Right-wingers march towards Silwan

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

Ben-Gvir leading the march (courtesy: Ynet) In what was called by radical Left as “provocative” act, close to 30 Israeli far-Right activists marched through some 200 meters (218 yards) of East Jersualem’s Silwan neighborhood. The quarter, populated by Israeli Palestinians, is a cornerstone of recent unrest, going back several months:

Moments before the march began, some 20 masked men hurled stones at the dozens of policemen deployed in the area. Jerusalem District Commander Aharon Franco arrived in the neighborhood as well and told Ynet that the police had deployed there with massive forces.

Two policemen were lightly injured from stones hurled at them during the march. A policewoman hurt in the shoulder was evacuated to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. One of the stone throwers was arrested.

Police officials said two Molotov cocktails were thrown at a protest tent in the neighborhood, without causing any injuries.

Right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir told Ynet, "We won’t be deterred by the Arabs’ stone throwing. We demand that the police handle the stone throwers highhandedly and not give those thugs a reward." Baruch Marzel said that "Arabs will not prevent Jews from marching legally in Jerusalem."

Faraj Sufian, a neighborhood resident whose house was built illegally, told Ynet that "the residents of Silwan are eating their hearts out seeing their streets being trampled. Our illegal homes were built this way because the municipality won’t let anyone build in this city, and the criminals are acting instead of the mayor."


Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland, in Silwan, said the demonstration was "extremely small" and that it was "difficult to measure the size of the impact".

"The fact that this march took place has been seen as extremely provocative; a highly aggressive gesture on the part of the settlers – people really hell-bent on driving Palestinians from their land," she said.

The settlers were hoping to walk for several hundred metres but police "seems to have circumscribed their march fairly tightly".

"They were only able to walk 200 metres down the hill."

(Al Jazeera)

THE MARCH, PLANNED in advance, had little to no impact on an average Israeli, thus it is unclear if the idea justified hundreds of policemen and women securing the ordeal. True – Israelis should be able to go wherever they feel like inside Israel; however, they shouldn’t force the strained police force to safeguard their ideology. If Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel wish to walk through Silwan – they should be allowed to do so. The police forces, however, should not be dispatched as private guards. Marzel and Ben-Gvir understand their activism cause riots; they feel safe, however, knowing security forces would risk own wellbeing to protect them.

This is just wrong. Freedom of speech is sacred and should be upheld… But not at others’ expense.

  1. […] Right-wingers march towards Silwan « The Middle East Informer […]

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