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Let the police win (Ha'aretz editorial)

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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:42 AM
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Let the police win (Ha'aretz editorial)
The tens of thousands of settlers and their supporters, who were recruited by the Yesha Council to violate police orders, have once again demonstrated their primary talent: belittling the law and avenging the imaginary honor of democracy. Once again, the image accompanying the behavior of settler leaders for 38 years has returned: They give the outward appearance of demonstrating readiness to negotiate with whoever is appointed to enforce the law, but in reality they reject all decisions opposed to their position.

On Monday it appeared an agreement was being forged between the police and the settlers over the scope and length of the demonstration the settlers wanted to hold. But when the police finally regained their composure and understood that the settlers would not commit to a set route or time limit for the rally, and when it became clear they didn't plan to disperse after the protest, the police chief - in accordance with the legal advisers of the police and government - decided to prohibit the demonstration.


If until now there was a pretense of upholding the law and an outward appearance of obeying government orders, Lieberman's comments remove the mask: Laws and police orders are good only for ordinary citizens, but the settlers are exempt. At the same time, certain rabbis are granted authority that should not originally have been assigned them, to authorize all criminality as they make themselves emissaries of the heavenly court.

The government of Israel doesn't have the right to allow such public, caustic crushing of its orders and authority. The illusion that it's possible to preserve democracy via negotiations with known criminals has once again dissipated. The sight of police officers standing empty-handed across from a hostile mob is one that Israeli society, in this most delicate situation, must not permit itself.

It's better for the police and IDF to realize there is only one way to implement their decisions: with force, determination and all the means available to them. Just as the police and armies of other democratic countries do when the rabble threatens to topple them.
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