Michael Boyden

A Country Gone Crazy

My son-in-law was arrested by police this morning as he participated in a protest in Modiin outside the home of Justice Minister Yariv Levin. A video clip shows him in handcuffs being escorted to a police vehicle to be taken away for interrogation.

His brother, who some 30 years ago served in an elite IDF parachute unit in Israel’s self-declared security zone in Southern Lebanon, rushed to the police station to give his brother moral support.

My son, Yonatan z”l, served in the same elite unit and was killed by the Hezbollah while participating in a dangerous rescue mission after our soldiers had been attacked at their Sujud military outpost.

Each Saturday evening, I participate in the massive demonstrations against the proposed judicial overhaul, because my family did not make aliyah and put their lives at risk in defense of the kind of country that the likes of Yariv Levin, Simcha Rothman, Itamar Ben Gvir, Bezalel Smotrich and Aryeh Deri would like to create.

If, God forbid, they were to succeed, we have no future here. The ten spies said that Israel was a land that “devours its inhabitants” (Numbers 23:32), and while the prophet Isaiah prophesied that the day would come when “your destroyers and those who laid you waste shall go forth from you” (Isaiah 49:17), a popular re-rendering of the text suggests that those who will destroy us will come from within.

While the police arrested my son-in-law this morning, his daughter will shortly commence her military service in an elite IDF unit. Like my late son was, she is young, optimistic and patriotic. She will serve her country while others will manipulate the political and judicial systems to dodge the draft.

But who needs an army? When the government warned people not to travel to Oman in the Ukraine at this time, because the country is at war and doesn’t even have enough bomb shelters for its own citizens, Shas declared: “God has always protected the people of Israel”.

Meanwhile, eight hours after my son-in-law was arrested, he is still in custody. And this is the country in whose army his daughter is about to serve!

About the Author
Made aliyah from the UK in 1985, am a former president of the Israel Council of Reform Rabbis and am currently rabbi of Kehilat Yonatan in Hod Hasharon, Israel.
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