Tent City Dismantled 311.
(photo credit: ben Hartman)
In a hearing on Thursday, the Supreme Court asked tent protesters and the Tel
Aviv Municipality to return to the negotiating table to decide the future of the
Rothschild Boulevard protest encampment.
Supreme Court Justice Uzi
Fogelman has given protesters until Sunday to attempt to reach an agreement with
City Hall, but said that the court will decide the matter if a consensus is not
Supreme Court gives reprieve for Rothschild tent city
“As a society, not one of us has an interest in forced
evictions,” said Fogelman, who disclosed at the start of the hearing that his
daughter lives on Rothschild Boulevard. Neither party objected to that fact and
the hearing continued.
Protesters are appealing against Sunday’s District
Court decision that the municipality could evacuate the twomonth- old
Attorney Michael Sfard, representing the protesters, said the
municipality could not tell the activists how to protest.
“The protest is
not over,” said Sfard, adding that while the municipality said it agreed to the
protests, it was not prepared to permit manned tents to remain on Rothschild
Attorney Pazit Baratz, for the Tel Aviv Municipality, said
both Mayor Ron Huldai and the municipality had actively demonstrated their
support for the protests but repeated City Hall’s position that the manned tents
themselves must now go.
Rothschild residents, who have added themselves
as a party to the petition on the side of the municipality, have complained of
“anarchy” on the boulevard as protesters moved out and homeless people and drug
addicts moved in to empty tents.
Baratz said the municipality took
dialogue with protesters seriously, but noted that the court hearings focused
only on their right to protest and not on any of the issues they were fighting
Though the Rothschild encampment was originally established to
protest against housing problems, protesters have said the petition is about
their right to protest and argue that evacuating the encampment harms their
freedom of expression.
“We all read in the media that 400,000 people came
to the [social justice] demonstration,” Baratz said.” But who says that manned
tents represent that protest?” Protest spokesman Roee Neuman told The Jerusalem
after the hearing that protesters are optimistic that negotiations with the
municipality would result in some manned tents being permitted to remain on
“Negotiations are going well,” said Neuman.