For 15 years, IDF soldiers in Judea and Samaria have had to deal with an insane reality: every Friday, dozens and even hundreds of "Palestinians" attack them with stones and firebombs at four regular locations and times. At the same time, the soldiers are ordered not to respond forcefully, to “tolerate” the violence, and let the rioters “vent their frustration” in the name of freedom of speech and protest. This is done out of concern “not to damage Israel on the international stage...”
Ad Kan Activists went undercover and participated in these events in order to understand this strange reality. They found that while there are always different Palestinians who participate in the riots, the most regular participants are actually Israeli anarchists. These anarchists are the ones who organize the riots and they even guide the rioters beforehand and pay them afterwards. The goal of these anarchists is clear: to garner international condemnation and foster hatred of the State of Israel and the IDF. They hope to thus delegitimize Israel and bring international pressure on Israel. Their methods are simple and even primitive: when stones are thrown at IDF soldiers they turn their cameras off, but when the soldiers respond they turn the cameras back on. If they manage to catch a soldier chasing a Palestinian teenager- great. Then starts the next step- they share their edited videos through various public relations efforts under the headline “Israeli Violence- Soldier Attacks Young Palestinian.” If during the efforts to obtain this footage a few soldiers are injured or even a few Palestinians, it’s of little concern to the anarchists. Those injured are merely “sacrifices in the holy battle against the State of Israel.”
What is entirely inexplicable though, is that these same Israeli anarchists who lead the riots are tolerated and even protected by the Israeli authorities despite the many complaints filed against them by IDF soldiers and ordinary citizens. Until today nothing has been done to stop these anarchists from playing their games. In the State of Israel in 2020 any citizen who attacks a police officer is immediately arrested and punished harshly. However, it seems that if a person is connected to the right media outlets, they are somehow protected. Their crimes are merely their exercising “freedom of speech” and they are permitted to continue attacking IDF soldiers for years on end.
This week, the leader of the anarchists, Mr. Jonathan Pollak, was finally arrested after a criminal complaint filed by the Ad Kan Organization against him and his fellow anarchists. In an op-ed he wrote in Haaretz, he called on “Jews to join the children with firebombs” (to be thrown at IDF soldiers of course) and he reiterated that he does not recognize the Israeli Court System.
This arrest represents a spark of hope that perhaps the authorities will begin enforcing the law against those who have so far acted with impunity. I hope that we are witnessing a change in policy and that Israel will finally show more support and stand behind those soldiers who fight on the front lines to defend us all.
Gilad Ach is Director of the Ad Kan Organization