Some three weeks ago, two girls belonging to the “hilltop youth” were nabbed while posting pro-rightist notices on walls. One can certainly agree that such act defaces our streets, yet the police response was disproportional: The girls were held for questioning, underwent a humiliating and illegal search, and were banned from returning to the area for a long time.
A brief examination would reveal that the police do not adopt this kind of approach to anyone else, with the exception of the young people from the hilltops: People who post ads of all types and colors are not held for questioning as a policy matter. At most, they face fines for violating municipal bylaws.
However, only when it comes to the hilltop youth do law enforcement authorities show zero tolerance and ignore arrest laws and civil rights.
The abovementioned girls are not alone. Minors detained on suspicion of damaging a military tent after their home was razed have been held for 10 days at least. The youngsters who recently entered Qasr al-Yehud – which is located in Israeli territory – and engaged in symbolic activity in favor of setting up a community in the Jordan Valley were sent for a two-week detainment.
A few weeks ago, the IDF’s GOC Central Command issued administrative orders, without a trial and with no evidence, against another group of young people from the hills. One does not need to endorse their views in order to realize that the way they are being treated is disproportional and unreasonable.
It would be another matter if this was the policy applied to everyone. However, the same legal system that closed the case against an anarchist who called for murdering Ehud Barak and IDF soldiers, failed to issue incitements against students who blocked roads, and did not issue administrative orders against the lawbreakers in Bil’in is engaged in a witch hunt against the hilltop youths.
A total of 99 IDF soldiers were hurt by far Left anarchists in the past three years, and until now we have not heard the prime minister or justice minister talking about military courts and demanding administrative detentions. We also did not see state prosecutors rushing to recommend administrative restraining orders.
Only the hilltop youth face such moves, with some judges caving in to political pressure.
The conduct of authorities not only fails to calm tensions, but rather, creates frustration and prompts grave (and undesirable) acts. As the High Court of Justice already stated in the past, no element is more destructive to society than its sons and daughters feeling that they are being treated differently than others.