Despite adamant objections from Israel Police and the ISA (Israel Security Agency – Shin Bet), the Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted the petition of right-wing activists Itamar Ben-Gavir and Baruch Marzel, who following the general elections want to hold an Israeli flag parade in the Israeli Arab municipality of Um el-Fahm.
While one might think an Israeli Jew can just enter the area and walk around with the national flag, one must realize this is not so and the municipality is a springboard for much anti-Israeli sentiment and activities. This despite the fact Um l-Fahm is an integral part of the State of Israel and the Arab population is Israeli citizens.
Police warned the court that such an event may spark widespread violence and racial riots but the court accepted the basic Freedom of Speech right over police concerns.
Last month, the court called on the sides to reach a mutually acceptable agreement which did not happen, compelling Mazel and Ben-Gavir to turn to the high court again.
The court did set restrictions, limiting the parade to the southern area of the municipality, near Mei Ami, far from the central area which passes Nachal I’ron, also known as Wadi Ara. The event will be limited to 100 participants.
In response, members of Israel’s Reform [Pluralistic Center] Movement have announced that together with Jews, Muslims and Christians, they will hold a march at the same time calling for religious tolerance and understanding, “a logical response to the extremist racist views of zealots” their statement read.
An official of the Israel Islamic Association’s northern branch condemned the court’s decision, stating, “right-wing extremists are seeking to spark violence”.
At least 1,000 police will be on hand to cover the event.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)