Around 1,200 people joined MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), demanding Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz designate far-right soccer fan club La Familia as a terrorist organization.
La Familia, the fan club of Jerusalem's Betar soccer team, made headlines recently following instances of violence against anti-government protester and journalists. The club is known for calling itself "the country's most racist group" in it traditional chant "Hineh Hie Olah" ("Here it Comes").
A news crew from Israel's Channel 13 was attacked Friday near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residency on Jerusalem's Balfour Street by members of the club. Eight La Familia members were arrested for attacking the crew and allegedly throwing rocks at cars near Jerusalem's Central Station.
Some 16 people were arrested on Friday for attacking protesters and a police officer. Some 13 are facing a bail hearing. According to The Jerusalem Post's sister publication, Maariv, half of those arrested are minors.
בהפגנה של לה פמיליה עד כה כ6 עצורים pic.twitter.com/k3TkbCyNqs— branu tegene (@BranuTegene) July 30, 2020
"Dear brothers! As you know, the enemies of Israel continue disgracing every Jewish symbol and harming every existing Jewish element," La Familia wrote in a Facebook post ahead of the demonstrations, referencing the controversy around a social work student's topless protest on a Menorah monument near the Knesset.
"Not only that, they continue uploading more and more photos and videos that disgrace us and the Jewish faith," the post said. "This is why we cannot stay indifferent and sit in silence!"
The group called on its supporters to "meet near Jerusalem's Central Station Thursday at 9:30 p.m., ahead of the end of the Tisha B'Av fast," adding "watch out, leftist rags, the rules of the game are changing now."
La Familia said that it has "no interest in politics. What is important to us is protecting the Jewish nature of the State of Israel, which is crumbling in front of our eyes."
Its only target are "anarchist extremists who have crossed the line, which we will not forgive," the group said. "Our strength is in our unity."
Some 430 groups and formations have been classified as terrorist organizations by the Defense Ministry between 1964 and March 2020, 377 of which were classified as such over the last two decades.
The majority of the groups declared by the Defense Ministry as terrorist organizations are radical Islamist movements, Palestinian groups and militias such as Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force.
If La Familia is classified as a terrorist organization, it will join Rabbi Meir Kahane's Kach movement as the second Jewish movement to be officially designated as terrorist by the Defense Ministry, apart from Kach's sub-divisions.
According to the 2016 Anti-Terrorism Law, a terrorist organization is a "body of persons in an organized and continuous structure that commits terrorist acts or that operates with the intention that terrorist acts will be committed."
Terrorism, according to the law, is an "act carried out or threatened to be carried out," posing an actual risk of "serious harm to a person's body or freedom...public health or safety...property...places of worship or burial and holy objects," as well as "infrastructure, systems or essential services."
Maariv Online contributed to this report.