In Wake of Violence, Israel Police Postpone Right-wing Rally Outside Home of Arab MK

Decision made due to escalation in Israel's south; extreme right-wing activist Baruch Marzel was expected to be among rally leaders.

A right-wing rally planned for today in front of the Nazareth home of Arab Knesset member Hanin Zuabi (Balad) will be postponed, Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino announced on Saturday. The police chief took the step in light of the escalation in the security situation in the south and an increased police state of alert throughout the country.

Counter-demonstrators had planned to show up at the rally, and police expected to deploy 1,200 policemen at Zuabi's home to maintain order. A new date for the rally will be scheduled in coordination with the police and the right-wingers themselves.

Hanin Zuabi
Tomer Appelbaum

Zuabi sparked particularly heated controversy in 2010 by sailing as a passenger on board the Mavi Marmara, one of the ships in a Turkish flotilla that was seeking to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. Nine of the Mavi Marmara's passengers were killed in a confrontation with the Israel Navy.

Extreme right-wing activist Baruch Marzel was expected to be among those leading the rally at Zuabi's home. "Marzel doesn't intend to come alone," Zuabi told Haaretz on Saturday. She said he represents an "entire political culture that relates to the Palestinian as an enemy or foreigner." She said a message is being sent to the Israeli establishment, the right wing, and what she called the "silent left wing" that "full national and civic equality is the interest of all of us."

The Follow-Up Committee for the Arabs in Israel called on members of the Israeli Arab community to come out in strength to face what it called "members of the radical right." At a conference in Nazareth on Saturday of members of the Arab parties, Baruch Marzel and his colleagues were termed a challenge not only to Zuabi and her Balad party but to all of Israel's Arabs.