Hundreds Protest in Tel Aviv and Other Areas against Ben Gvir’s National Guard

The announcement of a new National Guard being established that would be under the authority of Itamar Ben Gvir did not sit well with left-wing activists.

Hundreds of them turned up on the streets of Tel Aviv on Wednesday night to protest against the formation of the National Guard under the far-right National Security Minister.

The protests

The protests came as the plans of forming the 2,000-strong force were unveiled by Itamar Ben Gvir and also amidst protest against the judicial overhaul legislation of the government that have now been paused.

A number of roads in Tel Aviv were closed off temporarily because of protests, which was against ‘Ben Gvir’s militia’.

It was led by the social justice group Standing Together, along with some other organizations. They said that similar protests had also been held in Haifa, Beersheba, Holon, Rehovot and Jerusalem.

The pictures from the rally in Tel Aviv showed a number of Pride and Palestinian flags sprinkled in the crowd, along with Israeli flags that were in the highest number.

Signs were also carried by the protestors that boasted slogans related to democracy and denounced Ben Gvir.

The criticism

The chief of the Hadash-Ta’al political party, which is predominantly Arab, addressed the protest and said that the National Guard was similar to the Nazi paramilitary’s ‘brown shirts’.

MK Ayman Odeh said that it was similar to the ‘yellow shirts’, which was a reference to the Kach movement, the Jewish supremacist one in which Ben Gvir had been active as a teenager.

Meir Kahane, the late extremist Rabbi, had founded the Kach movement and Ben Gvir had called himself a disciple of the Rabbi, along with some other members of his party.

While Ben Gvir had distanced himself from some of the more extreme positions that Kahane had taken, he had still spoken at a memorial event held for the Rabbi back in November.

Speaking at the protest, Odeh said that they would not help Ben Gvir in setting up a fascist militia to serve Kahanism.

The National Guard

On Wednesday, details about the National Guard had been revealed by Ben Gvir and the proposal will be put forward for approval on Sunday in the weekly cabinet meeting.

The cabinet will consider a resolution, which claims that the National Guard will tackle terrorism, ‘nationalist crime’ and for restoring governance.

The proposal has garnered a lot of concerns from opposing politicians and civil rights groups about giving a government minister direct control of such a group.

They have argued that policing would be politicized and the principle of equality that exists in law enforcement will be undermined.

If approval is granted to the resolution, a committee will be established by Ben Gvir for setting up the National Guard.

This would have representatives from the Israel Police, Prime Minister’s Office, IDF, Finance Ministry, Justice Ministry and Defense Ministry.

The proposal had received approval from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday night and it was considered to be in exchange of Ben Gvir agreeing to hit pause on the judicial overhaul process.

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