Democracy. Shmemocracy – if you’re noisy, we’ll call the cops, and they’ll break down your door and smash your radio. That is no longer an idle threat, but a real one, in the only Western democracy in the Middle East – because democracy is not for noisy people!

The Knesset on Tuesday gave final approval to a new law permitting police to enter an apartment after receiving a complaint about the noise emanating from it. According to the new law, a police officer may enter the apartment without a warrant and ask the residents to stop the noise. If the noise does not stop, the officer may take the necessary steps to make sure the noise stop.

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Until this morning, cops were not allowed to enter an apartment without the consent of the tenants or a warrant.

And, should you expect that this plainly anti-democratic law was shoved down the opposition’s throat by a bullish coalition government – not really. It was passed by a vote of 47 to 4.

Israel’s police receives 286 thousand noise complaints a year – that means that out of every 25 Israelis, one is mad enough about noise pollution to call the police. It means that either Israel is a very noisy country—which it is, but not as bad as you think—or Israelis are easily provoked—which they are, believe me.

Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) representative Attorney Lila Margalit noted during Knesset committee discussions that police entry into the home of a person can be problematic from a constitutional perspective. She argued that the police did not provide a sufficient factual basis for the bill.

Factual, shmactual – from now on police don’t even have to pretend they heard a noise before breaking someone’s door down, all they have to do is make an anonymous complaint to themselves.

On the plus side, the new law might cultivate a new generation of extremely stealth Israeli criminals.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Israel has a 4th amendment?…this could get vicious…someone doesn’t like you, they say you are making noise,,,on other hand, in USA I would love to see ghetto trash loud music have their doors broken down…they just keep getting away with it

  2. Let me put it this way: noisy doesn't even come close to describing Israelis apartment dwellers. After 2 years in Ashkelon, it was either move to a dati yichuv (so I could at least have 1 day a week of relative quiet) or move into a well padded cell in a mental institution. This said, I don't think that the fact Israel doesn't have to apply the US Constitution is an excuse for passing such a law without giving it adequate limits. If it is in case of emergency to save the live of a battered person or another such extreme. Noise pollution isn't a grave enough offense to lift a person's right to be protected from police home invasion.

  3. No Israel doesn’t have a 4th amendment. It doesn’t even have a constitution. Since we inherited the British administration from the League of Nations Mandate of 1920, we have a parliamentary system in which the executive is actually a delegate of the parliament’s power. The High Court is however very independent and usually strikes down any undemocratic law. This one isn’t going to survive any longer than the precedent forays of the Israeli Government into authoritarianism. That said, the Israelis are among the noisiest people on the planet and curbing the auditory pollution would be a G-d send.

  4. the 4th amendment does not protect the citizen from an entry by the police; it just means that evidence gained by the police in such an entry can't be used for a prosecution.

    But the writer would know that if he had taken some real college courses in something other than sensationalism.

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