Court: Holon tent protester may enter city

Bail conditions had banned man from Tel Aviv suburb following arrest.

September 13, 2011 08:21
2 minute read.
Activists at the Jesse Cohen tent city

social protests holon tent city 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)


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The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court overturned on Monday an injunction preventing a tent protester from Holon’s Jesse Cohen neighborhood from entering the city of Holon.

Monday’s court hearing came after David Brodsky was arrested in his Jesse Cohen tent on Sunday night after breaking bail conditions banning him from the city.

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In the hearing, Brodsky told the court that he had returned to the tent because he had nowhere else to go.

“For the past three years, I’ve been trying to rebuild my life and this is my last chance to succeed,” he said. “I live in that tent.”

The injunction against Brodsky was imposed last Wednesday following his arrest alongside two other Jesse Cohen protesters, Rafi Mosieri and Moshe Dabush during a demonstration against the dismantling of wooden shacks in the encampment.

The court had released all three protesters on bail, but had issued injunctions against Mosieri and Dabush preventing them from going near the Jesse Cohen protest site. However, Brodsky’s bail conditions included a more stringent injunction that banned him from even entering the city of Holon.

Speaking at Monday’s court hearing, attorney Nira Shalev of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel slammed Brodsky’s bail conditions as “disproportionate.”

“We see no justification in banning him from Holon,” Shalev said.

In ruling to overturn the injunction banning Brodsky from entering Holon, Judge Daniel Beeri said that the court needed to find a balance between the right to protest and the need to maintain the rule of law.

Although Brodsky can now enter Holon, he still cannot return to his tent. The judge issued a new injunction banning him from approaching the Jesse Cohen protest encampment for 10 days.

Nissan Zechariyah, head of the Jesse Cohen neighborhood committee on Monday criticized the restraining order, saying “you can’t shut down this protest by banning people from the area, this is an undemocratic act. You can’t ban people from the area just because they’re homeless and they built a succa.”

“As long as the protest isn’t violent, why do they need to try and shut it up? This is an affront to freedom of speech,” he added.

Mosieri and Dabush are also appealing against the injunctions banning them from Jesse Cohen. In that appeal, filed last week and due to be heard late Monday evening, Shalev wrote that detaining the three in the first place was “particularly serious, given that the encampment is the main place where they can protest and put their issues on the public agenda,” and slammed the injunctions as an “improper attempt to silence a legitimate social protest.”

The Jesse Cohen protest encampment, in contrast to the encampment on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, has been inhabited by people claiming to be homeless or those who say they live in precarious housing conditions, including some families with children.

Though the wooden shacks that protesters had originally inhabited have been torn down, protesters remain in the encampment in tents and have vowed to rebuild.

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