers, instead of eight coxswains and one rower.

  4. David Ben-Gurion would be turning in his grave (for what it’s worth I respect him). Then I feel he may have known it’ll be coming.

  5. No written constitution surely – but neither does the UK yet we still talk of it as a sort of virtual constitution. The US constitution, though written, does a poor job of separating the judiciary from politics, in comparison with other states, by letting politicians choose judicial figures.
    Ah – it is called “uncodified constitution”, or partially… Canada as well, but not Australia. Interesting…

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