Middle East Monitor / June 15, 2020
Security guards working to protect courts across Israel have complained to the police about a threatening letter sent to Supreme Court Judge Anat Braun, Arab48.com has reported. The police have opened an investigation, and pointed out that the message was sent to Braun’s house.
The judicial authority in Israel said in a statement that the message with its “degenerate content” was a result of the “irresponsible and continuous incitement” against the authority and its judges. “Israeli judges will never be deterred or scared, however, and will continue to carry out their work without fear,” it insisted. Nevertheless, it was decided to give Braun a personal protection team.
According to Yedioth Ahronoth, Braun and another judge issued a judgement last month to stop a previous ruling by the Supreme Court that the army could demolish the house of a Palestinian accused of taking part in the killing of an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn, from the nominally centrist Blue and White bloc, said that, “The continuous targeting of the judicial authority is dangerous … there are judges in Jerusalem and they will continue to do their job fearlessly.”
The leader of Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid, alleged that, “Threatening the judge of the Supreme Court is a direct result of Netanyahu’s incitement.”
Amir Peretz of Israel’s Labour Party, meanwhile, suggested that, “When judges and journalists are subject to threats, Israel’s democracy is trembling. There is a connection between these cases … We have to change this.” Peretz was referring to the threat of imprisonment made by the Prime Minister’s office against a Channel 13 presenter for a report about Netanyahu’s corruption charges.
Commenting on the threat against Braun, the Prime Minister himself said: “There should be zero tolerance related to the threat of the judge. I am calling on the police to work immediately and strongly to end incitement.”
Last month, the judicial authority decided to give personal protection to the Deputy State Prosecutor, Liat Ben-Ari, after she was threatened for her involvement in a series of corruption cases related to Netanyahu.
Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit filed a complaint to the police last month after receiving threatening messages from right wing extremists calling on him to commit suicide or he could be targeted “easily” after indicting Netanyahu.