About two dozens fascist protesters demonstrated Tuesday evening, October 18, at a concert by the Arab-Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar at the opening performance of the Neve Yosef Community Center festival in Haifa. Some 4,000 people, Jews and Arabs, came to hear Nafar.
The protesters arrived at the concert after Haifa’s Mayor Yona Yahav declined Culture Minister Miri Regev’s (Likud) demand to cancel the rapper’s performance over “terror-inciting lyrics against the state and its residents.” Several Hadash and Communist Party of Israel activists attended the concert among them deputy mayor of Haifa, Dr. Suhail Assad and member of the city council Areen Awadi. Also, lawmakers from the Joint List: Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash) and Hanin Zoabi (Balad) participated in the performance. They were jeered by fascists who called them “terrorists,” “traitors” and “devils” and urged them to “go to Gaza.”
Taking the stage, Nafar told the audience, “I’m going to speak in two languages, because I’m someone who knows how to build bridges. After this very tough week, I want to say thank you. Jews and Arabs have both shown support for this show.” As he spoke, a few fascists in the audience booed at him and even gave him the middle finger, lifting up hands wrapped in the Israeli flag. “And to those of you yelling and trying to ruin this — I can’t even bring myself to hate you,” said Nafar.
The fascist protest was organized by Likud MK Nava Boker’s parliamentary aide Osher Takash, and Daniel Sigalov, the head of the University of Haifa’s Likud student group, who were also questioned by the police for threatening to throw the concert into disorder.