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Former Netanyahu bodyguard calls on him to resign: ‘It’s time for you to go’

A former bodyguard for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday called for him to resign in an irregular and highly personal criticism of the premier.

Nir Adan, in a lengthy post published to his personal Facebook page, wrote in a statement addressed to Netanyahu, “I was one of the ones that was ready to lose my life for you… to defend you with my own body.”

Now, Adan wrote, “It’s time for you to go.”

Adan said that he had attended an anti-Netanyahu protest outside the Prime Minister’s Residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street “for a visit” the day before, and said that the premier likely did not remember him from his service. It wasn’t immediately clear when Adan had provided security for Netanyahu.

“I’m the one who stood for countless hours outside your home, in winter, in summer, on weekends and holidays. We traveled together in the world, you and I,” he wrote. “I would open the door for you every morning with a ‘good morning.’”

“I’m the one who knows the home at Balfour better than my own home, the one that always stood next to your right shoulder, and I’m the one whose left ear always heard too much… I’m the one who was proud to protect.”

“You won’t remember me. I’m not important to you. Only you are important to you,” Adan wrote.

“I’m the one who yesterday heard the voices of despair from our people at the demonstration,” Adan wrote. “I was the one who was beaten by police only because I came to exercise my basic democratic right.”

“And you, Bibi? You didn’t even come out to say ‘hello,’ or ‘I’m sorry,’ or ‘thank you.’ You were afraid. But listen, I felt you there, I know that you were sitting in the same chair you like on the patio of Balfour and listening,” he said, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname.

“The people are divided, Bibi. And you are disconnected, just like your business-government,” Adan wrote. “I think that the time has come for you to go home, to allow us to rebuild our broken country, to turn your position over to true leaders.”

Adan was a member of the Shin Bet internal security service and is the grandson of former Israeli general Avraham Adan.

A former member of his unit castigated him for the post, according to Channel 12, saying that “a protest against politicians is absolutely legitimate, but not to cynically wave around service in the unit and activity in the unit as a PR platform.”

Anti-Netanyahu protesters have been holding regular rallies in recent days outside his official residence, calling on the premier to resign due to his indictment on corruption charges. Rallies against Netanyahu’s economic policies during the coronavirus pandemic have also been held, though mostly in Tel Aviv.

There have been occasional scenes of violence at recent protests, and protesters have accused police of using excessive force during the demonstrations.

Several hundred demonstrated Friday outside the premier’s residence, and on Thursday, a protest against Netanyahu devolved into violence, with police using water cannons to disperse rowdy demonstrators and arresting or detaining 55 people as they cleared the area.

All 55 were released by Friday, most of them with limitations barring them from such protests for the next week to 10 days, and one to house arrest with police alleging he had attacked them.

Officers sprayed protesters with high-pressure water cannons in a bid to move people off the streets after midnight. Some protesters who were peacefully dispersing were shot in the back by the water cannons, and activists said police left them with nowhere to go.

Header: Israelis protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his residence in Jerusalem on July 24, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Source: Luke Tress – TOI Staff