Itamar Ben-Gvir
Itamar Ben-Gvir Miriam Alster/Flash 90

The leaders of the 'Otzma Yehudit' party, Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, Baruch Marzel and Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, welcome the Supreme Court's decision to permit left-wing activists to hold demonstrations outside the home of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit without obtaining the proper permits.

The right-wing activists who joined the left's petition against the police stated that their joining the petition will stop the police from preventing right-wingers from doing what is now permitted to left-wingers.

"For years we have asked to be able to hold protests in front of the attorney general's house or close to the houses of attorneys and judges, and the police prevented us from doing so," said the heads of 'Otzma Yehudit.'

"Today, the Supreme Court made an important decision , which we will use in all protest events," the right-wing activists said. "If this is a democracy, then it is not only for Eldad Yaniv and his colleagues - by joining the petition the right has achieved what was denied to it for many years."

"The Supreme Court admits and rules that it is possible to demonstrate near a lawyer or adviser and that this does not require a permit, especially when it comes to demonstrations of a social nature, such as the demonstrations we hold," added Ben-Ari, Marzel and Ben-Gvir.

The Supreme Court ruled on Sunday that left-wing activists could continue to demonstrate every Saturday at Goren Square in Petah Tikva, near the home of Attorney General Avihcai Mandelblit. The court ruled that the demonstrations could continue even without proper permits and without any limit on the number of demonstrators.

The number of demonstrators outside the Attorney General's home has been limited to 500 in recent weeks, following an interim court order.

The most recent court ruling was "a historic victory," said Eldad Yaniv, one of the leaders of the demonstrations. "The arrests carried out by the police are illegal. After the holidays, we will also demonstrate against Bennett, Shaked and Kahlon who are paralyzed like fish while Bibi drowns in investigations."

The petition was submitted by the organizers of the demonstrations and the Movement for Quality Government, who demanded that the court protect the right to demonstrate for all participants who will arrive at Goren Square every Saturday, regardless of their numbers.

Justice Esther Hayut, who will serve as the next chief justice of the Supreme Court, wrote in the judgment that "criticism of state authorities and public figures is the lifeblood of democracy, and there is no authority or public figure in a democratic state immune to criticism."

Hayut added that "for these reasons, it should be stated that the demonstrations taking place on Saturday night in Goren Square are not an inferior expression worthy of only limited protection, but rather the implementation of the right to freedom of expression, which is at the core of fundamental freedoms in a democratic state. The Attorney General is one of the main and most important pillars on which the law enforcement system rests."

According to her, "preserving the independence of this institution is therefore one of the clearest guarantees for the existence of democracy in Israel. However, the Attorney General, like any other public servant, is also not immune to public criticism."

Attorney Menachem Moskowitz, who represents the attorney general's office in Petah Tikva, said: "We regret that the Supreme Court decided to ignore the residents' distress and did not mention the fact that the demonstrators have many places to hold the demonstration. We respect the ruling, although we think that the decision should have been different."

"Like the court, we also call upon the the legislature to settle the issue. I hope that the demonstrators will discover the same 'social sensitivity' and will refrain from adding further bitterness to the residents' lives," Moskowitz added.

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