Ethiopians protesting against discrimination and racism outside the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem rejected Sunday a compromise proposal by Justice Zvi Zilbertal, offering to evacuate the protest tent by the Fallen Soldiers Remembrance Day.
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Last week, a court ordered the evacuation of the tent by Sunday, following a petition by the Jerusalem Municipality. The ruling was appealed at the Supreme Court, but the compromise proposal was rejected by the protesters. The parties were ordered to agree on a compromise before the court delivers its ruling in a few days.
Shalit in Court's session (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Before the hearing, several dozen people from the protest movement and the Labor party demonstrated outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, calling not to evacuate the tent. Shalit, who took part in the demonstration, explained that maintaining the tent is a fundamental right and part of freedom of speech. "We cannot ignore the discrimination against the Ethiopian community," he said.
Demonstrating in front of the Supreme Court (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Representative of the Municipality, Attorney Ronen Vinic said in the hearing that it was wrong to compare this campaign with Shalit family's struggle, which he said had spiralled out of control. Referring to the Shalit campaign, Vinic argued that Israel's governance system had lost control to the point that a commission of inquiry was established to give recommendations for future events.
Vinic further explained that the evacuation will not stop the protest, and is aimed at preventing
a precedent which will allow people to live in the public space.
Attorneys Osnat Swartz explained that evacuating the tent now will mean the end of the protest. "We expect the municipality to treat us in the same manner it did the Shalit family," she said.
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