Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is taking steps toward her stated goal of eliminating “price tag” activity, in which IDF or Arab-owned property is damaged. The Cabinet will decide this week whether or not to label “price tag” activity terrorism.
Categorizing “price tag” attackers as terrorists would in theory expand government authorities’ ability to punish them.
In reality, the change in name would be “a big joke,” attorney and land of Israel activist Itamar Ben-Gvir told Arutz Sheva.
“The Order for Prevention of Terrorism allows the police to act against terrorist organizations, to close their offices or bank accounts like they did – unjustly – to Kahane Chai,” he explained. “But here, if there are ‘price tag’ activists, what will they do, close the regional Price Tag offices? There is no such thing.”
The courts will shoot down any attempt to label “price tag” offenders as terrorists, he said. “Let’s say they catch a youth who wrote graffiti. How will they prove in court that he belongs to an organization? Will they prove that he got a salary from the [non-existent] Price Tag Regional Council?” he asked.
“The maximum punishment for the crime of graffiti is a fine of 300 shekels,” he noted.
Ben-Gvir suggested that Justice Minister Tzipi Livni came up with the initiative in order to “pacify various elements in the media and in politics.”
He accused Livni of discrimination, saying, “This is selective policy, which sees fit to take action against the political right and any child who writes graffiti, while at the same time they negotiate with the Palestinian Authority activists and do nothing to them, all the anarchists who hurt IDF soldiers, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni doesn’t plan to declare them a terrorist organization.”
The media has widely reported price tag incidents as attacks by Jewish nationalists. However, at least one attack was later proven to have been the result of an internal Arab dispute, and Jewish nationalists say that case is just the tip of the iceberg, and that many so-called price tag attacks were in fact not committed by Jews.