June 8, 1998 - Press Release

For Immediate Distribution

Israeli Supreme Court Accepts Claim:
"June 6 Political Event is actually
a Drug-Party in Disguise"

Organizers claim they intended to
Announce a political party at the event
 

A request to hold a political event on June 6 (planned by 2 Israeli registered NPOs as part of an international campaign), was denied by Tel-Aviv police and city-hall. The NPOs appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court, and a session was held on Friday, June 5.

The police representatives claimed - "based on classified and reliable intelligence information" - that there was probable cause to assume that the event was actually "a drug-party disguised as a political event".

The NPOs, on the other hand, claimed to the court that the event was part of the "Global AntiProhibition Days" june 5-10 campaign (a series of more than 50 events world-wide, see below for details). Furthermore, they claim they were about to announce a new political party at that event.

The court accepted the claims of the police.

Lawyers Moti Adato and Igal Melamed (representing the NPOs) tried to reach a settlement where no music would be played during the event (making sure this event would not be a "party", let alone a "drug-party"). Surprisingly, the court refused this proposal.

Representatives of the 2 NPOs - Kne Bossem and The NPO for drug-related harm reduction (local legal entity for Israeli chapter of Legalize!) - defined above claims as "absurd and easy to falsify" (call for details).

Boaz Wachtel - Chairman of Kne Bossem: "We, of course, respect the Supreme Court's decission. The Israeli society was, until recently, in a great denial to the scope of the local drug problem. Increased level of drug use, violence and a rise in the genreal cost to individuals and society are hitting Israel in full force now. Current drug policy has failed here as it failed in the US and the time has come to adopt softer, wiser and proven alternatives. We tried, in this demonstration, to gather concerned citizens, raise funds and announce the formation of the first Israeli party that will unite the forces opposing the current drug policies. That democratic right has been denied from us this time, but we know it can not denied from us anymore."

Nimrod Kerrett - Israeli coordinator for Legalize!: "It is the 4th time since mid-April that an event where Trance music is being played is defined by the police as an event where massive drug-dealing is expected, and Supreme Court accepts the claim. Our intention was to play Trance music (among many other cultural activities), in order to protest against the local attitude towards the Trance culture. Authorities are sticking the blame for the drug-crisis on a musical genre, instead of admitting that the so called "war on drugs" is not only ineffective, but actually increases crime, corruption, and even the drug-abuse it is supposed to prevent".

Although the cancellation of the event was massively published in local media, Wachtel, Kerrett, and a group of volunteers were present at the site in order to appologize in person to hundrends of uninformed supporters who travelled from all over the country in order to attend the event.

"Please obey police orders" said the leaflets they were handing. "We are respected, law-abiding organizations. Our aim is to change the law - not to break it".

 

For more details:

Legalize!-Israel

http://www.legalize.org (global), http://www.legalize.org.il (local, Hebrew)

Contact: Nimrod Kerrett - Israeli Coordinator

nimrod@legalize.org.il

 

Kne Bossem

Contact: Boaz Wachtel - Chairman

wachtel@shani.net

 

Global AntiProhibition Days (June 5-10)

http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/events.htm