Photo Credit: Yaakov Lederman/Flash90
Police beat the daylights out of Haredi protesters, February 24, 2016.

Last week, Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara was summoned to a stormy session of PM Netanyahu’s cabinet, where she was questioned on the accusation that Israel Police employ selective enforcement in demonstrations – harsh and even violent against Haredi, Ethiopian, settler, and Arab protesters, soft and inclusive when the highways are blocked by leftist, largely Ashkenazi Jews. The meeting was called by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who believed the AG should explain to the public why the enforcement is not uniform and how the decisions are made regarding different protests.

On Sunday night, the AG issued her response to the government. Her letter included a collection of citations of instructions, directives, and rulings over the years, without a single concrete and substantive reference to the selective enforcement that had been described by several angry cabinet ministers.


But toward the end of her letter, the AG confirmed, under the guise of a reasonable and logical approach to police work, that selective enforcement is how it’s done:

“Finally, we note that the implementation of the guidelines and procedures must be done taking into account the concrete circumstances of each incident, in accordance with the professional judgment of law enforcement officials,” she wrote, arguing that “a quantitative examination alone cannot form a basis for comparing one incident to another.”

The above paragraph is code for “if they’re on our side they don’t get their heads bashed in.”

Baharav-Miara even admonished the government for its inappropriate question, writing: “It seems that there is no need to say that the law enforcement system cannot impose upon itself compliance with some numerical threshold of using means to disperse demonstrations, of arrests, of indictments, and the like. The a priori assumption is that should the law enforcement system be forced to meet ‘quotas,’ this will lead to serious damage to the principle of equality before the law.”

In the middle of last week’s discussion, the AG said: “There is no effective protest without harassment and disruption of the public order.” Prime Minister Netanyahu responded: “This is a shocking sentence!”

It’s nice to see that someone who has lived in Israel since 1949 can still be shocked.

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