Hundreds of rightwing activists held a noisy demonstration on Saturday night outside the home of Supreme Court President Esther Hayut following the court’s decision to halt the home demolition of the terrorist who murdered IDF soldier Amit Ben Yigal in May.
The demolition was planned for the murderer’s apartment on the third floor of the family’s building, and yet two out of the three-judge panel ruled that this, too, would inflict an undeserved hardship on his innocent relatives. Mind you, those same justices in the past had no problem ordering the homes of Jewish settlers because as little as 10% of their layout included what they called an illegally acquired land.
The demonstrators, led by Im Tirtzu, the South Tel-Aviv Liberation Front and the Choosing Life Forum of Bereaved Families, asserted that the High Court’s decision was the latest in a long history of undemocratic and politically motivated judicial activism that harms Israel.
Equipped with drums, bullhorns, and other noise-making equipment, the activists held photos of Amit Ben Yigal and chanted, “Justice for Amit,” “The people are the sovereign,” and “Stop the judicial piracy.”
Former US federal judge, Richard Posner, coined the term “Judicial pirate” to decsribe former Israeli Supreme Court president Aharon Barak, the father of Israel’s “constitutional revolution” who appropriated superior powers to which the courts were not originally entitled in Israel’s fledgling system of government.
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said at the demonstration: “According to the High Court, the property rights of terrorists and their families outweigh the lives of IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens. The ones who benefit the most from the biased political activism of the court are those seeking to harm the State of Israel.”
Peleg continued: “This blatant violation of the basic principles of democracy endangers the future of the State of Israel, and the time has come for the judges to end their judicial dictatorship and realize that this is a democracy, not Iran.”
Merav and Herzl Hajaj, parents of Shir Hajaj who was murdered in a terrorist attack in 2017, accused the court of “giving a green light for terrorists to perpetrate attacks against Israelis.”
“According to the High Court, the blood of our daughter Shir, of Amit Ben Yigal, and of thousands of other Israelis is cheap,” they said.
“Whoever places more value on the property of terrorists than on the lives of Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers has no business being a judge in Israel,” they said.
Prominent social activists Sheffi Paz and Doron Avrahami of the South Tel-Aviv Liberation Front said: “Justices of the high court, free us of your rotten conscience. We don’t want it. You are not gods, you are not elected officials – you are bureaucrats – and you are killing us.”
Liran Baroch, head of the Wounded IDF Veterans Forum for a Secure Israel, said: “We came to send a message to the High Court justices that enough is enough. They need a reminder that their job is to judge according to the law, not to create new policies according to their warped worldview.”