Photo Credit: Shir Torem/Flash90
Anarchists blocked the entrance to the Haifa in a protest against the judicial reform, July 3, 2023.

Traditionally, Israelis interrupt their tribal hostilities in the face of a common enemy at the border – this has been the case for decades, starting with the weeks before the 1967 war, when the country was being threatened by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. But on Monday, as two major news stories clashed – the dispute over judicial reform and the IDF Operation House & Garden in Jenin – it appeared the word “traditionally” was no longer in style.

Climate reporter Shani Ashkenazi phrased it most eloquently Monday morning in her tweet: “The government takes out the IDF for a military operation and at the same time continues to promote the regime coup d’état. Today is an excellent day to refuse to do reserve duty. Let Rothman and Tzvi Sukkot will risk their lives in Jenin.”


Shani picked two Religious Zionism MKs because in her mind their party represents both the drive to correct Israel’s ailing judicial system and the drive to settle the liberated territories. In her mind, there is no rational reason for someone who doesn’t live in Judea and Samaria to fight the terrorists.

Shani Ashkenazi’s bio describes her as 33, living in Tel Aviv with her spouse and a happy 4-year-old doggie. She has a BA in Poli Sci and Lit from Hebrew U. As a student, she interned as a parliamentary aide. If you were looking for a poster girl for the Republic of Tel Aviv, you’d pick Shani Ashkenazi.

Amir Oren pointed out in Haaretz on Monday that the IDF spokesperson, eager to dispel any notions that the Jenin operation was being carried out to improve Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ratings, went out of his way to assert that the operation had been conceived two weeks ago and the IDF was only waiting for the right moment to strike after the Muslim Holiday of the Sacrifice. It had nothing to do with the day of countrywide sabotage action by the anarchists.

On the other hand, Labor MK Gilad Kariv fought with MK Simcha Rothman, Chair of the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee, to get him to cancel Monday’s session on account of the Jenin operation. Rothman’s response was, according to Army Radio, that, unlike previous occasions when some MKs had to head home in the south to care for their loved ones during Gaza operations, none of the MKs had any urgent business in Jenin. So the session took place as scheduled.

But the Zionist Im Tirtzu movement, which scheduled a rally outside the home of Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara on Monday, postponed the event, saying: “At a time when our soldiers are fighting in Jenin, we won’t deal with politics.”

Im Tirtzu’s announcement, July 3, 2023. / Screenshot

It became even more complicated when Zafir Rihan, whose group, “Defenders of Democracy” had been attacked violently during Saturday night’s rally on Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv by another group, “Brothers in Arms,” because the “defenders” were carrying PLO flags and dared to protest the “occupation” alongside the “judicial coup” thus confusing the message, tweeted on Monday: “I call not to come to Ben Gurion International today, as long as the ‘Brothers in Arms’ do not apologize – and they are getting there. Whoever chooses to come, beware of their violence, document them, so that it is clear that they cannot act in this way.”

This is so the scene from Life of Brian, where the People’s Front of Judea fights the Judean People’s Front.

Finally, protest leader Yishai Green was asked on the right-wing station 94FM about individuals who are flying abroad to undergo medical treatment – the host knew of two such individuals. Green responded: “We know the cost of this thing, but the dictatorship is much more severe.”

The host asked: “Do you mind if I bring up this cancer patient and tell him that a dictatorship is more important than his treatment?”

Green answered: “Yes. If there is a dictatorship, he will not have any medical treatment.”

Which leaves us with several debatable assertions: 1. What about restricting the reasonability clause leads to a dictatorship; and, 2. Have you seen state-of-the-art medical facilities in dictatorships such as Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, or Saudi Arabia?

Anyway, the Jewish State is undergoing an existential crisis the likes of which it has not experienced since the expulsion of 2005. If you ask me, my money is on Rothman and Sukkot and not on Shani and the Ashkenazim (pardon the pun, I had to), for the simple reasons that she and her spouse are raising a happy 4-year-old doggie while the other side raises children.


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