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Alternative anti-corruption rally set for Saturday

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Activists from the centre-right of Israeli politics are planning to hold a large anti-corruption rally in Jerusalem on Saturday night as an alternative to recent left-wing demonstrations.

The rally has been organised by Yoaz Hendel, a commentator for Yediot Ahronot and former Head of Communications in the Prime Minister’s Office. The event is being held in “support of the rule of law, in support of the checks and balances in the State of Israel in support of the fight against corruption”. The event is intended to give a voice to activists from the right of Israeli politics but who are unhappy with the extent and depth of alleged corruption at the heart of Government.

Hendel expressed his “confidence in the Attorney General and his office, and trust that they will do their job and that their actions will be dictated by the facts, regardless of the outcome”.

Some prominent figures from the right of Israeli politics, including former Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon and former Likud minister Limor Livnat have suggested they may attend and speak at the event. Ya’alon called corruption “an ethical and social challenge for all of us,” adding that “we have to look at our children and say to them that we did everything to protect the State of Israel. This is a moment in which we are put to the test”. Some MKs from the government coalition may also attend the rally including Likud MK Yehuda Glick who said: “The idea is positive and I am therefore considering going.”

Kulanu Chairman Roy Folkman said that corruption is “a nonpartisan issue; anyone who is in favour of a strong State of Israel must be in favour of a strong rule of law, certainly in the national camp”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s supporters in the Knesset have reached out to the MKs and urged them not to attend the demonstration.

Protests against corruption, and specifically opposing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were held over the past two weeks and organised by Labour Party activist Eldad Yaniv and predominantly attended by left-wing activists. Hendel is attempting to distinguish Saturday’s demonstration from last weeks events by saying: “My demonstration will be in support of constraints on power and in support of stately conduct, without which the state cannot function.”