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A Victory for Freedom of Speech: The Supreme Court Ruled that Multaka-Mifgash will not be Evicted

27.12.2018

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled yesterday (Wednesday, 26.12.2018) that the Beer Sheva municipality should continue to allocate the public shelter for the Arab-Jewish Cultural Center Multaka-Mifgash, which had been operating for over a decade in the city. Supreme Court Justice Meni Mazuz said: “The principle of pluralism requires the municipality to allocate public facilities to a variety of associations, even those that do not conform to the consensus and the general public’s opinion”.

The three Supreme Court Justices: Honorable Justice Yitzhak Amit, Honorable Justice Meni Mazuz, Honorable Justice Ofer Grosskopf; gave the Beer Sheva municipality the opportunity to relinquish their claims before reading out-loud the verdict, which was given on the same day. Nevertheless, the representatives of the city and its Mayor, Mr. Rubik Danilovich, refused to back-down and reach a compromise.

Having reviewed the material laid down by the parties, the Justices emphasized the following principles: 

1. The Municipality’s actions should be carried out from an egalitarian perspective reflecting a pluralistic thought – social pluralism that relates to the various views and opinions in the relevant society.
2. Accordingly, the Justices accepted the interpretation of the Attorney General, as expressed in a letter by the Deputy Attorney General dated October 26, 2015. The term “political activity” should be read as referring only to “political activity directly or indirectly related to partisan activity.”
3. NCF is free to perform any activity within the scope of the objectives for which the allocation was made.

This judgment shall replace the judgment of the Beer Sheva District Court. 

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters along the way for showing solidarity with NCF and the Multaka-Mifgash Cultural Center.
NCF welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision and emphasizes its previous claim that this was a political persecution, part of a wave of attacks on human rights organizations. We are proud of our activities and assert that Arab-Jewish cooperation is a necessity for a democratic society, as well as discussions on controversial issues.

In the short period of time since the ruling was given, we received dozens of positive messages from residents of the Negev-Naqab and other parts of Israel, congratulating us on the Supreme Court’s decision. For NCF, there is no better testament to the importance of the Multaka-Mifgash and the continuation of its activities.

We still have much work ahead of us, the fight isn’t over, but with your support we continue!
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