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PHOTOS: Protesters compare High Court to ISIS at anti-refugee rally

Far-right protest against High Court decision to close Holot detention center greeted by flower-bearing asylum seekers.

Around 100 people, including far-right activists and residents of south Tel Aviv, protested Sunday night against asylum seekers and against the High Court decision to close the Holot detention center within 90 days.

Residents of south Tel Aviv and right-wing activists protest against the Israeli High Court decision to cancel the "infiltrator law" and close the Holot detention center, South Tel Aviv, October 5, 2014. (Activestills)

Residents of south Tel Aviv and right-wing activists protest against the Israeli High Court decision to cancel the “infiltrator law” and close the Holot detention center, South Tel Aviv, October 5, 2014. (Activestills)

Some protesters, among them former extremist Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari and radical anti-miscegenation group Lehava’s chairman Benzi Gupstein, waved black flags that said “High Court” on them, drawing the comparison between Israel’s highest legal body and the Islamic State, or ISIS.

Former MK Michael Ben-Ari speaks during a protest against the Israeli High Court decision to cancel the "infiltrator law" and to close the Holot detention center, South Tel Aviv, October 5, 2014. (Activestills)

Former MK Michael Ben-Ari speaks during a protest against the Israeli High Court decision to cancel the “infiltrator law” and to close the Holot detention center, South Tel Aviv, October 5, 2014. (Activestills)

Protestors marched to Levinsky Park, where several refugees awaited them with flowers in hand. They said they understand the problems facing the residents of south Tel Aviv, but that they did not choose to live there, but were put on buses headed for Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station after being released from Saharonim (the prison where asylum seekers were placed before Holot was built).

African asylum seekers hold flowers as residents of south Tel Aviv and right-wing activists protest against the Israeli High Court decision to cancel the "infiltrator law" and close the Holot detention center, South Tel Aviv, October 5, 2014. (Activestills)

African asylum seekers hold flowers as residents of south Tel Aviv and right-wing activists protest against the Israeli High Court decision to cancel the “infiltrator law” and close the Holot detention center, South Tel Aviv, October 5, 2014. (Activestills)

Police presence largely prevented confrontations between the protesters and the asylum seekers, however at one point, some protesters tried to attack a store owner – who turned out to be an Ethiopian Jew.

An Ethiopian Jew is held back by policemen after protests tried to attack him as residents of south Tel Aviv and right-wing activists protest against the Israeli High Court decision to cancel the "infiltrator law" and close the Holot detention center, in South Tel Aviv, October 5, 2014. (Activestills)

An Ethiopian Jew is held back by policemen after protesters tried to attack him, as residents of south Tel Aviv and right-wing activists protest against the Israeli High Court decision to cancel the “infiltrator law” and close the Holot detention center, in South Tel Aviv, October 5, 2014. (Activestills)

 

Israeli right-wing activist Itamar Ben Gvir shouts at asylum seekers as residents of south Tel Aviv protest the Israeli High Court decision to cancel the "infiltrator law" and close the Holot detention center, in South Tel Aviv, October 5, 2014.(Activestills)

Israeli right-wing activist Itamar Ben Gvir shouts at asylum seekers as residents of south Tel Aviv protest the Israeli High Court decision to cancel the “infiltrator law” and close the Holot detention center, in South Tel Aviv, October 5, 2014. (Activestills)

A few days ago, a small protest calling on the government to find a solution to the crisis in south Tel Aviv was was organized by residents who insisted on distinguishing themselves from the far-right, specifying their struggle is not against the asylum seekers, but rather the municipality and the government.

Related:
Israel’s High Court orders closure of ‘Holot’ refugee detention facility
‘A new page in human history’: Darfuri refugee on landmark court ruling
A slightly ‘less crazy’ Israel

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    1. Pedro X

      These demonstrators show that in Israel democracy and free speech are alive. Both left wing extremists, those from the right and residents of South Tel Aviv are allowed to protest and say what they want even if we do not agree with them.

      Reply to Comment
      • You are right but it also shows violent and fascist trends which are worrying.
        What exactly is a left wing extremist? There is no violence and hatred amongst Israel’s left but there is on the right.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ken

        Not really. It is just shows how nuts some Israelis are from the rightwing by trying to compare the court to ISIS. This seems to be a popular theme in Israel at the moment, everything is getting compared to ISIS for some reason only known by the nutters who use the comparison.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Kolumn8

      I think they might be equating between the heavy handed enforcement of questionable moral norms against the wishes of the overwhelming majority by groups claiming divine guidance.

      But then again many are complete morons so maybe they are just being morons.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Bruce Gould

      The point of the piece is to encourage an examination of what kind of society Israel is; the overall pattern is that the society is shifting rightwards, and if that trend continues free speech will indeed be impacted.

      One of the main techniques of hasbara is to distract the reader – change the subject; pull out something ‘positive’ from a story which should make us shudder.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Bruce Gould

      The point of the article is to encourage thought about the direction Israeli society is heading – if the trend continues then free speech will indeed be affected.

      One of the main techniques of hasbara is distraction – get the reader to think about something else than the point being made, and always find something ‘positive’ to say about Israeli society.

      Reply to Comment
      • Whiplash

        100 people out of 9 million protesting is hardly a trend. The fact that the police are out in force protecting each side’s right to free speech is likely more important.

        In the West Bank if the PA does not like what you are saying it has its security police do not protect anyone’s right to free speech but arrest, throw into jail and/or beat you. I think it was just last week that a political opponent of Abbas had his car sprayed with bullets for being a critic of the government. A pharmacist in the West Bank was thrown into jail for commenting on his facebook he had some concerns about the handling and accounting of monies by a governmental department.

        Hamas, of course, is worse than the PA. Hamas does not allow protests critical of their government. Hamas was captured on German video of beating their own people when they were trying to flee fighting in Gaza to safer areas.

        Reply to Comment
    5. bir

      Off with their heads!

      Reply to Comment
    6. Josh

      I like that this right-winger demonstration looks like a meeting of ISIS fanclub. Do both have the same designer and merchandiser?

      Reply to Comment
    7. Brian

      What it really is is a symptom of a poorly functioning (by American standards) democracy in which, to the genuine astonishment of educated Americans–how is this possible they ask themselves?–the High Court’s decisions are routinely flouted by the the government-settler complex. The High Court is strangely toothless. These demonstrators know that. They are operating with the assumption that they can neutralize the High Court by these extremist intimation tactics. And they are correct: the High Court is disobeyed with impunity. Already Miri Regev introduces legislation to limit the Court’s authority. The first step towards formal fascism.
      So these storm trooper demonstration tactics are a symptom of a basic flaw in the structure and functioning of government: there is no true judicial check (by American standards) on the tyranny of the majority–a check which is a bedrock fundamental feature of the American government and American democracy. Remember this next time Netanyahu talks warmly of “shared values.”

      Reply to Comment
    8. Brian

      Wow! Swimming pools! SO reminiscent of the American South circa the 1959s!

      Reply to Comment
      • DerAsylant

        that´s what i am talking about. the segregation should be put to an end. undocumented migrants to israel should be resettled in rich and liberal areas of Israel and its metropoles. a good gesture would be if the families of the israeli high court members would “adopt” some of former holot inmates and treat them as as own kinship.

        Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          You certainly speak bluntly to all the class-based resentments that America struggled with and that the Right deftly exploited for so many years in the USA (Nixon’s Southern strategy, etc.). There are some things peculiar to the Israeli situation, 60 years later, but many obvious similarities.

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            A crucial difference: the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions are the law of the land, and are enforced. Period. Not so in Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • DerAsylant

            1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States
            us supreme court decsisions are not absolute.
            2. american racial and societal policy is not an example to follow
            3. if liberals think that illegal immigrants are good for society they should provide a positive example and invite them in their own communities to coexist

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Poppycock. Ever since Marbury v. Madison, in 1803, the Supreme Court’s decisions have in theory and in practice been absolute. Marbury vs. Madison established the doctrine of judicial review. Because the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, the Court held that any contradictory congressional Act is without force. The Court thus formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution and defined the boundary between the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Israeli society needs to go through the maturation process American society has already gone through. Israel is an adolescent society in this regard. If you think American racial and societal policy is not an example to follow then tell your Prime Minister to stop obnoxiously lecturing the Americans on what is un-American.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sluggo

            Brian, very few Americans would agree that American racial and societal structure is one to emulate. Who should we complain to?
            You are speaking from your rectum

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Israeli society needs to go through the maturation process American society has already gone through. Israel is an adolescent society in this regard. If you think American racial and societal policy is not an example to follow then tell your Prime Minister to stop obnoxiously lecturing the Americans on what is un-American.

            Reply to Comment
          • DerAsylant

            USA is running on empty on every level. Israelis would be fools to follow american model.

            Reply to Comment
    9. DerAsylant

      oh no
      “Supreme Court decisions can, and have been purposefully overturned by constitutional amendment, which has happened on five occasions:”
      and also like israeli SC it is criticized for judicial activism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_activism

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        Go ahead. Pass an amendment to the Basic Laws. That will go over real well and be morally coherent won’t it, when it contradicts the treaties Israel has signed on refugee rights, treaties that were instituted in significant part due to the way countries refused entry to Jewish refugees in WWII? Go ahead. But I might not if I were you simply demand then that people look the other way in regards to the blatant hypocrisy.

        Reply to Comment
    10. Brian

      They are mostly refugees not illegal imigrants. Worldwide, the refugee recognition rates for Eritreans and Sudanese reach 70-80 percent. In Israel, it is less than one percent or, as the Prime Minister says, a “fraction of a fraction.” As the High Court (Justice Amit) said, “We must lift the veil from that ‘mass’ of infiltrators and look into each one of them in their eyes. This is the true meaning and the essence of humanity – realizing that what seems at distance as a blurry image of a crowd is a group of human beings, and that everyone has a name, and every name has a face and a language and a way of his own to fulfill his human dignity.”

      Reply to Comment
      • DerAsylant

        so whats the problem? let whe world take them in.

        Reply to Comment
    11. Brian

      An appropriately cold and vacant reply from you. Q.E.D.

      Reply to Comment
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