Jerusalem District Court on Monday rejected claims by police linking the activities of Lehava, an organization for the prevention of assimilation in Israel, and incidents of violence, advocacy group Honenu announced.
The court also ruled there was no proof of an increase in violent incidents against Arabs in Jerusalem.
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Lehava is an Israeli organization whose primary objective is opposing marriages between Jewish women and non-Jewish, particularly Arab, men. It has been described as “far-right-wing” in the Israeli media.
On Monday morning, Jerusalem District Court Judge Shirli Rand accepted an appeal on behalf of Lehava, filed by Honenu attorney Naftali Wertzberger. The judge revoked police ban keeping Lehava activists from the Jerusalem City Center.
The activists were detained during a protest held at the site of the terror attack in Jerusalem last Thursday, and the Jerusalem Magistrate Court issued a restraining order banning them from the City Center, based on police claims that Lehava organizes anti-Arab rallies in Jerusalem’s Zion Square and the Jerusalem City Center, connecting these to a reported increase in the number of violent incidents against Arabs in the Jerusalem City Center.
Attorney Wertzberger pleaded that there was no legal cause to link the protests that are being held on the main highway going into Jerusalem with Lehava activities, which he said was legal and held several miles away, in the Jerusalem City Center.
Judge Rand accepted the plea and revoked the restraining order. The judge also ruled there was no link between Lehava’s activities and violent incidents of any type.
The judge stressed that police did not actually provide proof that the number of violent incidents against Arabs in Center City Jerusalem has increased recently.
“No evidential basis has been presented showing that the incidents of violence which have occurred recently in the Jerusalem City Center according to the representative of the complainant are linked to this organization [Lehava] or to the appealing party has been presented. Also no evidential basis has been presented on their actual event, ” the judge wrote.