On Tuesday, MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionism) took a trip to Majrase Nature Reserve, where several Golan springs form a beautiful delta on their way to Lake Kinneret. Sounds like a well-deserved vacation to one of the hardest-working Israeli lawmakers. But as was to be expected, the anarchists got wind of the Rothman family vacation plan and disseminated calls on social media to come to the reserve and make the MK’s life miserable.
Rothman attached quotes screenshots from the anarchist WhatsApp groups’ exchanges in his and his wife’s request that the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court issue a restraining order against 400 protest activists:
“Pay attention, pay attention – Simcha Rothman, the megaphone grabber, the architect of the dictatorship, the hater of democracy, has now arrived at a place where he (thinks he) can be immune from scary stickers: Majrase river,” one anarchist is quoted in Rothman’s appeal.
“Are you around? Let’s tell him that fascists who destroy democracy like him are not welcome anywhere! In the air, on land, or at sea, and of course don’t forget to document, so we can disseminate his shame to the public.”
Rothman claims that he is being persecuted by the activists and accuses them of conducting “detective operations” against him. The request was submitted Tuesday afternoon, and a hearing will be held Wednesday morning.
The message below reads: “Good afternoon to democracy lover in the north!! It starts tomorrow and we are ready already. We won’t let Rothman enjoy any slice of nature or attraction and we’ll make sure he won’t have a moment of rest and pleasure. Let’s destroy the vacation of the destroyer of democracy (skull emoji)! We created a silent [WhatsApp] group where we will post messages related to the visit of the democracy destroyer and play the lovely game of ‘Where’s Simcha?’: we’ll tell you where he is throughout the day – and you will take a flag and a zamboorak and simply show up to make his visit delightful. (link to the group below).”
“Over the last period, the respondents began to pursue the applicants everywhere, whether in Israel or abroad, infringing on their privacy and exercising actual persecution – and there is a real fear that the respondents, who are acting in the most radical manner, will harm the applicants,” Rothman’s request reads, stressing: “Over the last few days, the respondents carried out detective operations against the applicants and published personal information regarding their movements and location, aiming to sabotage their private vacation while violating the Privacy Protection Law.”
Rothman concludes: “We ask the honorable court to order the closure of all detective groups on WhatsApp and to prohibit real-time tracking, detecting, or posting of real-time locations which by their own definition and stated purpose are intended trample on the privacy of the applicant, and even worse, of his family members.”
But wait, there’s more: according to News12, a group of judicial reform supporters distributed the phone numbers of several anarchist leaders to the pro-reform groups, asking group members to complain to WhatsApp against those individuals. Once complaints against a WhatsApp user reach a critical mass, they are automatically blocked, which is what happened to the targeted anarchists.
Attorney Haim Ravia of the Fake Reporter project sent warning letters to the 6 organizers of the action, demanding compensations of close to NIS 300,000 ($80,000) for mental anguish and false reports.
Didn’t we use to get the summer off from political mockery? Can the rest of us demand that WhatsApp be shut down until September?