Citing ‘Islamo-Nazi ideologies,’ judge refuses to free anti-overhaul demonstrator
A judge on Thursday refused to release a protester arrested during nationwide demonstrations against the government’s judicial reform, citing the “Islamo-Nazi ideologies” of anti-government activists who he said want to destroy Israel and banishing the “suffering” that caused the months. – long rallies.
The decision, handed down by Judge Menachem (Mario) Klein of the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court to the demonstrator’s lawyer, also struck a chord with the protestors and cited his tour of Nazi death camps and Jewish ghettoes in Poland several years ago.
The suspect was arrested outside police headquarters in Tel Aviv after he and other demonstrators poured red paint on the stairs outside the building before being knocked down and playing dead, in an act of protest art.
After being arrested for injuring control symbols and disturbing the peace, the protester’s lawyer requested that his client be released instead of remaining in custody overnight, a request that Klein recoded.
“If the petitioner and his friends succeed in their mission after months of repeated interference; blocking main roads; causing damage to citizens who want to go to work, school or a medical appointment; refusing to serve [in the military] or pay taxes, etc.; and hence at the end of three months of suffering [caused] for the citizens of the country, the government surrenders and cancels all initiatives and legislation. Then What?” Klein wrote.
The judge then said that after a two-week break, the opposition would resort to similar attacks, leading to another “three months of suffering” ending when the government returned by agreeing to scrap the legislation due to protests promotion.
“And it happens again, God forbid, and on and on,” he said.
Klein recalled his visit to Poland several years ago with Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut.
“This is the first time I set foot on Polish soil, which is soaked with Jewish blood. This trip reinforced my sense that without a strong IDF and an independent judicial system that protects human rights, we will not survive long,” he said.
He then recalled his surprise that “the Jews were still not united” even in the face of the Holocaust, saying that they continued to scream among themselves as if nothing had changed.
“That’s when it hit me that we here in Israel are dependent on each other and if we don’t internalize that, we’ll end up hanging side by side,” he said, in a play on the word. Hebrew for “hang” which also means “dependent.”
The judge concluded: “The State of Israel is fighting Islamo-Nazi ideologies that openly declare that they hope to destroy our country… We must not help them in this.”
After another hearing, the suspect was released Friday morning as his lawyer slammed Klein’s decision and reasoning.
“A judge is expected to stick to the field of judicial disputes before him,” Ynet news site quoted Nir Alfasa as saying.
“The judge’s decision clearly and unnecessarily departs from the field of control, using political statements against the protest and expressing a general attitude that does not apply to the case before him” said the attorney.
The suspect was among at least 92 people across the country during Thursday’s protests, dubbed a “day of paralysis,” amid nearly three months of mass demonstrations against the government’s judicial reform plans.
As it stands, the legislative package — among other things — will allow the Knesset to override court decisions with a bare majority, protect laws from judicial oversight, and put the selection of judges in the hands of coalition politicians.
While supporters say the judicial reform will rebalance power away from an overly activist court, critics argue the measures will remove essential checks on executive and legislative power, endangering democracy and leaving many rights unprotected.