Leftist protests
Leftist protestsIti Arbel

The local and global hysteria over Israel’s pending judicial reform is just the latest in a miserable line of muggings of Israel by our friends and family. Muggers are usually portrayed as using the line: “Your money or your life.” Ours are using a similar trope: “Do what we say, even if it's against your own interests and the will of the Israeli electorate, or we will cause damage to your economy.” It's a bit longer, but the explicit threat is just as clear. Let’s look at a few of these assaults, and then at what we can say to our muggers who always tell us that despite the violence which they are clearly perpetrating, they actually have our best interests at heart.

Judicial Reform

At long last we may see an end to what can only be defined as Judicial Tyranny as fathered by Aharon Barak in the 80s. After loss of their long-standing hegemony with Menachem Begin’s stunning electoral victory in 1977, the ever-patronizing Left had to find a way to save Israel from its bad decision. Even if Israel’s citizens were too stupid to understand their mistake and the danger it posed to Israeli democracy, the Left knew that they were morally obligated and chosen by history to minimize the imminent damage Begin and his troglodytes would surely unleash.

Thus began what has today morphed into one of the least balanced, most unreasonable, and fundamentally undemocratic judicial regimes amongst Western liberal democracies. Here are just a handful of examples of how the Israeli Supreme Court reigns supreme as one of the least democratic institutions in Israel.

With an automatic majority on the committee that selects new justices, sitting justices choose their successors from their like-minded colleagues on the Left and justices can only be removed by their own cronies. Justices legislate from the bench based on what their nearly always Leftist gut deems to be ‘’reasonable”. Staunchly Leftist Justices have thrown open the court’s doors to anyone with a chip on their shoulder regardless of whether or not they have standing in the matter at hand. Unelected Justices place their innate and superior wisdom above the will of the people and when the people wish to rebalance the equation of checks and balances, well then it is the people who are the enemies of democracy.

Jerry Nadler and Bret Stephens piously fret over Netanyahu’s dismantling of the separation of powers, willfully failing to see that King Justice Barak already pulled that particular piece of thuggery when he started his judicial revolution which has seen Supreme Court justices increasingly ruling over this country by fiat.

Mugger: “Hey you dumb citizens: Leave your democracy and the Judiciary in my objective and enlightened hands or I will call you an enemy of democracy, threaten actual civil war, and rain down holy hell until you relent.”

Civilian governing in Judea and Samaria

For decades the Civil Administration (CA) has administered uncivilly and with a clear bias towards helping Arabs steal as much land as possible. Tzvi Yechezkely, Arab Affairs correspondent for Channel 13, recently produced a masterful expose which shows clearly, here and here, that the CA is not only irredeemably corrupt, but that it is deeply in thrall to the interests of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its EU backers in their quest to create Palestine in Areas A, B, and, most noxiously, Area C.

Finally, just as Betzalel Smotrich is due to take over control of civilian matters in Judea and Samaria, Jewish liberals everywhere Shrei Gevalt and warn of the apocalypse which will surely engulf Israeli democracy and military superiority if this excessively proud Jew is allowed to end the CA’s corrupt monopoly and place Israel’s national interest above that of the PA.

Mugger: “Give up on your lands and let the Arabs steal them, or we will call you an enemy of democracy and rain down holy hell until you relent.”


More than a million immigrants to Israel and their descendants are not Jewish. This is a ticking time bomb which threatens grave damage to Israeli society as the years go by. The Law of Return requires that a prospective immigrant have only one Jewish grandparent in order to qualify under the twisted and stupid logic which I think sounds something like: “If they were good enough for Hitler to kill, they are good enough to qualify as Jews.” Yes - these radicals allow Hitler to determine who is a Jew, and don’t even smell the tragic irony. When the religious members of our new coalition sought to change our enslavement to this Grandfather Rule, we were warned that it would be the end of democracy and our good relationship with the Diaspora and turn us, again, into an Apartheid state.

Mugger: “Keep bringing in non-Jews, making them citizens, and ignore the damage this is causing to the very fabric of your peoplehood - or we will call you an enemy of democracy and rain down holy hell until you relent.”

Temple Mount “Status Quo”

Global and Israeli leaders reserve a special tone of reverence when speaking of the “age-old Status Quo” on the Temple Mount. It is as if they were solemnly referring to the Bible itself insofar as it is axiomatic, immutable, and beyond the reach of mortal discussion and adjustment. What it actually is, however, is one of the most egregious examples of modern racism in an age where racism has supposedly been cast far beyond the pale of basic human decency. Imagine the ruins of an ancient mosque in New York City where for over the past 70 years Muslims would be assaulted by the Jewish ushers and arrested by the NYPD for the sin of quietly moving their lips.

Even better, understand that said murmuring Muslims are doing their civil duty by bending their knee to this Status Quo, thus not giving the other locals a reason to riot and kill people in their righteous indignation. Sounds outrageous, right? No denizen of modernity would allow such a blatantly racist travesty to stand unopposed. At the very least the United Nations and the Liberal media would howl in outrage while calling for an international coalition to tear down such an “arrangement”. But when it's for Jews on their holiest site in their own land - meh, no big deal.

Mugger: “Knuckle under to the Holy Status Quo. It’s in your best interests to not give those irrational Arabs another reason to kill you Jews. If you dare demand an end to the violent racism perpetrated against you, you are fomenting violence which threatens democracy, and we will justify those Arabs in the holy hell they will rain down on you.”

Unfortunately there are more examples, but these should suffice to demonstrate the muggers’ moral equivalence to the BDS movement even if the underlying motivation and characterization is different: “We love you and support you unconditionally - only as long as you accept that we know better than you and care more than you about you, and therefore do as we command. Do what we say, or else.”

In light of the above, I would like to share a few thoughts with four different groups.

To our American allies: Thank you for everything! Truly we owe a great debt of gratitude - but not at the price of mortgaging our essential interests. I would suggest a 5 year phasing out of us foreign aid to Israel. If during or after that weaning process you wish to invest in Israel out of your own fundamental national interest and an expectation that your resulting defense, R & D, and intelligence Return-on-Investment will continue to be as stellar as in the past, then I am sure you will find in us a willing and reliable partner. If, however, it turns out that you wish to control us for our “own good”: Thanks, but No Thanks.

To our dearest Jewish American brothers and sisters: Thank You! For all the years of political and financial support. For the visits. The missions. The little blue box. The billions of dollars in donations. Aipac. Truly - a sincere and humble thank you for all of it. But if it turns out, and it is indeed, that there really is a catch - then going forward please accept our equally sincere and humble No Thank You. It’s really the same answer that should be given to a self-professed and self-obsessed lover who uses the pathetic and craven line: “If you really loved me you would…” Obviously you’re welcome to donate to Israel and keep AIPAC strong - but please, do so only if it is an expression of your beliefs, desires and interests - not because you think it gives you a superordinate say, or even an equal say, regarding how we Israelis choose to run our country. You’re also definitely very welcome to visit and write articles in which you share your opinions with us. Above all, you are sincerely welcome to make Aliya, thus earning the right to join the fray and strive to make your visions for Israel into reality. Until then - Thanks, but No Thanks.

To our Leftist Israeli citizens and politicians: Thank you for what you’ve done over the years to build this country when you weren’t causing us mortal damage via your pathetic collusion with various enemies and an endless willingness to appease. But as in 1977 when you couldn’t and wouldn't accept the actual democratic will of the people, now you are, again, becoming destroyers. Peace Now and its ilk always were collaborators with our mortal enemies. With the results of these latest elections, most of you seem to have lost your minds in your pathetic race to beg the nations to, once again, save us from our primitive and benighted selves. You are revealing yourselves as far worse than Peace Now ever was insofar as you are abusing your supposed “centrist” credibility to rally the world against Bibi (anything but Bibi, right?) and the democratically elected coalition, even if it means causing profound harm to Israel’s economy and strategic interests.

You are truly the worst of the mugging class as you proudly and violently ignore election results and take to the streets and CNN to violently demand - using TV-friendly English placards of course - that the dumb conservative majority yield to the shrill demands of the wiser progressive minority. And this from our erstwhile guardians of democracy. You’re not saving Israeli democracy - you are destroying it. We all sympathize with your plight and how tormenting it must be to see your historical role as Guardians of Democracy maddeningly subverted by actual Democracy. But please just stop before you morph into a Hyrcanus who was instrumental in bringing the Romans to Judea to back his power grab against Aristobulus. If you really can’t help yourselves, well, again: Thanks, But No Thanks.

To all my fellow Israelis: I really have no idea how our biggest ally and our brothers here and abroad will respond to the above. Maybe they will choose to humbly see where their true interests lie and act accordingly. Maybe they will loudly withdraw in wounded and indignant outrage. But that's not our question. Our core question is how will we choose to respond to essentially being mugged by friends and family who threaten our economy and independence if we don't give in to their exceptionally arrogant demands which they breathlessly and smugly insist are only meant to protect Israeli democracy from its own citizens.

It's all about choice, dignity, and integrity. Do we bow? Or do we stand? If standing means our putative dearest leave us, or even give aid and comfort to BDS and other enemies - then we should at least stand clear-eyed and solidly on our own feet, knowing where we were being stood until now.

Daniel Winston is a Crucible Approach™ couples therapist and supervisor in Gush Etzion and can be reached at DanielWinston.com.