MK Rothman Accosted and Harrassed in New York

MK Simcha Rotman, Head of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee seen during a committee meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem on May 29, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Religious Zionism MK Simcha Rothman on Sunday issued a statement in his defense in response to a complaint lodged with New York Police, by a protestor. The complaint was later closed.

“We were accosted by protestors who blocked our route and physically assaulted my wife. Our security detail alerted the police, and we carried on walking. The police later accompanied us back to our hotel.

“These protestors come from Israel. They represent a small group of violent people. … It is acceptable to protest, it is prohibited to attack or harrass MKs.

“The fact that Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz don’t condemn attacks on MKs, and even encourage them, prove beyond anything that they operate in opposition to the country.”

Several coalition lawmakers expressed support for Rothman.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, the leader of the far-right Religious Zionism party, tweeted, “The violence against him crossed all red lines long ago.” Smotrich additionally expressed hope that local authorities bring charges against the protesters.

Likud MK Ariel Kallner also accused the protesters of hypocrisy and said he supported Rothman, “who is contending with vile thugs.”

The lawmakers visiting New York have been repeatedly targeted by anti-overhaul protesters, who have focused on Rothman for his key role in advancing the judicial legislation.

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