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A Holocaust survivor and other plaintiffs from an Ann Arbor, Michigan synagogue were ordered by a judge to pay $159,000 to compensate protestors who had harassed them weekly for 18 years.

After a two year legal battle over the protestors who had gathered every Saturday outside Beth Israel Congregation during Shabbat services, brandishing signs with slogans such as “Jewish Power Corrupts,” a federal judge ruled that the plaintiffs will have to pay the protestors’ legal fees, MLive reported.

In January, the city council of Ann Arbor for the first time in two decades issued a formal resolution condemning the protests as antisemitic.

The move came after a US federal appeals court ruled shortly before Yom Kippur in September 2021 that the protestors were exercising their right to free speech.

Beth Israel Congregation has had to endure anti-Semitic protests outside its building for nearly 20 years, the synagogue said, arguing their case before a Cincinnati federal appeals court in April. Their case rested on their claim that the city of Ann Arbor was not enforcing its protest and sign ordinance regulations to prevent the harassment of Jews as they attend synagogue services.

Members of the Beth Israel Congregation argued a First Amendment claim against the city and a group of anti-Jewish protestors who have picketed outside the synagogue every Shabbat morning since September 2003, Courthouse News Service reported.

During their weekly demonstrations, the protestors hold signs that contain antisemitic slogans such as “Jewish Power Corrupts,” “Resist Jewish Power,” “End the Palestinian Holocaust,” and “No More Wars for Israel.”

They protest in front of congregants as they enter the synagogue to pray.

The congregation includes several Holocaust survivors. The synagogue said in its case that the protests are especially upsetting for its older members who are survivors.

For years the city of Ann Arbor had declined to get involved in what was happening in front of the synagogue. That changed during a city council meeting earlier in January, three days after a rabbi and his congregants were taken hostage during services by an antisemitic assailant in Colleyville, Texas.

“The Ann Arbor City Council condemns all forms of antisemitism, and in particular the weekly antisemitic rally on Washtenaw Avenue,” stated the resolution, which was approved unanimously by all voting council members. The resolution also “calls upon the persons who rally to express antisemitism on Washtenaw Avenue to renounce extremism, disband, and cease their weekly show of aggressive bigotry.”