The Chairman of the Constitution Committee, MK Simcha Rothman, commented at the beginning of the discussions today on the incident during which dozens of protesters chased after the heads of the "Rosh Yehudi" organization and Rabbi Yigal Levinstein.
"I want to express shock at the event that took place in Tel Aviv yesterday. Under Israeli flags and cries for democracy, equality, and liberalism, an event occurred that if it had happened in any other city in the world, we would have called it anti-Semitic," said Rothman. "When I personally experience violence, I mostly respond with silence and a kind of forgiveness. Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.
"In protests against public figures, sometimes boundaries are crossed, but it can be dealt with. I am confident in the high level of security. However, when such a thing happens to a social activist who has been active in the city for many years, a respected individual, it's something that should never happen in any way or form. It's an act of violence that completely stifles voices.
"It's not surprising that people who fear imaginary threats of dictatorship end up practicing dictatorship in reality. What is surprising is that people who jump to criticize every minor incident remain silent and overlook it. Meetings will be held on the matter to understand how the State of Israel allowed groups of thugs to harass citizens on the street because of their beliefs, religion, or opinions. This is not how a state governed by law operates, and this is not how a democratic and Jewish state operates."
"Falling for incitement and progressive attack"
The head of the pre-military academy, Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, and the leader of the organization "Rosh Yehudi" Yisrael Zeira were attacked yesterday (Tuesday) by a crowd near the "Rosh Yehudi" branch in Tel Aviv.
The two individuals, who arrived at the "Rosh Yehudi" center, encountered hundreds of Tel Aviv residents who had come to protest against them. During the protest, several demonstrators approached Rabbi Levinstein and his escort in an attempt to physically assault them. A young man named Aviad, who accompanied the rabbi, described the harrowing experience: "Dozens of protesters tried to physically attack us, using sticks and their hands. If the police had not protected the rabbi with their own bodies, it could have ended very badly."
Rabbi Levinstein responded to the attack against him, saying, "Last night, I came to 'Rosh Yehudi' in Tel Aviv to support my friend Yisrael Zaira. Yisrael chose to forgo a comfortable life and a private home in a settlement, which is his natural environment, and came to live in Tel Aviv just to increase love and strengthen Jewish identity. This doesn't sit well with those who champion liberalism and they chose to attack him.
"My goal yesterday in Tel Aviv, as in all my activities, was to continue and explain the processes. So that all of Israel can understand how good people fall victim to incitement and progressive seduction and, in the name of peace, become so aggressive. I will continue to do so, with God's help."