Marzel outside Um al-Fahm during elections
Photo: AFP

Rightists with flags to march in Umm al-Fahm

Police confirm march to take place Tuesday, with security protection; Arab MKs condemn march as 'racist'

After several delays, right-wing activists will be able to hold a march bearing Israeli flags through Umm al-Fahm, right-wing activists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel announced Thursday morning.


The two rightists emphasized that the decision was being carried out in accordance with an Israel High Court of Justice decision regarding the right of assembly.


"We hope that the police won't cave in at the last minute to threats by wild lawbreakers. When haredim and settlers threatened against (the gay pride parade in Jerusalem) they found themselves in jail. The principle of law and order demands that they allow us to march – this is a happy day for democracy," they said.


Police have confirmed that the march will take place with police protection, but previous plans to hold it had been postponed due to security considerations.


The march was originally meant to take place in mid-December 2008, but police canceled it after receiving intelligence information about expected riots and plans of extremist Arab elements in the village to use weapons against the marchers.


Similarly, in February, Marzel was meant to serve as his party's representative at the Um al-Fahm polling station during national elections, but police prevented him from entering because they felt that his life and the public order would be threatened.


Arab MKs enraged

Balad Chairman MK Jamal Zahalka censured the decision, saying that "we are preparing to prevent Kahane's successor from entering the town. They're coming to send a fascist and racist message. It's only natural that Umm al-Fahm residents will protest and protect themselves and their town."


MK Afu Aghbaria (Hadash), who lives in Umm al-Fahm, said "this is an unwanted and provocative visit against the town specifically and the Arab population in general. Kahane's successors are trying to undermine the right of the Arab population in Israel to exist."


Umm al-Fahm is also the home of Sheikh Raad Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamist Movement, who has been repeatedly arrested for inciting against Israel.  The movement has a large presence in the town.  


Sharon Roffe-Ofir contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 03.19.09, 11:38
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