Legal Work, Press Releases

RHR to Israeli Army: Prevent offensive aspects of extreme right’s Hebron Purim Parade

1 Comment 05 February 2018


Rabbis for Human Rights warns that the traditional Purim parade held by extremist settlers in a Palestinian neighborhood of Hebron includes incitement, disproportionate restrictions on the movement of residents, and attempts to humiliate the local Palestinian population. The parade is held in the context of a military regime that represses Palestinian freedom of expression and right to protest while granting settlers freedom to humiliate and incite. Rabbis for Human Rights will consider turning to legal intervention if no clarification is given.

Photo: Graffiti of the “Kahane Lives” movement sprayed on Palestinian shop in the city of Hebron

Yesterday (February 4 2018) Rabbis for Human Rights sent a letter to the army in order to prevent the violation of Palestinian human rights during the traditional Purim parade in Hebron. The organization demands that if the parade receives approval again this year, the guidelines will be clarified in order to fall in line with international conventions and Israeli law. Rabbis for Human Rights, as a religious Jewish organization celebrating the Purim holiday, views severely this incitement made in the name of the Jewish religion during the parade held in the heart of Hebron.

The letter begins by emphasizing that under a democratic and egalitarian regime it is the legal right of the settlers to demonstrate despite how unfortunate their message — even if they voice opinions that are humiliating and unacceptable according to our Jewish worldview.

However, as part of the military regime in the West Bank, the Israeli army applies strict rules to the Palestinian population regarding the freedom of expression and demonstration —sometimes to the point of silencing it — while providing a broad interpretation of what is considered incitement when it comes to Palestinians. On the other hand, settlers are granted the right to humiliate Palestinians freely. This is an extreme abuse of the authority of the military force in control of the territory, and constitutes extreme and disproportionate discrimination.

The problematic aspects of the parade:

  •  Disproportionate restrictions against Palestinian freedom of movement through the blocking of pedestrian traffic in an area where the majority of residents are Palestinian.
  • The parade humiliates the Palestinian residents of the city.  During the procession, the celebrants dress as national or religious figures that are close to the hearts of the Palestinians in order to ridicule them. While this would have been a legal matter under a democratic governance that allows one group to demonstrate and protest against its humiliation, in the context of a military and discriminatory regime that severely limits the freedom of protest and expression of the Palestinian people, it is completely unacceptable.
  • Some of the activities during the Purim parade in Hebron reach the point of actual incitement.  For example, the flaunting of symbols or phrases identified with the terrorist organization related to Kahanist ideology.

Rabbis for Human Rights sees this as desecration of God’s name as well as Jewish tradition. The behavior characterizing the Purim parade sends the message that the dignity, religion, faith and property of the Palestinians is valueless. All of this is done under the auspices and authority of the army, the sovereign power on the ground. Moreover, this policy contradicts international law that requires the preservation of the fabric of life of the local population living under belligerent occupation.

Therefore, Rabbis for Human Rights emphasizes that if the army does not release clarification regarding measures being taken to prevent these harmful aspects of the parade, it will feel free to utilize all legal channels available in order to do so.

Your Comments

1 comment

  1. judith says:

    בהחלט הפרובוקציה של התושבים.מתנהלים של קרית 4 ואחרים פוגע! מסכימ לכול מילה שכתבתם. עושים מעצמם ליצנים מסוכנים

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