Tel Aviv District Court Judge Magen Altuvia on Friday rejected a petition from the Rosh Yehudi organization to cancel Thursday’s decision by the Tel Aviv municipality to yank previously approved permits for public Sukkot holiday events in the city.
Instead, the judge urged the Orthodox outreach organization to meet with representatives of the municipality “immediately” and work to reach an agreement “in the spirit of the holiday.”
The city had ordered Rosh Yehudi to refrain from erecting a mechitzah (separation barrier) to create men’s and women’s sections for Yom Kippur prayers in Dizengoff Square and claimed the organization violated the order by erecting a makeshift barrier using Israeli flags and bamboo.
Hundreds of leftist anarchists showed up at the prayers to disrupt the proceedings and destroy the peace and spirituality of the event and succeeded in forcing the worshipers to abandon their prayers, outraging Orthodox Jews across the country.
In response to Friday’s decision, Rosh Yehudi accused the city of canceling its Sukkot holiday events because “they chose the violent side and blamed the victim; the protesters who came to the square had a goal to destroy the prayers and it doesn’t matter in which way … We are willing to negotiate with the municipality to reach agreements on how to manage the events and ask for business-like conduct on the part of the Tel Aviv municipality,” the organization said.
“A day when a judge in district court does not know the plain language of a Basic Law is [like] Yom Kippur for the [judicial] system,” Shas Interior Minister Moshe Arbel said in response. “The judicial system desperately needs trust and that is not how you build it.”