The uncivil behavior of some demonstrators at the rally for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night earned a video statement from their leader on Wednesday.
After Netanyahu thanked the people for their support, he cautioned them that irresponsible behavior will be exploited by a hostile media, as he said it was last night.
“Media outlets will always take individual cases out of the thousands who were there to delegitimize you, as opposed to ignoring far more serious cases in leftist protests. I have one request: It’s important to act responsibly, within the law, without bias and without violence. We respect the law and we respect the courts — I’m sure the truth will come to light, “Netanyahu said.
Earlier in the day, Blue and White Party No. 2 Yair Lapid blamed Netanyahu for the bad behavior:
“The people who screamed at journalists yesterday who were doing their job. ‘Leftists will die!’ They pushed, cursed, and they threatened with violence, they were only doing what they were asked to do, what Bibi asked of them,” Lapid claimed in a tweet.
There were no injuries and no arrests.
In the video, Netanyahu thanked “the masses of Israeli citizens for their tremendous support.”
This despite a relatively low turnout and the conspicuous absence of Likud senior officials and leaders of potential coalition partners in the right-religious bloc.
Estimates of the crowd varied considerably. Netanyahu’s aides said 15,000 were there; while the Tel Aviv municipality put the number between 2,000 and 5,000. Media reports played it safe, in most cases referring to “several thousand.”