Photo Credit: Inbar Twizer tweet screenshot
Yedida Perlman, 100, demonstrating outside Minister Barkat’s home, July 6, 2023.

Religious Zionism MK and Chairman of the Constitution, Law, and Justice committee Simcha Rothman has long since become the Knesset’s proverbial substitute teacher, laboring to subdue his unruly committee members from the left and sending them for time out at an alarming frequency. He has been at it since February when his committee took up the first item on Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s agenda. Since then he has been attacked––he now walks around with bodyguards––and vilified, yelled at, blocked from driving out of his home, and he is pushing on. Patiently, quietly, with the occasional outburst. He is a warrior, and next week he is introducing for a first reading at the plenum a bill that restricts the courts’ reasonability clause. As is, no “softening.”

MK Simcha Rothman, Chair of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, leads a committee meeting, January 18, 2023. / Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

In response, a few hundred angry boomers, entitled beneficiaries of a system that’s fast decaying, once again tried to block Ayalon Highway (I doubt Rothman frequents Ayalon all that much, he lives in Gush Etzion and works in Jerusalem – they should block Route 60). And a hundred more boomers protested outside the home of Minister Levin in Modi’in – where they were eventually met with counter-demonstrators, right-wingers, and a whole lot younger. Ayalon protesters who had been pushed back by the police––who finally remembered they were cops after their leftist commander resigned the night before––continued to demonstrate outside the home of Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana in Tel Aviv.


In both locations – Levin’s and Ohana’s homes – the police offended the boomers by manhandling them gently, especially after one boomer threw a smoke grenade at Levin’s house. It wasn’t Haredi-level manhandling, not even close, there were no head bashing, bone breaking, or even stink water hoses. It was somewhere in the middle between “excuse me” and a healthy shove.

A few dozen angry boomers were spotted elsewhere: outside Economy Minister Nir Barkat in Jerusalem, Coalition Chairman MK Ofir Katz in Afula, Minister Amichai Chikli’s home in Kibbutz Hanaton, and MK Tzvika Foghel in Mishmar HaYarden.

The sign Yedida Perlman, 100, carries in the tweet below reads: I, a fighter in the Hagana, in my 100th year, once again fighting to defend the homeland. This is the common sentiment to all the boomers: we gave everything to this country, now someone else wants to take it away from us. You have to admire this lady, but in a democracy it doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived here. The only thing that matters is how many of you are there. Sad? For sure. A good reason to block major traffic arteries every Saturday night and twice on weeknights? Depends on the cops.

Two boomers were arrested in front of the home of the Minister of the Negev and Galilee Yitzhak Wasserlauf in Tel Aviv. One of them was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and the other for assaulting a police officer. Another protester, a female activist of the Building an Alternative protest movement, was arrested in front of the home of Minister Gila Gamliel, also in Tel Aviv.

Even the mainstream media noted Thursday night, as the right-wing media had done on Wednesday, that the angrier and more annoying the boomers become, the smaller their numbers. There was some grace to the protest movement a few months ago when it was clearly an assembly of rank-and-file Israelis – the dads with their toddlers on their shoulders crowd. This has not been the case for months, and on Wednesday the protest movement lost the support of thousands of motorists at the end of their workday, who were trapped for three and four hours while the boomers set fires on Ayalon Highway.

It’s no wonder Netanyahu is once again leading in the polls by a wide margin (10 points) on the question of who is best fit to be the prime minister. Gantz is visibly behind him, while Lapid is way down in the single digits.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak demonstrating in front of a sign declaring: ‘Germany 1933, Israel 2023, Shame,’ Tel Aviv, February 25, 2023. / Avshalom Sassoni‎‏/Flash90

One of the architects of the boomer protests, who is 82 himself, on Thursday warned that “three hours after” the Knesset passes the reasonability clause in a first reading on Monday, the revolution will start. “This is an alarm signal, a true alarm for the whole country,” he announced. “I expect that on this day the pilots, the military personnel, everyone will say, ‘Netanyahu, be careful, as soon as you try to turn the first reading into a state law, we will not serve a dictatorship, period.'”

But as new reports have revealed that most of the petitions by supposed reservists of elite IDF units never reached anyone in the IDF, and most of those petitions included the names of boomers who have long since stopped being called for reserve duty, Barak is becoming the ultimate man behind the curtain, conjuring a fantasy fueled by highly-paid ad agencies, without an army behind him. The louder and more combative he becomes, the sadder he looks. A failed prime minister who didn’t even succeed in gifting PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat with the entire Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, with eastern Jerusalem.

MK Rothman, for his part, is more than just a stubborn substitute teacher, he is a substitute teacher rising a bulldozer. And he has no intention to soften the reasonability bill to accommodate Barak or any other disgruntled pensioner. According to him, the reasonability clause is not used by the court or the AG to prevent corruption or illegal activities. It is merely a tool for the judges to circumvent the written law by applying their own, personal set of values.

He has plenty of examples. “Employing the reasonability doctrine, the High Court compelled a government minister to award the Israel prize to someone who supported boycotting Israeli academics, or to appoint to a high office a woman who called for refusing military service,” Rothman said and went on: “Employing the reasonability, AG Avichai Mandelblit tried to compel Minister Amir Ohana to appoint Deputy State Prosecutor Momi Lemberger as state attorney because this was the only reasonable appointment in the civil service. And the current AG, Gali Baharav-Miara, claimed that the outgoing Lapid government had to appoint Meni Mazuz to an eight-year term as chairman of the committee to appoint senior officials, which would have controlled two future governments because this was the only reasonable option.”

In conclusion, dear reader: if MK Rothman is not torpedoed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu––who tripped him in the last Knesset session after Rothman already had a bill ready for a final vote on the makeup of the committee to appoint judges––then the coalition will win and the boomers will have to go back to their backgammon clubs and watch the sunsets (they are breathtaking in Israel).

Good luck, Simcha Rothman, we are behind you.

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