Protest against the Flag March and US Embassy move in Jerusalem's Zion Square, May 12, 2018.
(photo credit: UDI SHAHAM)
Some 200 left-wing activists protested on Saturday night in Jerusalem against the Flag March, one of the central events planned for Sunday’s Jerusalem Day, and against the US Embassy move to the city planned to take place on Monday.
The protesters marched from King George Street downtown to the Old City’s Jaffa Gate.
The protest was attended by activists from the Zionist Union, Meretz, Peace Now and Standing Together.
Along the way, they chanted slogans, such as: “We oppose an escalation [of the security situation],” and “Netanyahu – resign! The peace is worth more [than the embassy move].”
Suf Patishi, a Standing Together activist and one of the organizers of the march, told The Jerusalem Post
that the protest was intended to express the voice of those concerned that both the Flag March, which is slated to go through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, and the US Embassy move will spark violence in the capital.
“We are saying here in a clear voice that Jerusalem belongs to the people who live in it – Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians,” he said. “Whoever loves Jerusalem will not move the embassy just for political gain.”
When asked to respond to the fact that despite his predictions, the vast majority of Israelis across the political spectrum see Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and see this as a positive move, Patishi said that in his opinion, the move would not benefit the residents of Jerusalem.
“We would not accept that this political game would be played on our back,” he said. “As a Jerusalem resident, I don’t see how this move benefits me. It only puts my life at risk.”
“I would like to see moves that will make our lives better, for both Israelis and Palestinians,” he added.
Jerusalem is expected to face an eventful week.
On Sunday, the city is celebrating Jerusalem Day. A large group of Jewish worshipers is expected to visit Temple Mount in the morning. Later during the day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak in an event on Ammunition Hill to celebrate the unification of the city under Israeli control.
On Monday, ceremonies for the US embassy move to the city will take place.
On Tuesday, Palestinians are commemorating Nakba Day – the same day that the month-long holiday of Ramadan starts.
During these days, tensions are expected to rise between Palestinians and Jews in the city.
Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told the Post
last week that they don’t have any information or indication as of now of any incidents that should occur.
“But in the past, police have dealt with disturbances before, during and after the event,” he said.Tamara Zieve contributed to this report.