Local pride organizations in Netanya, along with The Aguda- Israel’s LGBT Taskforce, requested to host the city’s first Pride Parade. The Pride event was initially supported by the Netanya municipality, including funding, but the municipality withdrew support following political opposition. Following this, organizers were called into the police station where officers attempted to convince organizers not to march, but rather to hold a gathering. When organizers insisted on holding a parade, the police responded that security costs of such a parade will be about 250,000 NIS and that the organizers would be held responsible for paying the full amount.
ACRI petitioned the Netanya police to repeal these draconian measures. In the letter, Attorney Roni Pelli highlighted that protecting public order and allowing citizens to fulfill their constitutional rights to freedom of expression and protest are clear, core and central components of the Israeli police’s job. Events during Pride month clearly fall within this mandate as, for all intents and purposes, they are protest events. She also noted that in similar cases, the police have mitigated their demands following ACRI’s intervention, and have subsidized security costs.
After negotiations between the organizers and the police, they came to an agreement on an alternative path and the police rescinded their demands. About 400 people attended the first Pride Parade in Netanya.