Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90
Israelis at the Nahalat Yitzhak military cemetery in Tel Aviv on Memorial Day, May 4, 2022.

Israel’s Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism is the country’s most sacred non-religious holiday: the names of every last fallen soldier and terror victim are scrolled on the TV screen for 24 hours; the entire country comes to a halt twice to the sound of sirens on the eve and on the morning of that day; and multitudes visit the 75 military sections in cemeteries across the entire country. This year, having already desecrated Holocaust Day with their repugnant interruptions of remembrance ceremonies, the anarchists are planning to disrupt Memorial Day as well, in front of the bereaved families who visit the graves of their loved ones.

If your flight back from outer space has just landed, I should inform you that over the past four months of your absence, the Jewish State has gone mad with rage and hate, to the point where families have been split and individuals and groups are screaming at one another on the streets, not to mention demonstrating for weeks on end, blocking highways, and disturbing the peace of active and retired public officials from all walks of life. It’s been a mildly violent civil war with no fatalities, thank God, but the exhaustion and depression that’s being experienced by millions of Israelis are tantamount to PTSD.


In other words, a rich and inviting soil for social anarchists who follow the teachings of Saul David Alinsky, the author of “Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer.” The book provides lessons on how a community organizer can successfully unite people into an active grassroots organization with the power to effect change on a variety of issues.

Saul Alinsky’s grave in Zion Gardens Cemetery, Chicago. / Stephen Hogan

These are Alinsky’s Rules:

  1. Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
  2. Never go outside the expertise of your people.
  3. Whenever possible go outside the expertise of the enemy.
  4. Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
  5. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also, it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.
  6. A good tactic is one your people enjoy.
  7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
  8. Keep the pressure on.
  9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
  10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain constant pressure upon the opposition.
  11. If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counter-side; this is based on the principle that every positive has its negative.
  12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
  13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

In keeping with that last rule, anarchist Gonen Ben Itzhak is enlisting his army of followers to demolish National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.

One of the long-held traditions of the IDF Memorial Day is that the Knesset honors every memorial service at the military sections of the country’s cemeteries by sending one or more elected officials as a sign of respect for the loss of the families. This tradition, like so many other sacred parts of the country’s heritage, has been under attack by the anarchists, but also by a large number of bereaved families who insist that they don’t want “politicians” at “their” gravesite. The left has been using the term “politicians” to denigrate elected officials, presumably because their side has fewer of those.

Earlier this week, I covered the unfortunate exchange between Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and representatives of the bereaved families. They demanded not to send “politicians” to the memorials, the minister would have none of it; they asked that the politicians the Knesset sends should at least have served in the IDF, Gallant wouldn’t hear that one either. It was a miserable exchange, which was leaked (Government Anxious to Prevent Independence Day from Falling into Anarchists’ Hands) and made the DM look like a brute, even though he was actually the sane one in the debate.

Gallant later conceded by asking elected officials not to involve politics when they speak at those memorial events. As if the MKs go to these events armed with election brochures and position papers.

Gonen Ben Itzhak is targeting Minister Ben Gvir, who was refused by the IDF in his youth when he showed up to enlist, on account of his radical activities. Ben Itzhak tweeted:

“At the Memorial Day ceremony which will be held on Tuesday, April 25, at 10:00 AM, we all arrive at the military cemetery in Be’er Sheva to strengthen the bereaved families who are shocked by the arrival of Minister Itamar Ben Gvir. We ask not to carry protest symbols, no signs, no shouting. While Ben Gvir will speak, we will start singing the song “Ha’Reut” (friendship), and then we will sing the anthem. Our message is friendship and hope.”

Naturally, Ben Itzhak, the anarchists, and even the leftist bereaved families do not care a hoot about the bereaved on the other side of the political aisle. Because, as Alinsky has taught, “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon,” and “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. ”

It’s tempting for the right to borrow from the same playbook, and some groups, such as Im Tirtzu, have attempted it. With all due respect, this would be fighting tumah with tumah. By imitating the anarchists, we become like them. If our pro-government brothers and sisters were to ask me, I would have advised them to assemble in groups large and small all over the country and learn Torah, preferably about justice, national solidarity, and our right to the land. Sure, bring together a million Jews in support of the judicial reform, as is being planned for after Independence Day, but instead of screaming slogans, sit down on the grass with your smartphones and learn some gemora.

May our camp remain pure.

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