From Israel: “Vile and Destructive!!”

I do want to focus on the judicial reforms – an ongoing topic of huge significance. But the terror attack at Huwara remains in the media spotlight and there are updates and additional information that it is also important to share.  And so, we will look at both issues, starting with Huwara.  

Please read through to the end, as I look at several issues of critical importance.


The terrorist who killed Hallel and Yagel Yaniv has been caught.  We always get them in the end – our intelligence is superb – even if it takes a few days.

A member of Hamas, he was identified by intelligence as being holed up in a house in Jenin.  A raid was then carried out by the IDF and Border Police.  In all, six militants were killed in the course of that raid.  In addition to the wanted terrorist, there were other members of Hamas and members of Islamic Jihad.

Credit: IDF

As is the norm, crowds assaulted the IDF soldiers who surrounded the house where the terrorists were hiding, throwing explosive devices and shooting at them.  There was even shooting at the soldiers from an ambulance. It is important to always note this, so that the behavior of the mob is clearly understood. If one of the Arabs attacking our soldiers is shot, media often makes it seem as if this Arab was no more than an innocent bystander and the Israeli soldiers careless.  


Three counterterrorism officers from the elite Yamam unit were wounded, one moderately and two lightly.


The terrorist who murdered the two brothers had been released from Israeli prison just this past December after serving 40 months for terrorist related activities.  A separate operation took place in Nablus, where two sons of this Huwara terrorist were arrested – they are suspected of having played a part in the Huwara attack.


With regard to Huwara (and similar situations), there is a tendency to focus on what Jews did that is considered not acceptable, forgetting what elicited the Jewish response in the first place.  What some dozens of Jews did following the double murder of two innocent Israelis was rampage in Huwara.  

In response to this, there have been numerous expressions of shock and severe criticism from international sources, and considerable breast-beating on the part of many Jews. And so, it’s time for a bit of critical perspective.

Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union (OU), put out a statement asking “How can such a thing happen? How could it come to this, that Jewish young men should ransack and burn homes and cars?” And Shmuel Sackett, founder and director of Am Yisrael Hai, wrote an answer to Rabbi Hauer on his blog (emphasis in original):

“The town of Hawara is the center of Jihadists in the Shomron. Yes, there are some nice and innocent people living there, but most of the 8,000 residents are vicious, violent anti-Semites who advocate, support and celebrate the spilling of Jewish blood. Every day, the Jews who live nearby drive through… this…village. There is no ‘bypass road’ or way around this hate-filled place.

“1,600 Jewish families live in Har Bracha, Yitzhar, Itamar and Elon Moreh and their only way home, from the main Tapuach junction, is via this town. Every day, yes! – every single day – at least 20 Jewish cars get stoned while driving through Hawara…

“It’s important to note that ‘stoning cars’ is not what you think. None of the violent Jew haters are throwing pebbles. They are throwing bricks and dropping cinder blocks from rooftops. Imagine a young mother with 3 children in her car, driving home from the supermarket. As she is driving, a brick comes crashing through her windshield. The shock of what happened is enough to give her a heart attack! The children start screaming, there is broken glass everywhere, but she cannot stop for help… because she’s in the middle of Hawara with a mob just waiting to finish the job…

“After the brutal murder, candies and sweets were handed out, cake was distributed, and people were singing. When did all this stop? When did the Jew haters of Hawara finally run, hide and shake in fear? When the Jewish young men, the ones Rabbi Hauer wrote about, entered the town and taught them the Jewish lesson of vengeance. Since that day, not one rock has been thrown at Jewish cars…

“Dearest Rabbi Hauer; you are a good man and the organization you represent – the OU – is one of the finest around. Yet, on this concept you are totally wrong… but you’re not to blame. Most Jewish leaders responded exactly the way you did…

“What should Jewish leaders have said? Nothing fancy and definitely not politically correct. Allow me to state – loud and clear, with no fear – what my response would have been: The town of Hawara got what they deserved and the next time a brick is thrown, the response will be even more severe. Ideally, the IDF needs to respond this way, but if their hands are tied by political sissies then the residents need to teach the lesson themselves. Our goal is to live in peace but ‘peace’ does not mean ‘weakness’. We will not tolerate living in Israel in a state of fear and if the Jihadists in Hawara want war… they will get it.”


Credit: Courtesy


My friends, I hope you will share this entire posting. But if you do not, please share Shmuel’s commentary.  It might open a few eyes and help people to understand what we are dealing with here in Israel.


A bit more information about Huwara before I leave the subject (for now):

Cars were torched in Huwara by the Jews who rampaged there.  It was easy to get the impression that private vehicles sitting in front of individual homes were set on fire. But the fact is that all or most of the cars were in one lot; from one source I have information that they were illegal and the Civil Administration had ordered the cars removed but, typically, had not followed through. (There is broad speculation, for which I have no concrete source, that these were stolen cars.  They weren’t being sold as working vehicles, parts from them were sold – which is what is often done with stolen cars so that they cannot be traced.)  

And as it turns out, the owner of that lot, Eid Makharev, is a released terrorist who spent five years in security prison.  He put out a post praising the murder of the Yaniv brothers just hours before his cars were torched.

On his Facebook page, he has expressed support for terrorists, including those in Shechem and Jenin. And when Elan Ganeles was murdered by terrorists, he expressed joy, saying, “May there be many more.”


Tells a different story, does this not?      


As to the judicial reform legislation and the opposition to it from the left, there is also a story to tell that is vile and destructive.  And, I might add, shameful.  I am, frankly, aghast at what is going on, not to mention infuriated. Never would I have imagined such a situation developing.  But it has, and we cannot turn away from it.

The line we are hearing from the left is that judicial reform will destroy democracy in Israel:  It will be finished. We will have a theocracy, a nation that ignores the needs of minorities.   

This is simply not the case, although many have come with sincerity to believe it.  But let us look at how the opposition is protesting.  They don’t do public education on their position. They don’t hold debates on the issues.

Instead, they have been holding a series of very large demonstrations.  This has been going on primarily on Saturday nights, and on days when major legislation on judicial reform is being moved forward.

It has been bad for some time, as whole neighborhoods are disturbed by their uproar, but today passed the limit of all that is remotely acceptable. Today they held a “day of disruption.” Nor is this the first time.  They do not think it sufficient to come out in large numbers and declare to our elected leaders that they have concerns.  No. They want the general population to be severely inconvenienced.  Thus do they block roads, for example.

And today – or more accurately, during the night last night – a group associated with the demonstrators calling themselves “brothers in arms” vandalized the offices of Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem.  They put sandbags and barbed wire in front of the door to the Kohelet suite of offices.

Credit: Twitter @haim_goldberg                    

So proud were they of what they had done, they videoed themselves doing this.

By this morning they were demonstrating in large numbers outside the building in which Kohelet is located.  When Kohelet CEO Meir Rubin entered the building, they screamed at him that he was a traitor.


Why Kohelet, which they say is “tearing the country apart”?  Kohelet, and especially Moshe Koppel, founding chair of this think tank, has been at the forefront in developing and promoting judicial reform.


Ah, but this is not the end of it. The disruptive left also decided to block the road to the airport today.  Why?  Because Prime Minister Netanyahu was headed for the airport in order to fly to Rome on a diplomatic visit.

Netanyahu and his wife Sara were brought to the airport by helicopter to circumvent the intentions of demonstrators. They are seen here preparing to depart.

Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO    

Before entering the plane, Netanyahu made a statement (all emphasis added):

All of our efforts at dialogue have been met with total refusal from the opposition and attempts to drag the country into anarchy.

“We won’t let anyone disrupt Israel’s democracy and cancel the decision of the majority in Israel, as expressed in the recent elections.” 



But it’s even worse. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin flew into Israel today to meet with his counterpart Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant and with the prime minster.  Meetings were scheduled to be held in Tel Aviv, but plans were changed because of the massive demonstrations, and were held in the airport itself.  

Do the demonstrators understand how shameful this is for the nation?  Or, better put, do they care?  That is a rhetorical question.  If they cared, they wouldn’t do it.  

The very same people who claim to be concerned for Israel are doing enormous damage to Israel.  With everything it is imperative to mention that our enemies are watching and see us weakened!!

The very same people who cry about democracy are attempting to effect change in a most undemocratic manner.

What Netanyahu said at the airport about efforts at dialogue being met with total refusal is absolutely true. I’ve seen the reports time and time again.

No one, including those drafting the reform legislation, claim that it is perfect. All agree that adjustments are possible, perhaps even necessary.  


But making those adjustments requires talk, it calls for negotiations.  And the opposition won’t have it.

I am sorry if I sound like a broken record, but this is a situation that persists without any real shift on the part of the opposition. And so I continue to report it: the left demonstrates no desire to compromise, and refuses to negotiate changes in the legislation.

I point my finger once again at Yair Lapid, who is orchestrating this.  His demand is that the process of advancing the legislation be halted entirely.  He says that anything less than this shows bad faith on the part of those promoting the legislation.  That is nonsense.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) and MK Simcha Rothman (RZP), Chair of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, have no intention of acceding to these demands.  I support them in this decision. To stop would be to cave to the violence of a mob – this is never a good idea and only invites more of same. Their offers to negotiate have been consistent.

What is more, once the process stopped, it would be difficult to start it again.  I see it so clearly: At the end of the 60 days Lapid had demanded, he would say that he thought two months would be sufficient, but negotiations are going very slowly, and four more months are necessary.  After four more months, he would call for additional delays.

You see, my friends, I am absolutely convinced, as are many others, that the intention of Lapid and those who are with him, is not to improve the legislation for judicial reform, but to kill it entirely!!  If their intention were to improve the legislation, they would be negotiating.  Their plan is to cause sufficient disruption to the country so that there is a demand that it all be halted.


Why are those in the opposition attempting to halt the legislation?  The answer is not complicated once a bit of background is understood.  The left has controlled the country to a very great extent for years, in good part because of the reforms of the Supreme Court and the judicial system instituted unilaterally by Aharon Barak when he was president of the Court.

Part of what was set in place was a selection committee for choosing new justices that was dominated by the Court itself.  The Court was leftist in orientation and has cloned itself over the years, consistently selecting new left-wing justices.  And the Court on which those justices sat has tilted left time and again and again.

The formulation of the selection committee as proposed by the reformers would put control of the selection in the hands of the Knesset, which is elected by the people. It is a more democratic process than the current process – regardless of the fact that the opposition claims otherwise.

It is, then, not a matter of less democracy, but loss of control of the country by the leftists.  They are not having it and will do everything to stop it.  (The selection of justices is only one part of the package of reforms, others include reducing the power of the attorney general – who was given inordinate power by Barak.)


Now, certainly I believe there are sincere people out there demonstrating, people who have been lied to, and led to believe that democracy in Israel is at risk.  I see them in large part as useful idiots, however, unwittingly serving the leftist agenda.  

I wonder again and again why such people don’t demand that the leaders of the opposition start negotiating with Levin and Rothman. Why are they not looking for real answers?

I believe Lapid’s rabble-rousing plays a major role in this situation.  There have been reports of a willingness on the part of Benny Gantz and members of his National Unity Party to join negotiations. But that notion has been squashed by Lapid.   

Just three days ago, there was this report:

“Opposition leader Yair Lapid and MK Benny Gantz released an unexpected joint statement on Monday afternoon that made it clear that Gantz was back to taking his marching orders from Lapid and stopping all attempts to reach an agreement with the coalition on the judicial reform proposals.”

Credit: Munich Security Conference

According to reporter Amit Segal, a number of MKs in Gantz’s party – National Unity Party – have been holding quiet, behind-the-scenes discussions with the coalition on the judicial reform proposals.

“According to Segal, this joint statement was specifically meant to permanently kill those quiet meetings…”


People such as Gideon Sa’ar, who is in Gantz’s party now, were once for judicial reform.  Where does Lapid’s power come from, that they are willing to be silenced?    


There have been multiple rumors flying with regard to proposals for alteration in the judicial reform legislation. Some were said to have come out of the office of President Herzog, but Herzog’s people denied this. (I will have more to say about Herzog when I write next.) At this point, Levin and Rothman see no possibility of negotiations with the opposition, and apparently intend to move on with the legislation to effect reforms.


This is hardly the end of the story, and I will return with yet more after Shabbat.

Sadly, now I must report a terror attack in Tel Aviv on Dizengoff Street. Three people were shot, two critical but stable, and one lightly.

The terrorist was from Hamas, and has, I believe been shot dead.  I hope so.



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