Israelis hoisted an ISIS-inspired black and white flag in an anti-African march in Tel Aviv today, to protest a recent court ruling that rendered illegal a desert detention facility where African asylum seekers are being held without charge. The ISIS-style flags waved have the Hebrew word "bagatz," meaning "High Court," across the banners. Some of the marchers are holding them in tandem with Israeli flags, but others hold the handmade ISIS-style drapes alone.
Simone Wilson, the Jewish Journal's foreign correspondent in Israel
, is covering the protest now in south Tel Aviv in an African refugee neighborhood where Israeli youngsters have taken over the streets and attempted to break into African-owned businesses. She is live-tweeting the protest and captured the backers of the ISIS aesthetic: a soldier in uniform, settler leader Baruch Marzel, and Mai Golan, the anti-African darling of Israel's right-wing who soared to fame two summers ago when she declared in a similar march, "I am a proud racist," and shortly after took a position in the city government.
Israel's High Court decided in late September that Holot, an "open residential facility" where Africans incarcerated are granted afternoon leave from the prison but must return under lock and key at night, is illegal. The Africans jailed there have committed no crime, but their lack of status as protected persons have left them vulnerable to an interpretation of an Israeli law aimed at jailing those who cross the Jewish state's borders in order to commit violent crimes. African seeking asylum are protected under International conventions barring imprisonment, which the court acknowledged last month. Yet the demonstrating Israelis are furious over the verdict, which will let Africans out of Holot in the next three months. They represent a nationalist sect of Israeli society that does not want any African non-Jews present in the country. For such activists as Marzel, the courts decision to release the asylum seekers back to Tel Aviv is "more dangerous to Israel than ISIS."