Far-right protest against High Court decision to close Holot detention center greeted by flower-bearing asylum seekers.
Around 100 people, including far-right activists and residents of south Tel Aviv, protested Sunday night against asylum seekers and against the High Court decision to close the Holot detention center within 90 days.
Some protesters, among them former extremist Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari and radical anti-miscegenation group Lehava’s chairman Benzi Gupstein, waved black flags that said “High Court” on them, drawing the comparison between Israel’s highest legal body and the Islamic State, or ISIS.
Protestors marched to Levinsky Park, where several refugees awaited them with flowers in hand. They said they understand the problems facing the residents of south Tel Aviv, but that they did not choose to live there, but were put on buses headed for Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station after being released from Saharonim (the prison where asylum seekers were placed before Holot was built).
Police presence largely prevented confrontations between the protesters and the asylum seekers, however at one point, some protesters tried to attack a store owner – who turned out to be an Ethiopian Jew.
A few days ago, a small protest calling on the government to find a solution to the crisis in south Tel Aviv was was organized by residents who insisted on distinguishing themselves from the far-right, specifying their struggle is not against the asylum seekers, but rather the municipality and the government.