December 8, 2023
Israeli Police are trying to prevent a Hadash (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) national convention scheduled for Saturday, December 16, claiming that it would feature “inciting speeches that would endanger the public’s well-being.”
The police threatened the facility owner in the city of Shefa-Amr (Shfar’am) in northern Israel where the event was to be held. Hadash Secretary General, Amjad Shbita, says the conference agenda was to include planning “for political action against the continuation of the war in Gaza and against political persecution by the far-right government.
On Wednesday, an urgent common meeting of Hadash and Communist Party of Israel (CPI) political bureaus was held considering the criminal acts of intimidation made by the police directed by racist Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, against the planned Hadash convention “We learned that threats were made against the owner of the venue in which the congress was to be held, warning that if the event is hosted, the venue will be closed for a month,” says.
According Hadash and the CPI, both groups “utterly reject the fascist acts of intimidation by the Israeli establishment. We insist on raising our voice against the war and against fascism – courageously and responsibly. We will carry out the congress on the scheduled date. A decision about the location will be reached later. We call on all our activists to take part in our struggle against this persecution of our party and front for its political role.”
“We call on all our cadres, all the Jewish and Arab progressive forces, and the international anti-fascist forces to protest this McCarthyite persecution, targeting all voices that stand out against this criminal war and against the deterioration of Israel into fascism. This process began before the war, but the government saw the war’s outbreak as an occasion to accelerate the attacks on the already diminished democratic space.”
On November 16, the police agreed to allow a Hadash demonstration calling for a ceasefire in Gaza which was take place in Tel Aviv, after the Association for Civil Rights (ACRI) in Israel petitioned the High Court of Justice demanding that it order the police to issue a permit for the rally. The Tel Aviv Police Department initially refused to authorize the event, organized by Hadash, on the grounds it could lead “to civil disturbances, and may harm the feelings of evacuees from southern Israel currently residing in Tel Aviv, and that the police lacked the manpower to secure the rally.” During the court hearing, the police agree to allow the demonstration to go ahead, but at a different location than the one originally planned and with a limit on the number of participants. The protest took place in Charles Clore Park with a limit of 700 protesters.
Also, the police raided Hadash and CPI branch office in Nazareth on November 10, tearing down political posters and spray-painting over murals. “The Ben Gvir police continues its political persecution and attempts to intimidate and silence the Arab public and other forces opposing the war. We will not put up with these provocations. We will continue to lead the joint Arab-Jewish struggle against fascism, war and persecution,” Hadash stated.
On November 9, a leading CPI member and former Hadash lawmaker was detained after he announced a protest against the war in Gaza. Mohammad Barakeh, chair of the umbrella organization for the Arab-Palestinian community in Israel, the High Follow-up Committee, called for Arab officials to demonstrate in Nazareth.
-This article also appeared at the website In Defense of Communism.