Hundreds Block Tel Aviv Highway in Protest against New Government
On Thursday evening, as the new government in Israel held its first cabinet meeting, hundreds of people gathered in Tel Aviv.
The rally was held in support of the LGBTQ community in the country, as there are concerns that their rights will be infringed by the policies of the new right-wing government.
On Thursday, the 37th government in Israel was sworn in by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His right-wing Likud party has partnered with ultra-Orthodox and far-right parties to form the coalition.
It has been regarded as the most hardline coalition to be formed in the country as yet. Therefore, it has stoked fears that the new government may harm the status of the LGBTQ community.
There was a demonstration at the Kiryat Hamemshala government complex for LGBTQ rights and an assessment indicated that about 1,500 people were in attendance.
Roads were blocked by the protestors before they took the Hashalom exit to reach the Ayalon Highway that had been blocked off by the police.
There were scuffles between protestors and the police. The latter had also blocked traffic around the Yehudit pedestrian bridge.
A split screen was shown by some news broadcasts in Israel, with Netanyahu and his new cabinet meeting in Jerusalem and demonstrators protesting on the roads of Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu said in the meeting that the minority did not have anything to fear from the new government.
The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, The Aguda, tweeted that they would not become second-class citizens in the country and would fight for their place in the country.
The chair of The Aguda, Hila Peer, also attended the rally and associated the new government with darkness.
The chair said that there were members in the new government who wanted to impose conversion therapy, which has been discouraged strongly by a number of health organizations.
The Health Ministry banned conversion therapy earlier this year under the previous government in Israel.
Support for LGBTQ
The Aguda had conducted a poll this week, which showed that gay rights had broad support in the country, as 77% of the survey’s participants were in favor of full equality for the LGBTQ community.
9% of the survey’s respondents said that they did not know what to do, while 14% of them were against granting LGBTQ citizens full rights.
The study revealed that 51% of the participants wanted the government to give the LGBTQ community more rights, while 31% of them wanted the coalition to stick with the status quo.
9% of the participants wanted all rights reversed and there were also 8% who stated that they did not know which side to take.
It also discovered that 69% of the respondents accepted same-sex families just like traditional ones, while 29% of them believed the opposite and those that didn’t know stood at 5%.
The new government is expected to establish policies that could go against the interests of the LGBTQ community in the country, especially the deal that Likud has made with the Religious Zionism faction.