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Former Israeli Prime Minister And IDF Deputy Chief Investigated For Inciting Civil Unrest

Israeli police probe calls by Ehud Barak and Yair Golan to oppose judicial reform through nonviolent uprising.

Israeli police are investigating recent calls by former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and former IDF deputy chief of staff Yair Golan for civil unrest to oppose the coalition’s judicial reform initiative.

The unit to combat terrorism on the Internet, which is under the authority of Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, will examine the statements and forward the results of the initial investigation to the prosecutor’s office, which will decide whether to launch a criminal investigation.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Golan, a former Knesset member and deputy economy minister for the far-left Meretz Party, drew criticism from the ruling coalition on Tuesday after calling for a “nonviolent uprising” against the government over its judicial reform push.

“In the face of the attempts to destroy democracy, we will mount an unequivocal civil resistance, and if we have to have a large-scale and nonviolent uprising, that is what we will do,” said Golan to Kan News.

“Demonstrators will have “no choice but to break the law,” said Golan. 

The Likud Party slammed Golan’s comments as “incitement to rebellion” and called for him to be investigated.

Former prime minister Ehud Barak and retired major general Yair Golan attend a press conference in Tel Aviv on June 26, 2019. Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and former IDF deputy chief of staff Yair Golan are under investigation for civil unrest to oppose the coalition’s judicial reform initiative. FLASH90/JNS

“Those who violate the law and call to break the law must pay a price. Otherwise, the rule of law has no meaning,” said the party. 

Barak, another leading voice against the Netanyahu government’s judicial reform program, urged demonstrators to revolt in a speech in Haifa earlier this month.

“Engage in civil disobedience, or in more precise language, nonviolent civil disobedience,” said Barak to protesters. 

“This is not a suspicion of rebellion, it is an attempt at political intimidation of the poor variety used in rotten regimes,” said Barak in a statement responding to the incitement investigation.

He added that it was an attempt to scare Yair, me, and you. ”I have news for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir, we are not afraid of anyone or anything,” said Barak.

Former Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon on Wednesday morning backed up Barak and Golan’s calls to break the law, saying on 103FM: “If those who are responsible for the law enacted illegal laws—it is our duty not to obey,” said Ya’alon.

Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate

Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager

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