MoIA asked to delay rightists’ march

Posted: April 25, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Israel, Israeli Palestinians, Palestinians
Tags: , ,

East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan In an unusual step, Prime Minister’s office officially requested the Public Security Minister (heading Ministry of Internal Affairs) to delay planned march through an Arab neighborhood by Right-wing activists. The group, consisting of extreme Right-wing elements, was approved to march through East Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhood of Silwan, similar to one the group held at Israeli-Palestinian city of Umm al-Fahm:

"This is a rally by extremist elements that want to provoke the Arab population in Jerusalem. Such activity at this time may ignite the city and hurt diplomatic efforts being led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to assist the Americans in jumpstarting the peace process," the statement said.

It is believed that Netayahu’s unusual request was made due to the visit of U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell to the region. Mitchell is expected to depart Sunday night.


WHILE THE GROUP claims to protest illegal Palestinian construction in the area, Israeli radical Left-wing groups and Israeli-Palestinians say the residents will be outraged and consequences could be dire:

Silwan’s residents and leftist organizations are fuming over the decision to allow the rightists to march. "Even if the law allows them to march – it is a dangerous provocation," Hagit Ofran, the director of Peace Now’s Settlement Watch, told Ynet.

"The (rightists) want to turn Jerusalem into Hebron, where a handful of Jewish extremists force their will on the local population," she said.

Attorney Ziad Kawar, who represents Silwan’s residents, said the Jerusalem Municipality’s planning committee was at fault for not issuing building permits. "The committee is preventing us from leading a normal lifestyle due to political and extremist considerations," he said.


The situation requires much self-scrutiny: on one hand, one shouldn’t pour fuel to the fire that could ignite entire Jerusalem and – possibly – beyond. On the other hand, bowing to radicalism and violent extortion is a serious breach of one’s right to express him/her self. Sadly, it is like that once again the Israeli Police Force would be the one to separate the sides and be injured.

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