Award-winning Director Hagai Levi Detained at Tel Aviv Rally

On Thursday, Hagai Levi, the acclaimed director, was detained during a protest in Tel Aviv against the government’s plans of overhauling the judiciary, which was part of the nationwide protests that took place on the day.

Levi’s statement

According to Levi, he and some of the other demonstrators had been protesting at the intersection of Begin and Shaul Hamelech streets when the cops told them to move to the sidewalk and clear the roads.

The award-winning director suggested that the patience of the police officers had likely been waning, which resulted in the said order.

Levi revealed that the police began to arrest the demonstrators and they did not like it when he started taking pictures of them doing so.

He stated that the official reason for him being detained was because he was standing on the street and not on the sidewalk, but he said that he had been standing just next to the sidewalk.

He added that he did not understand why he was arrested. Known for television shows like ‘Our Boys’ and ‘The Affair’, which won a Golden Globe, the director was held for two hours in a police van before being released.

According to Levi, he had gotten off easy. He disclosed that he was partly targeted because he had taken pictures of a tough arrest that had not been very pleasant.

The police action

The protests on Thursday had been dubbed as a ‘day of paralysis’ and around 92 people were detained by the police across the country.

They even went as far as deploying mounted officers and water cannons for clearing protestors who had blocked roads in Haifa and Tel Aviv.

Some prominent members and leaders of the protest movement were arrested on Thursday, which was called a ‘political’ move by the opposition.

Other incidents

Meanwhile, Matan Golan, a photojournalist alleged that a policeman sexually assaulted her during the demonstrations on Thursday.

She stated that she had identified herself as a journalist to the officer and had requested to cross the police line.

However, he had placed his hands on her breasts to push her for several seconds and punched her in the stomach when she photographed the incident. The photographs were uploaded to Golan’s Twitter account.

She posted that the police is not allowed to touch sensitive organs, especially when a woman is involved. She added that even if he had grasped her breasts by mistake, he shouldn’t have punched her.

The demonstrations have been ongoing in the country for about three months now against the judicial overhaul plans of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

The legislative proposals would give the coalition the power to appoint judges and protect laws from judicial oversight.

According to critics, the laws would end up eliminating the checks on legislative and executive power and would put democracy at risk.

Those supporting the judicial overhaul claim that the proposals would help in rebalancing the power of an overly activist court.

Despite the protests, the coalition is not slowing down and is pushing forward with the legislation as quickly as possible.

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