AG orders probe of rally after photograph of minister burned

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit told on Friday that he had ordered the State Prosecution to probe whether the burning of his picture at an anti-migrant rally in South Tel Aviv Thursday night violated the crime of incitement.

Mandelblit’s order came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and politicians from across the political spectrum condemned the burning of Deri’s picture, which protesters said was done as “an artistic presentation.”

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“Such actions have no place among us,” Netanyahu said. “I respect the real adversity of South Tel Aviv residents. My government, together with Interior Minister Arye Deri, is working nonstop to remove migrant workers from Israel, using both open and unrevealed methods.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who is a close personal friend of Deri, said, “no demonstration justifies burning photographs of ministers” and “such pictures belong in a different country, not ours.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said, “the right to demonstrate is a basic right of our democracy, but I condemn any act of violence.” Edelstein said he supported the struggle of South Tel Aviv residents but red lines were crossed at the rally.”

United Torah Judaism MK Yisrael Eichler went further, saying that “if they had burned a picture of a Supreme Court judge or a left-wing public figure, the state would be on fire and the perpetrator would have already been arrested.”

Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay blamed the incident on “irresponsible discourse of leaders,” which he said leads to violency by extremists.

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The South Tel Aviv Residents Task Force responded to the condemnations by saying that “if Netanyahu, Deri, and the rest of the ministers in the right-wing government, who claim morning and night that they are working for South Tel Aviv and its residents, would have bothered to condemn the gang fights that have taken over our streets and not abandoned us and the caprice of the police, we would not need for such a presentation.”

The task force it was too bad that it took the burning of a picture to call attention to the murderers and drug dealers who have taken over the streets of Tel Aviv and made its residents live in fear.

“For 10 years, they have been burning our lives, so now you remember?” the task force asked the politicians.

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