In Tel Aviv, however, police are starting to back down from their attempt to shut down Albi (“My heart“, in Arabic) – the café which has become the hub of radical and Left activists, the municipal opposition and parts of the LGBT community. After the two workers arrested Monday night were released on Tuesday, police announced on Wednesday that they would cancel the administrative closure order issued the day before. Adv. Gaby Lasky, representing the café, claims police are trying to avoid legal proceedings that would force them to expose their illegitimate motivations for issuing the order to begin with.
At the café, City for All, the leading opposition party in the upcoming Tel Aviv municipal elections, held a press conference in which its leaders claimed the police raid targeted Albi as the movement’s headquarters, and was thus politically motivated. Aharon Maduel, the movement’s candidate for mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, said he was outside Albi at 1 a.m. when municipal inspectors showed up and asked him if he had just been at the café (which has City for All posters on its front window). It was shortly after this that the massive raid took place.