Up to Their Old Tricks

By David Isaac

Rabbi David Druckman, chief rabbi of Kiryat Motzkin

“Don’t despair, you will live to see a state in spite of these rascals,” said Zionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky to two young idealists, dejected after witnessing the behavior of the Leftwing Labor faction at the 17th Zionist congress in 1931.

Jabotinsky was, of course, right. They did live to see a state. Unfortunately, what he did not tell them, or did not foresee, was that the ‘rascals’ would go on to run the place. They still do.

Two recent news items provide examples. In the first, reported in Arutz Sheva on Nov. 13 under the headline “Nationalist arrested for Facebook Post”, we learn that “police recently arrested a citizen of Jerusalem simply for responding to a Facebook status written by an extreme leftist.”

The citizen, referred to as ‘Y’, responded to Dorit Eldar, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University, who complained in her post that the IDF conducted a pogrom against her and her friends for blocking the entrance to the Jewish village of Anatot.

“When I saw this post, I replied to her in a polite manner and told her that it’s inappropriate and illegal to prevent people from entering their home,” Y said. Two days later, Y was pulled over by police, interrogated for two hours, had his computer and cell phone confiscated and was accused of spray-painting graffiti because police found a spray can for wheels in his car.

The Arutz Sheva article continues, “Y, who served in the IDF for three years as every citizen is required by law, said that he does not understand why he was arrested while extreme leftists, such as the one he responded to on Facebook, who speak against IDF soldiers and incite against Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, are not detained.”

The second item, on Nov. 15, also in Arutz Sheva, describes how the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Motzkin, Rabbi David Druckman, was questioned by police for signing a letter two years ago against employing Arabs. The letter came in the wake of the 2008 massacre at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem, when an Arab terrorist, who had previously worked at the yeshiva, murdered eight Jewish students.

Rabbi Druckman said, “I told them that as a matter of principle I am not willing to cooperate in the investigation so long as they don’t question [former Mossad chief] Ephraim Halevy for inciting against hareidim and as long as they don’t question those academics who incite against the State of Israel and against the Jews.” The article went on, “Rabbis being arrested and questioned by police seems to have become routine.”

While it may be a revelation to some that Jews, especially religious Jews, are being harassed by Israeli authorities, it’s of a piece with the Zionist-Left’s history. These examples are mild in comparison to the way the Left behaved in the past.

Shmuel Katz describes how the Labor-Zionists became intoxicated with violence in the 1920s. In his two-volume biography, “Lone Wolf: A Biography of Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky”, he writes:

The use of violence by the Labor movement was not a product of local and immediate frustration. It had its origins in Marxist ideology, and though it was not given unanimous support in the movement, it had long been a calculated policy of the majority of the Histadrut leadership…

Shmuel quotes Jabotinsky, who wrote about this at the time in his article, “The Rule of the Fist in Eretz Israel.”

“These clashes were only a symptom of a deep, organic sickness which threatens to poison all relations within the country. It is a sickness inherent in the custom which affirms the right to use the fist. This right is being implemented more and more often, and always by the same side, the ‘Left.’ There are beatings in the settlements, in city streets or at meetings of the Asefat HaNivharim; and they are always carried out in calculated superior force – between two and ten to one. In the Jewish labor market the outcome of this phenomenon is that a worker who does not belong to the ‘Left’ can come close to starvation.”

What is so disheartening is that the spiritual heirs of these types still control large parts of Israel’s establishment, and that they continue to harass whole segments of the population, namely rabbis and national-religious Jews, even under the nose of a nominally nationalist prime minister.

As Dr. Elon Dahan, a lecturer on Israeli thought, writes in a recent article in “Ha-Umma”, a quarterly put out by Misdar Jabotinsky in Israel, “The Israeli left is always in power. When not in the corridors of government, then in the non-governmental organizations … that promote a permanent anti-Zionist agenda with state financing and under state authority. … How can it be that a representative of the national camp is found in the office of the prime minister, and nothing is done in this regard? After all, what is occurring here is the existence of a state within a state, a shadow government whose strength and influence is no less than the strength and influence of the state. … It is possible that against non-governmental entities it is more difficult to act but concerning government systems it is possible and desirable to take a number of steps and quickly.”

For now the harassment simmers. It hasn’t reached the levels of the 1920s, or of the ‘Season’, that low point in Zionist history when members of the Haganah rounded up members of the Irgun and handed them over to the British. The worry is that it is a small step from a low simmer to a high heat. We have already had a preview of where things could lead. In 2006, in Amona, the Israeli public was shocked to witness Israeli police on horseback plow into young protesters and beat them with truncheons.

The Left’s unelected hold on the Israeli establishment, its police and courts, must be broken, or there will be more harassment and more Amonas in Israel’s future. If it’s not done under a nationalist prime minister, it will never be done.

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