Haim Brosh's offending Facebook post.
(photo credit: FACEBOOK SCREENSHOT)
Police on Thursday detained a right-wing activist accused of posting an incendiary photo on social media, Israel Radio reported.
The suspect, Haim Brosh, was taken into custody in Jerusalem the previous evening after uploading to Facebook a photograph of a pig on the Temple Mount drinking rainwater just steps away from the holy site. He was released shortly after questioning and was forbidden to visit the Temple Mount for 15 days.
On his post, Brosh had written underneath the photograph that “the government of Israel allows pigs to control the holiest site for the Jewish people.”
The Temple Mount is the Jews’ holiest site, and is considered the third most holy site in Islam. According to an agreement between Israel and Jordan, the Temple Mount is controlled by the Jerusalem Islamic Wakf.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, Brosh’s attorney, said that he intends to appeal the expulsion order, arguing that his client did not break the law.
“Israel continues to act as if we live in Iran or Syria,” Ben- Gvir said. Even more serious is how quickly police took Brosh from his home and instituted the 15-day ban, he added.
Questions of freedom of expression have permeated throughout Israel’s national dialogue in recent weeks, such as after students at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem displayed controversial images of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, creating an image depicting the prime minister next to a hangman’s noose.
The poster showed Netanyahu’s image superimposed on a red and blue backdrop with the word “Rope” printed on the bottom, in a play on US President Barack Obama’s campaign posters with the message of “Hope.”
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit later ordered the police to open an investigation of possible incitement over the poster.
Ben-Gvir was quick to highlight what he believed was a double standard in the law.
“Students at Bezalel hang a poster of... Netanyahu alongside a noose, were then questioned and [were] released without restrictive conditions,” the attorney said.