Does Israel Need a New Law to Frisk and Search?


by James M. Wall

Israel tells Father America it will pass new laws to “frisk and search” all Palestinians. Why? As a “security measure” for Israeli citizens.

Israel knows as long as it couches all its sins in claims of victimhood, Father America will give Israel whatever Israel deems to be its pleasure.

“Security measures” are a cruel joke on a captive population. “Security measures” are mere window dressing by a so-called democracy where justice prevails only for Jewish citizens.

National Public Radio eagerly rushed to report the good news. “In an effort to curb a rash of deadly stabbings, the Israeli Cabinet authorized the police on Sunday to ‘stop and frisk’ individuals on the street, even if there is no indication they are armed”.

Photo by Ahmad Gharabli:AFP:Getty Images Damascus gate 10:18New laws to stop and frisk individuals? Which individuals? When did Israel need a law for its soldiers to act as they do in the photo above?

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told the Jerusalem Post, “There is an urgent need to give the police authority to conduct body searches in order to better deal with knife terrorism.”

Gilad Erdan added this reassuring message: “This is another step I am promoting in a series of decisions to strengthen the police and its authority to increase personal security in the streets.”

Al Jazeera found a need for this “security measure” because of a “wave of violence in Israel, occupied East Jerusalem, and the occupied West Bank, that began in early October.”

Any alert middle school student with a computer and a click away from Google, could have reminded Security Minister Gilad Erdan that this current “wave of violence” did not begin in early October, 2015. This particular wave began one year earlier in October, 2014.

After the Israeli slaughter in Gaza in the summer of 2014, it was time for Israel to be the victim again. Home-made rockets were a poor sell to evoke sympathy for victims who had tanks, heavily-armed troops and F-15s.

It was too soon to “mow the grass” in Gaza. Time to stir the victim pot in Jerusalem.

Al Jazeera referenced the “tumultuous ” summer of 2014:

“On October 13, [2014] fresh clashes erupted when hundreds of Israeli police forces raided the al-Aqsa mosque compound and clashed with Palestinian worshippers. 

“Residents of East Jerusalem have fought almost nightly with Israeli security forces. . . . Adding to the tension, though, is a series of provocative moves, mostly by private organizations, aimed at increasing the number of Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem.

“The steps are piecemeal – building a new religious seminary, buying a few dozen homes from Palestinians. They will not significantly alter the city’s demographic balance: In the last two decades, the number of settlers has increased from 1,400 to around 2,600. But they have brought an influx of ideological settlers to the city.”

Who encouraged and condoned those “private organizations” to finance Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem? And what nation provides armed guards for groups of settlers who wish to visit their sacred sites?

In July, 2010, “a New York Times examination of public records in the United States and Israel identified at least 40 American groups that have collected more than $200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the last decade.”

Under the headline, Are American Donors Helping To Fuel Jerusalem Tensions With Settler Push?, Nathan Guttman writes in the Jewish Forwardthat the non-governmental group, Ateret Cohonim (“Crown of the Priests”), is a major player in the settlement movement.

Behind Ateret Cohonim, Guttman writes“stands scores of American Jewish donors who have for years supported it, and other like-minded organizations, with tens of millions of dollars in tax-deductible U.S. support.”

Ateret Cohonim’s mission statement “makes clear in no uncertain terms how it intends to spend its funds. ‘Purchase and redemption of property in Jerusalem; property management in Jerusalem and specifically in the Old City; providing security for Jewish residents of the Old City.’”

This specific and current “wave of violence” now sweeping through Jerusalem began in 2014, when agitated young Palestinians had good reason to assume Israel planned to “Judaize” the Noble Sanctuary.

Israel’s 2014 piecemeal steps and its support for new Jewish Jerusalem settlements were catalysts that inspired “waves of violence” in this summer and fall of 2015.

All of the crisis moments that strike Israel inevitably emerge from the actions of others. By Israeli standards, “we ain’t done nothing wrong”.

You believe that? Think back to that moment in the movie Bonnie and Clyde after Bonnie and Clyde escape from a small town where they stole money and food. An angry grocery clerk clings to the car. Clyde shoots and kills him. Later, he laments, “Why did he make me do that?”

Or maybe you prefer the victimhood of the man on trial for killing his parents. His plea at his sentencing? He begged for mercy because he was an orphan. 

In full denial of any wrong-doing, Israel has increased its support for groups of Jewish settlers headed to pray at what Jews call The Temple Mount, an ancient sacred spot, so Jews believe, buried deep beneath the Noble Sanctuary.

To protect settlers when they want to pray at what they call The Temple Mount, during prayer time, Israel rules the area off limits to Palestinian Muslims.

Israel’s deliberate provocation continues as Al Jazeera reported: “On Monday [July 27, 2015], chunks of rock still peppered the entrance to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site.”665003303001_2810533719001_201211248246311734-20

“Volunteers worked to remove shards of glass and metal, but parts of the crimson and gold carpet were charred by stun grenades hurled into the holy site by Israeli forces, who also fired rubber-coated metal bullets at Muslim worshippers.”

“Clashes broke out Sunday when soldiers cleared the way for Israelis, including a cabinet minister, to visit the Al-Aqsa compound on Tisha B’Av, a Jewish holiday marking the destruction of two Biblical temples.

“This has become a reoccurring scene, with ominous implications, which has ignited Palestinian fears of an Israeli takeover of the holy esplanade. Jews call the esplanade the Temple Mount and consider it their holiest site, and Muslims refer to it as the Noble Sanctuary or al-Haram al-Sharif.

“Approximately 30 Palestinians were injured and treated – most for tear gas inhalation, others for injuries sustained from beatings – according to the Islamic Waqf authorities, which administer the affairs of Al-Aqsa Mosque and other religious sites.

“At least three others were reportedly detained. In a statement, Israeli police said they stormed the compound because Palestinian protesters hurled stones at them.

“Masked Palestinians inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque threw rocks at police officers at the Mughrabi [Moroccan] Gate,” said Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld, adding that a number of police were wounded. “Our police units entered inside the Temple Mount area to deal with the disturbances and quickly took control of the situation.”

Less than a month later, Al Jazeera reported on September 12, 2015: “The Israeli security personnel used tear gas and stun grenades, as they entered the compound to arrest what they called Palestinian ‘stone throwers'”.

Omar Kiswani, the manager of Al-Aqsa Mosque, told Al Jazeera that 80 “Jewish settlers” protected by the Israeli police, attacked the mosque when confronted by Palestinian volunteer guards.

A statement issued by the Israeli police said that “masked protesters who were inside the mosque threw stones and fireworks at police”. A Muslim witness accused police of entering the mosque and causing damage, saying prayer mats were partially burned.

“Clashes later continued outside the mosque complex, with police firing tear gas and stun grenades. Israeli security forces closed the mosque’s compound to worshippers following the clashes that came just hours before the start of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

“. . . . Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Israeli police said, ‘Our police units took the situation under control in 20 to 25 minutes only using stun grenades, non-lethal weapons only to make sure that situation remained calm.”

“Mustafa Barghouti, the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, was blunt:

“‘The Israeli police are lying, they have lied before and they are lying again,’ he said.

“‘I think what happened today is an act of aggression on the part of the Israeli army,’ he said, adding that ‘right-wing Jewish settlers provoked Palestinians when they entered the mosque.’”

A reading/viewing American public which has its daily media orange juice laced with Israeli hasbara (propaganda) Kool Aid, finds it virtually impossible to grasp all this talk about sacred spaces and who has rights and who does not.

What, exactly, does drinking the Kool Aid mean in this context?

The term derives from an event on November 18, 1978, when Jim Jones and more than 900 members of his People’s Temple committed mass suicide in the jungle of Guyana. They all drank Kool Aid laced with poison because Jones, their charismatic religious leader, told them to.

Since then, the term “drinking the Kool Aid” has come to mean that a person “has given up personal integrity and has succumbed to the prevailing group-think that typifies policymaking today”-

Leave it to Phil Weiss to offer a way through this hasbara miasma of prevailing group-think. He provides antidotes for those Kool Aid-poisoned readers/viewers, exposing mainstream media (MSM) bias delivered to them by hasbara word masters.

The current term now operating in Jerusalem is “lone wolf attacks”, carried out, CNN, would have its listeners believe, with no provocation from Israelis.

On Friday, CNN interviewer Carol Costello badgered Palestinian-American Yousef Munayyer with a stream of hasbara-tainted questions. Munayyer listened, then calmly refuted Costello with facts.

Munayyer is experienced in dealing with such hostile pro-Israeli questioners. He is the executive director of the Washington-based U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Costello had received her “talking point memo”. She dutifully asked him about “lone wolf attacks” against Israelis. Munayyer was ready. He was determined to explain the causes of the violence “in a way that Americans should understand it”.

He nailed it. The CNN transcript captures Munayyer’s calm demeanor:

​ MUNAYYER:150929180429-munayyer-yousef-head-shot-medium-plus-169

​ “It would be like reducing the conversation around race riots in the United States simply to condemnations on attacks on store owners without talking about the systematic racism that exists that underlies all of this, causing this kind of political violence.”

​Costello wanted to know why these acts of violence are happening now:


​”​Well, you know, in your introduction to this​,​ you mentioned that seven Israelis have been killed since October 1st. I think it is also important to note that in the same period of time, 30 Palestinians have been killed, around 17 of them in the course of demonstrating against Israeli occupation. Some 1,300 and more have been injured by Israeli fire and 600 have been arrested.

These heavy-handed tactics Israel is using in response, unfortunately only reinforces the very reasons that Palestinian discontent exists. And that’s the inequality and violence, really systematic violence of the Israeli occupation which has persisted now in the occupied territories for nearly half a century.”

On October 14, the video below was released by over 60 leading Black and Palestinian artists and activists. Its purpose is to affirm Black-Palestinian solidarity. The video features Lauryn Hill, Danny Glover, DAM, Omar Barghouti, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Yousef Erakat, Annemarie Jacir, Boots Riley, Dr. Cornel West, and many others.

Angela Davis testified as to the power of the project: “Mutual expressions of solidarity have helped to generate a vigorous political kinship linking black organizers, scholars, cultural workers and political prisoners in the U.S. with Palestinian activists, academics, political prisoners, and artists.”

Organizations working together on this project include The Dream Defenders, BYP 100, the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival, the Institute for Middle East Understanding, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Arab Studies Institute-Quilting Point Productions.

The solidarity is found in the fact that race riots emerge from systemic racism while street violence emerges from angry, frustrated Palestinians who see no help on the way to release them from bondage to Israel.

Knives are no answer. Guns are no answer. Violence is no answer. Occupation is no answer. The answer is found in solidarity in love with those who keep fighting until we “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:24).

The picture at top of soldiers detailing a Muslim woman is from Jerusalem. It is by Getty. The pictures of young Palestinians being frisked at Damascus Gate, October 18, is by Ahmad Gharabli, from AFP/Getty.

Note to new readers: By clicking on links embedded in highlighted lines and names above, you move immediately to the source of that information. After reading more there, click close and return to the posting. Think of it as a footnote in a book. 

About wallwritings

From 1972 through 1999, James M. Wall was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, lllinois. He was a Contributing Editor of the Century from 1999 until July, 2017. He has written this blog, wall, since it was launched April 27, 2008. If you would like to receive Wall Writings alerts when new postings are added to this site, send a note, saying, Please Add Me, to Biography: Journalism was Jim's undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person. He served for two years in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF reserve. While serving on active duty with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years. James M Wall died March 22, 2021 at age 92. His family appreciates all of his readers, even those who may have disagreed with his well-informed writings.
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6 Responses to Does Israel Need a New Law to Frisk and Search?

  1. Outstanding, Jim–beyond outstanding. I particularly like your careful assembly of the progression of dates as a timeline of Zionist Israeli provocation and incitement to in-kind violence. There are many more, of course: the pouring-down-the-throat-and-burning-by-gasoline of the young Palestinian in the West Bank last year is one; the murder-by-torching of the West Bank Dawabsheh family’s home and persons (including the 18-month-old infant of the family) just a couple of months ago is another…and on, and on, and on. And underlining the Palestinians’ torment, for me, always lies in the every-moment sadistically humiliative treatment imposed on the Palestinian residents of Al-Khalil (Hebron) by a few hundred Zionist squatters and the more hundreds of Israeli “security” goons making sure that the victims are always nothing less than further victimized.

  2. I feel it all, I see them suffer every bloody day. I like your piece keep up the good work

  3. Rod Parrott says:

    A great piece, Jim. Now I’d like to see a comparison of how the Israelis police the settler terrorists, compared to Palestinians. Anybody know of settlers frisked? Or killed by IDF? Any settlements barricaded off after attacks on Palestinians? Hmmm.

  4. mgm says:

    As long as father USA is happy with his spoiled child Israhell , we have no say in the matter

  5. oldkahuna says:

    Thanks again, Jim!
    There are so many similarities between Israel’s racism and ours. Much, in both cases, is to maintain political power.
    The similarities with our genocide of the Native Peoples are also extraordinarily ordinary! Appropriately, we still celebrate National Genocide Day (Columbus Day).
    It IS possible to learn from history. I think the first critical point in this learning is changing the mass media’s ideology. For this I also give thanks to you, Jim. I think all of us can be corrective of our local media, however small or great, to begin to begin the end of this murder…in Palestine and in the U.S.

  6. Samia Khoury says:

    Thanks Jim for your continued good work. Provocation of Palestinians has always been part of the Israeli policy so that it can justify what it calls retaliation against Palestinians, and their right to defend themselves. This is nothing new, and unless the UN lives up to its responsibility to put an end to this brutal occupation, the violence will continue to prevail, and Israel and its supporters will have to take full responsibility for that.

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