At anti-Netanyahu rallies, pink is new black

Jerusalem, February 7

It’s Saturday night in Jerusalem and a group of protesters dressed in fluorescent pink are preparing to join a weekly demonstration outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence demanding he quit.

They call themselves “The Pink Front”, and participate in anti-Netanyahu protests that are held across the country each Saturday, drawing thousands of people calling for Israel’s longest-serving leader to step down over corruption allegations, which he denies.

Many Pink Front members are artistes and performers, a community that has been hit by lockdowns. With theatres closed, the demonstration becomes a street performance venue. Amid a splash of pink bandannas, flags and shirts, other groups wear black to lament Netanyahu’s continued stewardship, permitted by law, while under criminal indictment.

The demonstrations begin peacefully but often end with police moving in to arrest protesters who refuse to disperse. At one protest, Sharon Saguy, 54, a flamenco dancer and choreographer, is surrounded by activists painting their faces pink. She teaches them that night’s rhythm as they bang on their makeshift drums. On some nights she shows up as a “Goddess of Justice” in a golden-green gown with a matching crown, mask and scales of justice. Pink, group members say, represents love, optimism and female leadership.

Netanyahu has called the protesters “anarchists”, accusing them of failing to take corona virus precautions at the demonstrations and seeking to topple a democratically elected leader. — Reuters

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