Netanyahu dismisses election calls as thousands protest in Tel Aviv

The Age/ Ari Rabinovitch/February 18

As we know many, many Jews in Israel and around the world do not support this terrible government or its leaders and struggle to get any news not sanitised by Netanyahu and his team – we should applaud their courage for standing up for what is right – sadly the Zionists and Settlers are constantly the louder and more influential voices – Mark

Jerusalem: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday dismissed the idea of holding early elections, while thousands of Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv for an anti-government protest.

Netanyahu has seen his popularity plummet in opinion polls since Hamas’ October 7 attack that sparked the devastating war in Gaza.

Anti-government protests that shook the country for much of 2023 have largely subsided during the war. Still, demonstrators again took to the streets of Tel Aviv Saturday night calling for new elections, which are not scheduled until 2026.

The crowd was much smaller than last years’ mass protests, numbering a few thousand, according to local media.

“I’d like to say to the government that you’ve had your time, you ruined everything that you can ruin. Now is the time for the people to correct all the things, all the bad things that you’ve done,” said one protester, his head wrapped in an Israeli flag.

Netanyahu was asked at a press briefing about calls within his own ruling Likud party to hold early elections right when the Gaza war ends.

“The last thing we need right now are elections and dealing with elections, since it will immediately divide us,” he said. “We need unity right now.”

Netanyahu also pledged to push on with the military campaign and said troops would move into the southern border city of Rafah.

Israeli forces carried out arrests in Gaza’s largest functioning hospital, health officials and the military said on Saturday, as airstrikes hit across the enclave and rain battered Palestinians taking shelter in Rafah.

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