A right-wing anti-corruption rally will be held Saturday night in Jerusalem’s Zion Square, the first from the right side of the political map following a year of weekly protests associated with the Left.
The protest is being organized by journalist Yoaz Hendel, the former director of communications and public diplomacy for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the chairman of the Institute for Zionist Strategies, and, along with The Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Yaakov Katz, the co-author of Israel vs Iran: The Shadow War.
Hendel wrote about the rally in his column on the cover of Yediot Aharonot Monday, writing that the rally would not be against anyone but in favor of the rule of law, checks and balances in government and the fight against corruption. Hendel wrote that he and other right-wingers did not feel they fit in the rallies held in Petah Tikva and Tel Aviv but needed an outlet to protest against corruption.
“I feel there are many people in the nationalist camp who don’t feel comfortable with what they see in Likud,” Hendel told the Post. “It’s important for them to make a statement.”
Kulanu MKs Roy Folkman and Rachel Azaria and former National Union MK Arye Eldad have confirmed their attendance. Likud MK Yehudah Glick said that while he wants to come, he might not due to problems that it could cause for him in his party.
Thousands of Israelis protest against Netanyahu. (REUTERS)
Hendel, who has been rumored to be a possible Knesset candidate for the party being formed by former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, said Ya’alon was undecided about attending. He has also turned to prominent rabbis about speaking at the event after the religious Zionist Rabbi Yuval Cherlow spoke at an anti-corruption rally in Tel Aviv last Saturday night.
“I am not using this rally to get to the Knesset,” Hendel said. “I have had offers from parties to run for the last three Knessets, and I don’t know if I am running next time.”
It’s not my greatest dream to be in the Knesset, he said.
Reacting to criticism from former National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari that he was no more right-wing than Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni, Hendel said: “I don’t need anyone’s approval for what I am.”
Another possible speaker at the rally Saturday night is publicist and author Nadav Haetzni, who wrote a column in Maariv three weeks ago in which he said that Netanyahu had to leave office and make way for a cleaner politician in Likud.
“We are seeing the start of a pattern, and I hope the pattern strengthens and leads to pressure in Likud for Netanyahu to quit and to be replaced by a new leader from Likud,” Haetzni told the Post this week. “There is no need for elections. The Likud can choose a new leader who has clean hands.”