High Court Rejects Petition Against anti-Netanyahu Protests in Jerusalem

Disruption of residents' lives is the price for living in a democracy, court rules, but calls to 'effectively enforce' noise law

Netael Bandel
Netael Bandel
Protesters near Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence, August 15, 2020
Protesters near Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence, August 15, 2020Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Netael Bandel
Netael Bandel

Israel's High Court rejected on Wednesday a petition seeking to limit protests near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence.

The petition, filed by 60 Jerusalem residents, called for the protests to be limited in scope or be moved to a different location. The demonstrations have been taking place every Saturday evening for the past several weeks.

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The court recognized the disruption caused to the residents, but added that they are "part of the burden" to be carried by residents who live near a government symbol such as the Prime Minister's Residence. The disruption, the verdict added, is the price for living in a democratic society.

The court did, however, say that the municipal by-law banning noise after 9:30 PM should be "effectively enforced."

Earlier this month, the police asked the court to reject the petition, stating that while they did not take the neighbors’ concerns lightly, they were “obligated to ensure the freedom to protest and the protesters’ welfare.” Limiting the number of participants, the police said, could deal a serious blow to freedom of expression.

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