By: Novpreet Bajwa
On Saturday, March 7, 2015, a massive crowd gathered at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Israel to protest against Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and urge the citizens of Israel to seek a change in leadership that will bring a better future for Israel.
The event was planned by the organization Million Hands, which advocates for forming a peaceful coalition between Israel and Palestine and the recognition of Palestine as a state. It is estimated that the event was attended by at least 35,000 people, reflecting the frustration Israel feels about its Prime Minister.
The main speaker was a former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, who harshly criticized Netanyahu’s policies regarding his war tactics, diplomacy, and domestic affairs. Degan pointed out that Netanyahu’s lack of attention at home and entire focus on the war against Palestine and Iran has endangered the future of Israel. He stated that under Netanyahu’s leadership, Israel has fought the longest war since its creation, which has deteriorated international relations with some of the western countries, especially with United States.
Regarding Iran, Netanyahu differing approach on Iran’s nuclear program has upset members of Congress and the President, making it difficult for Israel and United States to remain allies. Instead of making a deal with Iran that would require Iran to scale back the production of nuclear weapons (like the one United States is considering), Netanyahu wants to strip away Iran’s power to develop any nuclear weapons at all. Last week, he spoke in front of Congress, trying to persuade its members not to support the deal until Iran agrees to his terms. Although he believes his speech went over well with the Congressmen in the room, many pundits believe his motivation for making such a plea was because of Israel’s upcoming election, and not the well being of his country or any other country surrounding Iran.
For many of the attendees at the event, Natanyahu’s actions have caused them to rethink their futures at home. In addition to the war, many complained about the rising housing prices, cost of living as a whole, and economic stagnation, many of which Natanyau’s failed to improve, and has actually made them worse. Keeping all this in mind, Dagan pleads with the audience to choose a better leadership that will have a new vision and change Israel’s course in the future.
If Israel does choose another candidate over Natanyahu, it will bring back in power the left-wing party, Zionist Union, under which Israel hopes to prosper.