UnXeptable Bay Area Rally at the Golden Gate Bridge, March 27, 2023. (Photo/Courtesy UnXeptable)
UnXeptable Bay Area Rally at the Golden Gate Bridge, March 27, 2023. (Photo/Courtesy UnXeptable)

Israeli expats gather in S.F. to protest latest moves by Netanyahu

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Israeli expatriates and Bay Area Jews again gathered in front of the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday to protest new moves by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, days after he fired a minister who opposed the government’s planned overhaul of the judicial system and gave new power to another minister from a far-right party.

Waving Israeli flags and singing, about 15 members of the Bay Area group held signs in English and Hebrew that included “We’re the mother of all protests,” “Resisting tyrants since pharaoh” and “Bibi-lical plague.”

The demonstration was a direct reaction to Netanyahu’s decision this week to delay but not cancel the planned judicial reform, as well as his decision to allow Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir, who leads the far-right party Jewish Power, to form a national guard.

On Sunday, Netanyahu fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant after he spoke out against the judicial overhaul. The move sparked even larger protests across Israel, with police using water cannons to disperse the crowds. In a televised address Monday, Netanyahu announced he would delay the legislation for a month, citing the threat of “civil war.”

The local protest was organized by UnXeptable, a grassroots movement created to support Israeli democracy from outside the Jewish state. The group was founded in the Bay Area in 2020 after the re-election of Netanyahu. UnXeptable has led protests in cities across the United States and Canada since the changes to Israel’s judicial system were announced in January.

In February, more than 100 demonstrators converged on Crissy Field in San Francisco to protest Netanyahu’s planned overhaul and to show support for protests in Israel.

Offir Gutelzon, a Palo Alto tech executive and founder of UnXeptable, made an impassioned plea to the crowd at February’s gathering.

“Now is the time we all need to do everything we can to save Israel from being destroyed,” he said.

UnXeptable’s next Bay Area gathering is the “Silicon Valley Rally to Save Israeli Democracy,” April 2 at 2 p.m. in De Anza Park in Sunnyvale.

Lillian Ilsley-Greene
Lillian Ilsley-Greene

Lillian Ilsley-Greene was a staff writer at J. from 2022-2023.