JERUSALEM – Thousands of Israelis turned out on Saturday to protest corruption in the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, where they demanded measures be taken against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
About 500 people attended the demonstration in Jerusalem, which was called by rightist groups, while in Tel Aviv protesters have taken to the streets each Saturday for the past four weeks to express their opposition to political corruption, the daily Haaretz reported.
The demonstrators called for Netanyahu’s resignation, given that he is implicated in two cases of corruption.
The protests, known as “The March of Shame,” were organized by social leaders who for months have been calling for weekly anti-corruption demonstrations around the home of Israel’s attorney general Avichai Mandelblit, whom they accuse of not handling in a timely way the cases allegedly involving Israel’s head of government.
In other Israeli cities, such as Haifa in the north, people also turned out to protest.
“Not left, not right, but rather honest!” read some of the signs carried by demonstrators in Tel Aviv.
In Jerusalem, signs carried by protesters read “The police and the army belong to us” and “We deserve clean politicians,” while the demonstrators chanted “Without professionalism there is no state” at the first protest of this kind to attract supporters of the rightist Likud Party headed by Netanyahu, Haaretz said.
The daily also said that another demonstration is expected Saturday evening in the holy city of Jerusalem, this one to be staged by Netanyahu’s supporters.
The premier is considered by police to be a suspect in two corruption cases, known as Case 1000 and Case 2000, in which he is alleged to have received favors from Israeli businessmen in exchange for favoring their interests and negotiating with an Israeli newspaper to push through legislation to inhibit a rival daily in exchange for more favorable coverage for him and his government.
Netanyahu has denied all charges in the two cases, saying that he did nothing illegal.