Rabin Square social justice protest 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Social justice activists have slammed police requests for five of them to come
in for questioning, calling the requests intimidation tactics ahead of a summer
of planned events.
In recent days, five activists had police officers
arrive at their homes and issue requests for them to come down to local stations
and discuss summer protest plans.
Police released a short statement
Tuesday saying that it fully respected the democratic right to hold protests,
and adding that the only condition was that they be held with approval, in
accordance with the law.
But Tamir Hgage, 44, of Kfar Saba, one of the
activists who received the summons, told The Jerusalem Post he had never broken
any past law and always held lawful protests in the dozens of prior events he
“This was to scare me,” he said.
Hgage, officers arrived at his ex-wife’s home on Sunday and knocked on the door.
When his 17-yearold daughter answered and found policemen, she became frightened
and called her father.
“I told her to give them my number. A few minutes
later, an officer called me and asked me to come in for questioning.
asked him why. He said, ‘You’re a social justice movement leader. We want to
know your plans,’” recounted the activist.
“Why do I have to give them my
plans?” he continued. “I have no criminal record; I’ve never been
arrested. Police have no right to frighten my daughter.”
said he had recently obtained approval from the Tel Aviv Municipality to set up
a social justice protest tent at Rabin Square, where he planned to hold a press
conference on July 1. “Apparently this frightened people,” he
Still, he plans obey the police’s request and arrive at the Kfar
Saba police station. “I’m a law-abiding citizen. When police
summon me, I come,” he said.
He predicted a busy summer of social justice
rallies, adding, “The middle classes are worn out. I invite anyone who cares
about their parents and children to Rabin Square on July 1, when we are going to
make some very focused demands.”
High-profile activist Yonatan Halevi
said recent months had seen a large increase in the number of arrests during
small social justice events, and spoke of “a turn for the worse” in police
But police said those past arrests had been at illegal
rallies, with activists blocking traffic in certain cases.