David Hai Hisdai, 19, is seen sitting in a Magistrate Court in Rishon le’Tzion, July 2, 2013, awaiting a hearing. He is being accused of writing graffiti on a monastery in Latrun, on the side of the road to Jerusalem, among other things comparing a certain young man from Nazareth to an ape. Considering the alleged victim has both been gone a good two millennia, and, reportedly, has suffered a great deal more than this minor taunting, it is surprising that the entire IDF brass and Israel’s police force are so hell bent on punishing this boychik.
They can’t quite get it together, though.
To date, Hisdai has been arrested a number of time, in relation to various “Price Tag” actions, which included setting fire to a mosque in the north – but in every single case he has been released for lack of evidence.
Recently, he has been placed under administrative house-arrest detention for a period of 6 months – which means he is a prisoner not for the things he’s done, but for things he will do. It’s a curious addition to the Israeli democracy, inherited from the Brits. Government decides, based on an examination of your record, that if they let you roam free, you’ll commit a crime which they won’t be able to prove, so they keep you in jail. Or under house arrest.
I wish we could do this with politicians, chief rabbis, presidents: listen, we know you’re a corrupt so and so, and we’ll keep you in jail to prevent you from acting on your worst impulses.
I never met this kid, but I like him already. I admit I like the entire generation of “Youth of the Hills” who refuse to follow in the footsteps of the older Religious Zionist folks and accept the inequities and hostilities of the leftist and secular authorities—no matter whom those authorities are, they’re always leftist and secular. No matter how right wing and religious we vote — we get a leftist and secular government. It’s a miraculous place, Israel.
I don’t condone what Hisdai has done—especially since, so far, he hasn’t been shown to have done anything. But I do admit to liking him. After the sheep-to-slaughter experience of our uprooting from Gaza, it’s comforting to know there’s a generation of religious kids who won’t go quietly anywhere.
They build light structures and live like wolves out in nature. Jewish wolves. Every now and then, the cops and the army come with bulldozers and tear down their homes. They wait a week and rebuild. It’s their land, that’s why.
Anyone plotting to roll in a Palestinian State through the back door, sans national referendum – they’ll have to deal with hundreds, if not thousands of David Hisdais. And they’re all just teenagers. And they’re all dangerously rebellious.
I like dangerously rebellious. It goes nicely with the knitted yarmulke.