From Israel: “The Good News and the Appalling Lies!!”

This week one of my grandsons entered the army.  He was brought by his parents to a gathering point for new IDF recruits, and there, some 40 or so soldiers-to-be – all from hesder yeshivas that combine religious study and army service – danced and sang joyously with the flag.

I cried when I saw the video.  Not an extraordinary occurrence during these terrible days.  But this was different. This was not about ugly stuff: and certainly not about the horror of those appalling lies directed at Israel with intent to weaken her.

This was about pride in my grandson, my delight in seeing young men celebrating Israel, and the recognition of my own deep love for Israel. It is that love which fuels these postings.


This week other good things happened as well – I had hoped to do a posting only of good news, but that is not possible yet.  But one of the good things we saw was the action of some dozens of Israeli Air Force pilots who recently completed their active service: They are called “pilots for good,” and have asked the IDF to call them to return for reserve service without delay.


Credit: Example of an Israeli pilot. Aish

This call by the pilots, promoted by love of Israel, is in response to a despicable declaration by some in military reserve units (small in number compared to the whole) that they will not serve if the government passes its judicial reform.


All in all, we are seeing a growing reaction to the behavior of the left wing, and it is heartening.  The left had imagined that the more intrusive their actions became the more demoralized the citizens of Israel would become, until they would demand a cessation of the judicial reform legislation.  

But instead, the effect of their behavior on the people has been to arouse them:

Yesterday (Wednesday) pro-judicial reform activists went out to declare their support for what the government is doing.  They went to overpasses across the country and hung banners; banners went up as well on hotels near the entrance to Jerusalem and near the Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv.  Some banners declared support for Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Simcha Rothman, Chair of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee – “we are with you.” Others stated, “The nation chose the reform—support the reform.”    

Most striking was their refusal to be negative or aggressive: “In Tel Aviv, the demonstrators held a sign depicting the anti-reform movement’s symbol of a fist with a big X over it and the words ‘always brothers.’”


Credit: Courtesy The banner says: “Enough of the dictatorship of the Court.  Democracy.”


Prominent Religious Zionist rabbis, including Rabbi Dov Lior (pictured). Have put out a letter calling on students in the Religious Zionist yeshivas to mobilize for a public awareness campaign.

“Unfortunately, there is a small group of anarchists which receives donations from abroad to disseminate lies about the government using all the tools of mass media, to convey the impression that these reforms will turn the country into a dictatorship, that Israel will turn into Iran and women will be enslaved…

“We are obligated to mobilize in support of fixing the broken judicial system here. We must also help all those who innocently believe the propaganda and enable them to see the truth. Each and every person should do whatever he can — standing at crossroads with signs, giving explanations, donating money. Each one of us must do his part, and together we will prevail.”


Credit: Yeshiva.com



In the city of Yavneh, people gathered for a pro-judicial reform event with several prominent speakers.  

Credit: Chen Khalifa



It’s not exactly unusual for Israel to have to confront lies.  We see it, for example, with the ludicrous accusation that Israel is an apartheid state.  Or the charge that Jews have no history in the land.

But what we are dealing with now is different.  

We are used to the falsehoods spread by enemies, various forces outside of Israel that wish us ill. But the lies that are being told with regard to the judicial reform legislation come in good part from the left inside of Israel (with, I hasten to note, support from the outside).

This makes them particularly pernicious, especially dangerous.  Thousands of Israelis have swallowed these lies – key among them that democracy is about to be destroyed here. One wonders if they have analyzed the situation rationally at all. (I very seriously doubt it.) Then, of course, these fabrications and factual distortions are readily, eagerly embraced by various governments and organizations, as well as individuals on the left outside of Israel.


We are fighting a fight that is much deeper than the matter of judicial reform.  Just as the Zionist rabbis are calling on their students to do everything to make the truth known, so must we all.

Please help Israel in this terrible time by informing yourself, and then sharing this broadly.


There was a discussion held recently – it was not called a debate – between Professor of Law Eugene Kontorovich, Director of International Law at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem and Alan Dershowitz, widely respected US attorney and Law Professor Emeritus at Harvard University.

Kontorovich supports the judicial reforms; Dershowitz is highly ambivalent about them.  And it is Dershowitz I want to cite here, precisely for this reason.

As to the charge that the reforms would destroy Israeli democracy, he says:

This would not undercut democracy. In some respects, it would make Israel more democratic.

“If all of these reforms were enacted…it would turn Israel into…Canada or New Zealand or Australia, or many European countries. It would not turn it into Poland. It would not turn it into an autocratic country.”

In spite of their many differences on the issue, Dershowitz said there was a key point on which he and Kontorovich fundamentally agree:

They [Israeli protesters] don’t like the result of the election. And as a result, they’re protesting and they have no idea what they’re protesting. People don’t protest judicial reformIt’s a surrogate for, ‘We don’t like [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, [National Security Minister Itamar] Ben-Gvir and [Finance Minister Bezalel] Smotrich. And if [the judicial reform bills] would be passed by anybody else, they wouldn’t be concerned about it.” (Emphasis added)

Credit: Todd Heisler/NYTimes



A lot of things are happening here right now that shouldn’t be happening.

On Wednesday evening, anti-legal reform protesters tried to stop MK Yuli Edelstein from entering the ANU Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv by blocking his car.

Said Edelstein: “No power in the world will…stand between a Jew and the heritage and tradition of our ancestors. On the way to the museum, I encountered a violent group that tried to stop me from entering…

“It didn’t happen, it won’t happen either. I will not be driven away and I will not be threatened with violence. It didn’t work for the Soviets, it won’t work now either.” 


Credit: Oren Ben Hakoon


A left-wing protester hit Minister Avi Dichter, former head of the Shin Bet, on the head with the pole of her flag.  She has since been arrested.


Credit: Facebook


Every day of insane protest in the streets is given a different name. Today the protest is being called “Day of Paralysis.” A key part of the activities planned for tonight – as I write – is a march into Bnai Brak, a majority haredi city.

Why Bnai Brak?  Precisely because it is haredi and the protesters, who are substantially secular, have a particular antipathy for the ultra-Orthodox, especially now with Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox elements in the government.  This is a subject for another posting.

The people of Bnai Brak want no part of this. Their rabbis have counseled them to avoid engaging, although it appears that some of their young people will.

But here we encounter an interesting phenomenon: some of the protesters have themselves objected to entering Bnai Brak:

A group of protesters who call themselves Standing Together have separated from the rest and will be holding an alternate demonstration in Tel Aviv.

Saying, “Our struggle is against the policies of the government, not against any community. The protests against the haredi residents of Bnei Brak are illegitimate and mistaken, as they pit people against each other instead of the people against the regime…” they shine a light on the mistaken thinking of the bulk of the protesters.



Minister of Transportation Miri Regev (Likud) is attempting to get the protest movement to agree to halt activity on Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day), which is coming before long.

Yair Lapid refused, saying, “We will not pretend that we are celebrating together and that everything is fine while the government is tearing apart the people of Israel and erasing democracy, and we will not sit back and watch another embarrassing show of flattery for the Netanyahu family.” (Emphasis added)

How he exposes himself here, in all his vileness.  He loves Israel so much he doesn’t want to allow peaceful celebrations for the nation’s founding.  Hopefully others in the protest movement will object to his position.  Hopefully some of the clueless protesters will finally see the light.

What is more, he openly reveals his true motivation for the demonstrations: it is not saving Israeli democracy, but hatred of Netanyahu.  He’s not subtle enough to avoid this exposure.  He’s devoid of all subtly, actually.  He’s as “in your face” as he can get.  And so here we have it.



There will be great deal more to say after Shabbat.  I end here will a video put out by an organization called Torat Lehima that explains how the left-wing High Court has tied the hands of the IDF, causing deaths of innocents.  Do not miss it, and share it, please.



© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.