Right-wing activists petition court to approve Jaffa march

MK Michael Ben-Ari and activists claim police refusal to approve march is infringement on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

MK Michael Ben-Ari in Hatikva neighborhood 311 (photo credit: Ben Hartman)
MK Michael Ben-Ari in Hatikva neighborhood 311
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
The Eretz Yisrael Shelanu NGO petitioned the High Court on Sunday to order the Tel Aviv District police to explain its refusal to let right-wing activists hold a protest march in the streets of Jaffa.
According to the petition, submitted by National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari and activists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel, the police, in their failure to give formal approval to hold the march, were infringing on their freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
The petition notes repeated attempts by the petitioners to receive permission to hold the march, and that each time they were told by the police to wait a little longer to receive approval and promised that approval would eventually be granted.
According to the petition, the petitioners turned to the court as a last resort after being repeatedly turned away by the police with claims that their request was being looked in to.
The activists even accommodated the police by agreeing to alter the march’s course and reduce the number of allowed participants from 100 to 60, according to the petition.
“Advanced warning of nearly a month should be sufficient for the district commander to reach a decision and respond to the petitioners in writing; since he failed to do that the court is requested to impose substantial expenses on the police,” the petition reads.
The Tel Aviv police spokeswoman said in response that the police has no obligation to respond within a specified time, but that the petitioners would receive their answer soon following a meeting on the matter held at the district offices on Sunday.
The planned for the right-wing protest follows one organized by the Islamic Movement in which 1,000 people took to the streets of Jaffa, some carrying Palestinian flags and chanting anti-Israel slogans.