The posters; Photo credit: Honenu
Honenu has represented many citizens whose fundamental rights to freedom of expression and freedom of protest have been violated with regard to pride marches. Please click here for a list of relevant posts. Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 20:06 While providing counsel to a detained minor at a police station in Jerusalem, Attorney Rehavia Piltz noticed posters from a pro-LGBT campaign on the station walls. The posters included incitement against “senior members of the religious leadership” and blamed them for the attempted murder and injury of pride march participants. The title of one of the posters advertising the march read “A Win for the Petition”, which gave the impression that the Israeli Police triumphed over the Municipality of Jerusalem concerning a petition opposing the pride march scheduled to take place in the city. In light of the content of the posters, Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado sent a strongly worded letter to the Public Complaints Officer, sharply criticizing the severe incitement by the police and objecting to the police, a public body, identifying with a particular political/social group. Yado wrote: “A poster categorizing religious leaders as targets for stabbings has been hung on the walls of the police station. The message has sunk in and is doing its job. It is no wonder that at the same time, in the interrogation room on the other side of the wall on which the poster is hanging, a police interrogator yelled at a minor who hung posters [protesting the Jerusalem Pride March] in the city, that she knows who sent him and that they (the rabbis) are murderers.” Yado described the detention of one of the minors who was detained near the site of the Jerusalem Pride March solely due to his religious appearance. The letter continued: “Obviously, and there should not be a need to say it, the Israeli Police is not supposed to take a side in social struggles. As someone who deals with how the police enforce the law with regard to religious demonstrations against pride marches every year, I know that the enforcement suppresses [legitimate protest], and I have filed dozens of claims of illegal suppression [of the right to protest]. “The law enforcement training prior to pride marches must be balanced and cautious. The pro-LGBT campaign that is known for encouraging identification with the values of the march and for justifying them is not supposed to serve as training material for the police. It is clear that because this campaign is being absorbed into the police training, policemen will go out into the street and interrogators will conduct interrogations when they are imbued with messages that the participants in the march are “fighters for freedom, liberty and tolerance” and in contrast the rabbis are targets for stabbing and injury.” Yado concluded his letter by demanding a comprehensive examination of the internal training of the Israeli Police and a removal of the elements which cause bias in the Israeli Police with regard to the social struggle over pride marches.