I didn't know a private wedding would become so public. I couldn't have known that a beautiful and holy affair would later be trashed in the headlines as "The Wedding of Hate".
Didn't think my new son in law, Yakir Ashbel, and my good friend Daniel Pinner would be arrested for dancing and waving guns as mere props to the song "Zachreini Na", a standard wedding song and dance that I've witnessed dozens of times at other weddings.
And so, as father of the bride, I want to clarify a few points:
The wedding was on Dec.7, and the footage was released weeks later when public opinion against the Shin Bet was at its peak - all this an obvious attempt to demonize the hilltop youth and manipulate public opinion, as if to say: "It's OK now, you can torture the boys". And naturally it worked according to script, as rabbis and Yesha leaders all chimed in their condemnations of the hilltop youth and suddenly justified the Shin Bet in an embarrassing about face.
Now, about the "dance" itself: the wedding took place a few days after three of the Duma suspects were abducted. The groom and his friends are close to Meir Ettinger and other hilltop youth leaders who have been sitting in jail for months without charges (and don't think they weren't also subjected to physical abuse by the Shin Bet). Tensions and emotions were running high and the singer Sinai Tur was rocking that night. At one point during the "Zachreini Na" song, pictures of the Duma babies appeared on small signs that were held, and this is obviously what created the outrage.
But I'm not writing this article to apologize. Besides, it's my party and I'll do what I want. I think the pictures (and the occasional piercing holes into it) were in bad taste, and it's definitely not my style, but:
I'm much more concerned about the Jews who are being knifed in Israel every single day - not pictures of Jews, but real live ones. Not only don't I care about Duma , neither do the left or the Shin Bet (ISA). It's just a good excuse for them to harass and torture the hilltop youth they so despise for the Judaism that they represent.
I really don't know who brought those pictures anyway. Knowing the hilltop youth, I can tell you that photographing pictures and mounting them on signs is not their specialty. If you look closely, everyone dancing is wearing white shirts, but the guys holding the signs are wearing jackets and their faces are blurred.
And even if those holding the signs are not Shin Bet agents themselves, it's no problem to give the signs to some overzealous youth and let him run with it. We know for sure that the Shin Bet had a heavy presence at the wedding, a fact nobody denies. So yes, there could have been "champagne" (codename of former Shin Bet provocateur Avishai Raviv) at the wedding, a beverage I never ordered...