Police postpone 'Jewish Pride' march

Demonstration in Umm el-Fahm was scheduled for Monday; Marzel: We'll appeal decision in High Court.

ben gvir marzel read 248.88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
ben gvir marzel read 248.88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Acting on intelligence pointing to the possibility of rioting, police decided Sunday to postpone a controversial "Jewish pride" march planned for the Arab town of Umm el-Fahm on Monday by far-right activists Baurch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir. The intelligence, some of which came from police informants, strongly indicated that violence would result if the march was held as planned. In a statement, Amakim Police said "operational considerations" had been weighed by senior officers during a situation analysis, resulting in a decision to postpone the march. "We will reexamine the situation soon. The march is merely postponed," a police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post. Arab and Jewish leaders near Umm el-Fahm praised the police decision and called on authorities to cancel the event altogether. Umm el-Fahm Deputy Mayor Mostafa Mahamid said Jewish and Arab local councils in the area met Sunday and agreed that such a march "was liable to destroy the fabric of a common life" that Arab and Jewish citizens have created in the area. "It's a bad feeling for our residents to have this kind of provocation," he said. "I think that the decision maintains the quiet and peace between Jews and Arabs in the area." Ilan Sadeh, head of the Menashe local council, agreed, warning that such a march could reignite tensions and perhaps violence between the two sides. "The police acted correctly by postponing the march, which would have caused serious problems in our area, and even throughout the state," he said. The entrance of such protesters, which he described as a provocation, could have resulted in the throwing of stones, the use of tear gas by police and shooting, he said. It could lead to "a renewed deterioration of the situation" as seen in previous years, and "there is no reason to ignite it again." But Marzel of the National Jewish Front, which is organizing the march, said his organization was in the process of petitioning the High Court of Justice to reverse the police decision. "The government, the police and the leftists have proven that the rule of law does not interest them," he said Sunday. "It doesn't interest them what the High Court of Justice says; they're only interested in what we are doing…Despite everything, the march has to take place."