Politics as usual. That’s what I should think. It happens all the time. People who hold important positions in the government of Israel act out of self-interest, for cheap political ends, as opposed to representing the people.
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has long been a particularly disgusting individual of this sort. This past week he made an official request to bar Baruch Marzel from chairing the ballot committee in Um El-Fahem for “security concerns.” Mazuz is concerned that Marzel will offend the residents of Um El-Fahem to the level that the state is concerned for his safety. In this case, the police is responsible to prevent criminal activity. The police is required to stop anyone who want to harm Marzel. Mazuz is not supposed to instruct the state’s institutions to cave in the face of criminal threats.
If, as Mazuz claims, “Marzel’s very presence in the Arab village would be enough to set off a riot” then the legal issue is with said “Arab village” and not with Marzel, whose service as committee chairman is perfectly legal.
In spite of Mazuz’s attempt to evade responsibility, Eliezer Rivlin, who heads the Central Elections Committee turned down the Attorney General’s request. Rivlin is right on the money when he said “it was the authorities’ job to keep the peace regardless of those present at the ballot boxes,” and that if there is “evidence of a brewing riot the State should take the necessary measures to prevent it.”
The city of Um El-Fahem has announced that it will deliberately act the laws of Israel, “block all the entrances to the town and the police will bear the full responsibility for what goes on that day.” What is it that will happen that day? And why will it happen? “We shall urge all city residents to hit the streets and not allow him to enter.” A premeditated riot. So Mazuz has decided to attempt to capitulate, not deal with rioters.
Threats should be met with force, not with attempts to curtail Jewish freedom of movement in the Jewish state.