Photo Credit: Ravid Hakmon/TPS
Bezalel Smotrich with Border Police officers, June 12, 2018.

Transport Minister Bezalel Smotrich tweeted Thursday morning: “Here’s another fresh story about our scary police state. My older brother, a normative man and father of eight, was arrested at 12:30 AM when he returned from a class in Jerusalem, in an heroic operation involving three patrol cars that jumped him in the middle of the street. He was released on bail in the middle of the night, with the grounds for all this being nothing less than being a ‘danger to security.'”

Smotrich elaborated: “The terrible suspicion and the threat against him is ‘breach of the Disengagement Law,’ by his alleged stay in Homesh (where a yeshiva has been operating for more than 10 years).”

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Smotrich joked: “I’m conflicted between which endangers state security more: ascending to Homesh or walking slowly on the Temple Mount… Police – you simply lost it.”

In 2005, the town of Homesh in the northern tip of Samaria was demolished, as part of the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and from four settlements in northern Samaria. But unlike the withdrawal from Gaza, the evacuated area in Samaria was not ceded to the Palestinian Authority, and, in fact, in August 2007, an Israeli court ruled that it was not illegal for Israeli citizens to enter the ruins of Homesh. The army ignores this ruling and has declared the site a closed military zone, claiming it is illegal for civilians to be there.

A Fatah commander named Abu Araj declared that if the settlers return to Homesh, his force would meet them with “fire and attacks. We will not let this entrance go by quietly, and just as before, we will make every effort to liberate our land all over again.”

Fatah and IDF commanders come and go and the yeshiva in Homesh appears to be staying put. But the Jerusalem cops, who have been on the war path with religious-Zionist politicians in recent days, have come up with this fresh, new way of protecting innocent Israelis from dangerous Torah teachers whose brother is a leader of the Yamina party.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Jerusalem cops did war with former Likud MK Yehuda Glick, who refused to heed their orders to walk faster while touring the Temple Mount with two US Congressmen (both Republicans). Then they hauled him in handcuffs to an interrogation room, where they recorded him taking documents from his investigation file, which he sent his lawyer. The cops showed up at Glick’s house at midnight (a favorite cop hour) with a search warrant. They then hauled him back to an interrogation room and are looking at charging him with something criminal. Glick was more than happy to give them back the documents, all they had to do was ask.

Only 11 days until Election Day, March 2. All this silliness will be over soon, I promise.

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