From Dan Cohen’s report, “Thousands of Israelis fill Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square in support for soldier who executed Palestinian“:
Last night more than 5,000 Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square in a massive outpouring of support for Elor Azarya, the Israeli soldier and French citizen who was recently indicted on manslaughter charges for executing a wounded, immobile Palestinian man on March 24 in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
The rally filled Israel’s most well-known public square, akin to New York City’s Times Square. The crowd stretched as far as the eye could see from the stage. An all ages crowd of mostly Mizrachi, but also Russian and Ashkenazi, Israelis traveled from around the country to express anger at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, the media, human rights workers, and anyone they branded as “leftists.” Despite their anger at public officials, they displayed unbridled allegiance to the army and state, in a culmination of what was the largest public display of fascism since the last war on Gaza in 2014, when anti-war protesters were beaten in the streets. Among the sea of flags and signs, one read “My honor is loyalty” – the motto of the Nazi SS. Last night was the latest example of the genocidal current running through Israeli society, one that has support from the grassroots to the parliament.
Also in attendance were members of El Yahud, a loose network of Jewish supremacist thugs who organize mob violence against Palestinians and anyone they deem “leftists” that sprouted during the last assault on Gaza – a group journalist David Sheen compared to the Ku Klux Klan.
The square is named for Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who twenty years ago was assassinated by right-wing Israeli Yigal Amir for his role in the Oslo Accords after official incitement from top political and religious officials, including now Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who led a mock funeral demonstration featuring a coffin and hangman’s noose where people chanted “Death to Rabin!”
Earlier that day, Netanyahu responded to the upcoming rally and issued a statement that “The IDF backs its soldiers… Our soldiers are not murderers,” and in keeping with the discourse of fire, “I suggest that everyone lower the flames.”
But the flames inciter-in-chief Netanyahu had poured gas on were raging.