Shmuel Sackett
Shmuel SackettCourtesy

Tens of thousands of leftist Israelis have taken to the streets to protest against the judicial reforms of the Netanyahu government. They have held massive rallies, blocked roads and caused disruptions within the building of the Knesset.

Many of my friends have bitterly complained against these people, and their actions, but I strongly disagree. Part of the democratic process is the right to protest, and they have every right to do so. As far as I’m concerned, they can gather every night, make as many speeches as they want and even use civil disobedience as a tactic in their protest movement.

I would like, however, to ask these protestors just one simple question.

Twenty years ago, when buses were blowing up in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv… when people were massacred while celebrating a Pesach seder in Netanya… when bombs were exploding in coffee shops in Haifa and Afula… did they also protest?

When 20,000 rockets were shot into Israeli cities from Gaza and the former Gush Katif area and millions of Jews were forced into bomb shelters in Sderot, Ashkelon, Herziliya, Rishon LeTzion and even Tel Aviv… did they also protest?

Lately, when Jews were axed to death in Elad, murdered in Bnei Brak, stabbed in Jerusalem, shot in Neve Yaakov and when young children (brothers, actually – aged 6 and 8) were rammed to death while waiting for a bus… did they also protest… or are they only concerned about the way judges will be selected?

Believe me when I say that I respect their right to protest. I protested and was arrested 12 times for my peaceful, non-violent protests and I carry those arrests as a badge of honor. I am proud of the fact that I tried my best to stop the shedding of Jewish blood and the abandonment of the land given to us by G-d… so I sincerely respect others who carry that same enthusiasm and commitment. But against judicial reform?? Where were these dedicated protestors when Jewish blood was pouring down the streets? Have they even said a prayer for the 2 little brothers murdered last week or are they only worried about the way judges will be appointed to Israel’s Supreme Court?

Have you listened to their speeches? “This will be end of Israel, as we know it”… “Democracy is in danger”… “Shame on Netanyahu and his ministers for even attempting this”… Attempting what, exactly?? The expulsion of 10,000 Jews from their homes? The digging up of Jewish graves? The smashing and destruction of Jewish homes, businesses, shuls and Yeshivas? Throwing teenage girls into prison for protesting the Gush Karif expulsion plan and keeping them there for months?

Do these leftist, liberals even care about those things? They should! If they genuinely care about the future of Israel, shouldn’t 20,000 rockets fired on their cities worry them more than who chooses judges? Shouldn’t they yell about the end of Israel when innocent Jews are murdered, stabbed, shot and rammed with cars on a regular basis?

I understand the importance of a supreme court and have also heard the arguments against Netanyahu’s judicial reform. Since I am honest, I will admit that some of those arguments may have merit but “the end of Israel as we know it??” – that’s just plain nuts. If someone is concerned about the end of Israel – how about the current reign of terror that is frightening most Israelis? How about demanding the immediate death penalty for terrorists instead of the useless sealing of houses? How about throwing out of the country all those who support these murderers? This is what we shoiuld be protesting!

Jewish judges – how they are selected, what their responsibilities are and how much power they wield - are vital decisions for the State of Israel but they don’t come close to what must be done to protect Jewish lives. That always was – and always will be – our top priority.

Am Yisrael Chai!