Haaretz Podcast

From Haaretz – Israel's oldest daily newspaper – a weekly podcast in English on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World, hosted by Allison Kaplan Sommer.



episode 309: Rallying for democracy, calling to free hostages: Where Israel's protest movements stand

Thousands of Israelis are back on the streets, four months after the October 7 Hamas attack and the war in Gaza halted historic demonstrations against the Netanyahu government's plan to overhaul the judiciary.

Joining host Allison Kaplan Sommer on the Haaretz Podcast, reporter Linda Dayan explains how the protest movement has reemerged, and how wartime demonstrations differ. 

While the current wave of protests began with vigils and rallies for the hostages' return, "as the objectives of the war got a little bit muddier [and] military casualties started to mount, we started to see that the hostages weren't coming back and that we didn't have a deal on the table to bring them back – we started to get more political anti-government protests demanding 'elections now,'" Dayan says.

These two movements – one for bringing the hostages home and the other consisting of anti-government action – "are being held concurrently in two separate locations in Tel Aviv."

Along with Dayan, Moran Zer Katzenstein, leader of Bonot Alternativa, the women's rights organization whose Handmaid's Tale-inspired costumes became a symbol of the pro-democracy protests last year, explains why her group has returned to the streets despite calls for unity in wartime.

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 January 29, 2024  36m