‘Racist’ Jerusalem Day March Through Muslim Quarter Gets Green Light From Judge

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A controversial annual Jerusalem Day march that passes through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter will not be rerouted, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled.

The court issued its decision on Sunday morning, hours before the scheduled start of the march. The ruling came in response to a petition filed late last week by Ir Amim, a left-wing organization that monitors the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Jerusalem. The organization called on the court to cancel the march, citing the possible start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Sunday evening, which would bring thousands of Muslims to the Old City as well.

Ramadan is set to begin on either Sunday evening or Monday evening, after a determination after sundown on Sunday whether the crescent moon has officially appeared.

March organizers agreed Sunday to begin the march at least 15 minutes early, following an agreement last week to start an hour earlier. According to the court ruling, the last marcher will be allowed to enter the Old City via the Damascus gate at 6:15 and all marchers will be out of the Muslim Quarter by 7 p.m. The start of Ramadan will not be declared until at least 7:43.

In previous years some Jewish marchers have shouted racist and nationalist slogans at Muslim onlookers, and have committed acts of vandalism in the Muslim areas.

Police this year have threatened to crack down on marchers and have “zero tolerance” for violence and racism.

Palestinian leaders denounced the march as a “racist” provocation that would lead to violence and set back the cause of peace.

Over 30,000 marchers are expected to take part in the “flag dance” parade, which begins at Sacher Park in the center of Jerusalem and ends at the Western Wall, according to Israel Police. Thousands took part in morning prayer services Sunday at the Western Wall, Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

‘Racist’ Jerusalem Day March Through Muslim Quarter Gets Green Light From Judge

Thank you!

This article has been sent!