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MK Ben Ari to March in Arab City for Equal Service

Police give OK for National Union MK to march through Nazareth demanding that Arabs pull their weight.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/8/2012, 9:23 PM

Michael Ben Ari
Michael Ben Ari
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The demonstration in Tel Aviv demanding equal service by hareidim will be followed by a march through Nazareth demanding that Arab citizens, too, pull their weight.

Police have granted permission to MK Ben Ari (National Union), and nationalist super-activists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel, to hold a march in Nazareth and call for "equality in bearing the burden and national service by Arabs."

The march will take place Sunday, with about 80 people in participation.

Police prevented a similar march through Nazareth several months ago, out of concern that it would cause rioting by Nazareth's Arabs. Ben Gvir, who recently became a lawyer, threatened to file a motion to the High Court and demand that the march be allowed, in view of precedents for similar marches.

Police decided in the end to allow the march to be held under certain limitations: the number of participants will be prescribed by police, and the route of the march will be kept secret until it takes place.

A similar march through the Arab city of Umm El Fahm in 2009 was met with violence by the local Arabs. Rav Meir Kahane, who was the mentor of the young Ben Ari, Marzel and Ben Gvir, began the tradition of nationalist marches through Arab cities in 1984, when he entered Umm El Fahm with supporters.

MK Ben Ari said that there must not be discrimination between hareidim and Arabs, and that Arabs, too, must perform national service and share the burden. "The Arab sector needs to understand that a citizen of a country has obligations, too, and not just rights," he explained.