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Temple Mount activists’ protest authorized

Monday, July 13, 2015, 16:59 Honenu and the Temple Mount organizations won a legal victory. Following the petition filed by Honenu the Supreme Court of Israel ordered the police to allow Temple Mount activists to hold a demonstration in protest of closing the Temple Mount to Jews during the month of Ramadan. According to the decision the activists will be allowed to protest at the Dung Gate, however the Supreme Court accepted the opinion of the police and limited the hours of the protest, claiming that it would interfere with the arrival of Muslims to the Temple Mount and would lead to violent reactions by Muslims. The protest will take place between 17:30-18:45, and if the police decide, the protesters will be able to remain at the site for a longer time. See here for more background information. Honenu attorney Itzik Bam, who petitioned the Supreme Court after the police refused to allow the demonstration to take place stated that, “Concerning Meretz activists the Supreme Court ruled that freedom of expression must be protected even when there is threat of violence. It is very saddening that apparently in order to merit a ruling by the Supreme Court protecting freedom of expression, one has to have left wing views.” Bam added that, “In practice the police gives support to Arab violence by giving preference to the convenience of the Muslims over the freedom of expression of Jews. It should not be that the violent side will both cause fears of disrupting public order and also enjoy the consideration of the police who want to prevent lengthening their path to the Temple Mount, which is open to them. This is a double insult to Jews, who when they come to protest that the Temple Mount is inaccessible to them, are forced to submit to limitations because the police are concerned that the Muslims will not like the Jews’ protest.” The protest’s organizers stated that, “In the end the police failed in their attempt to silent the public debate on its persecution of Jews on the Temple Mount. We are disappointed by the conduct of the police, who tried every trick in order to quell the protest, and only after the petition filed by Honenu with the Supreme Court relented and agreed to allow the protest at the Dung Gate, after petty insistence to change the time it would be held.” According to the organizers, Rabbi Tzefanya Drori announced on Monday, July 13 that he would participate in the protest. Rabbis Dov Lior and Elyakim Levanon call on the public to participate in the protest and to object to the persecution of Jews on the Temple Mount. At the protest Rabbi Yisrael Ariel and Yehuda Glick will speak, as will Arnon Segal, a journalist. Eliezer Botzer, a musician, will perform at the protest. Knesset Members Yinon Magal, Miki Zohar and Betzalel Smotrich also plan to take part in the protest.

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