5 August 2015, NYT: Israel Detains Meir Kahane's Grandson, a Scion of Jewish Militancy
3 August 2015, NYT: Israeli Justice in West Bank Is Seen as Often Uneven
1 August 2015, NYT: Jewish Arsonists Suspected in West Bank Attack That Killed Palestinian Toddler
6 November 1990, NYT: Meir Kahane, 58, Israeli Militant and Founder of the Jewish Defense League
AUG. 9, 2015
Israel Continues Crackdown on Jewish Extremist Network
By ISABEL KERSHNER
JERUSALEM -- The Israeli authorities on Sunday continued their crackdown against the young Jewish zealots believed to be associated with the Revolt, a shadowy network described by its members as an anarchistic vision of redemption.
The extremists' working plan calls for fomenting unrest to bring about the collapse of the State of Israel, with its democratic system of government and courts, and establishing a Jewish kingdom based on the laws of the Torah. Non-Jews are to be expelled, the Third Temple is to be built and religious observance is to be enforced, initially in public spaces.
"The starting point of the Revolt is that the State of Israel has no right to exist, and therefore we are not bound by the rules of the game," write the anonymous authors of the manifesto of sedition that lays out these ideas, which the Shin Bet internal security agency recently discovered.
Six-month administrative detention orders were issued Sunday against two high-profile activists from the radical right, Meir Ettinger  and Eviatar Slonim, both in their early 20s.
Mr. Ettinger is the grandson of Meir Kahane,  the slain American-Israeli rabbi considered the father of far-right Jewish militancy. He and Mr. Slonim joined Mordechai Meyer, 18, also suspected of being a member of the extremist group, who was placed in administrative detention last week. Mr. Meyer had previously been arrested on suspicion of involvement in arson attacks against two churches, but had been released without charges.
Israel has widely used administrative detention, which allows for imprisonment without charge or trial, against Palestinians under military law in the West Bank, but rarely against its Jewish citizens.
The Israeli authorities are acting under intense pressure to apprehend the perpetrators of a July 31 arson attack on a Palestinian home  in the West Bank village of Duma that killed an 18-month-old, Ali Dawabsheh, and his father, Saad,  and left his mother and brother critically wounded. Israel's leaders called the attack Jewish terrorism.
In addition to the detention orders, the police's nationalist crimes unit raided several West Bank settlement outposts overnight and detained a number of suspects "in the wake of recent events in the West Bank," according to a police statement. Arutz Sheva, an Israeli news site identified with the religious right, reported that nine people had been arrested in the raids on Givat Habaladim and Adei Ad, but said that some had been released within hours.
It was not yet clear whether any of those detained have been linked with the Duma attack, and the crackdown has been criticized by some Israelis as too narrow to be effective, and by others as an antidemocratic public relations exercise.
Dvir Kariv, a former Shin Bet official, said sometimes there was no choice but to use the tool of administrative detention, for example, "when there is intelligence that proves involvement of this or that person in a terror action, but use of this intelligence in a court will expose the source of the information."
But administrative detention "in this context is a Band-Aid, not an antibiotic," Mr. Kariv told Israel Radio on Sunday. He called for harsher sentencing by the courts, and deeper engagement of educators and social welfare services.
B'Tselem, a leftist Israeli human rights organization that generally deals with violations against Palestinians, said that the administrative detention orders were "unacceptable" and that they were "meant primarily to create a false show of firm action in order to decrease public criticism" after the Duma killings.
Lawyers representing Mr. Ettinger, Mr. Slonim and Mr. Meyer, from Honenu, a right-wing legal aid organization, have made a similar argument.
"This is a populist measure that shows the helplessness of the police after Duma and is meant to satisfy public opinion," said Itzhak Bam, who represents Mr. Meyer. He said he believed that none of the three had anything to do with Duma and that there was no evidence linking Mr. Meyer with the church arsons.
Mr. Meyer holds American citizenship by virtue of his parents, who emigrated to Israel from the United States and live in the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim. One idea now being floated is that Mr. Meyer will take a trip of a few months to the United States instead of sitting in an Israeli jail.
Effectively or not, Israel, its military, police, security services and judiciary are now facing up to what the authorities say they view as an increasingly dangerous challenge coming from an apparently ragtag band of several dozen firebrands, many of them still in their teens.
The Shin Bet first drew attention to what it described as an "ideological infrastructure" led by Mr. Ettinger in July, when it announced the arrest of five people suspected of involvement in the June 18 arson attack  that damaged the Church of the Multiplication at a revered Christian holy site on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Some of the five, including Mr. Meyer and one unnamed minor, were also accused of involvement in additional hate crimes against Palestinians and their property.
The document calling for mutiny, written in colloquial Hebrew, was found in the possession of a member of the group during the investigation of the church arson, according to Shin Bet officials. Comparing the state that was founded on Zionism to a leaky building with shaky foundations, the authors point to many "weak points" in the structure and say, "What we will do is simply 'ignite' all those barrels of explosives, all the questions and contradictions between Judaism and democracy." The mission, it said, also called for "personal sacrifice."
That document was followed by a how-to manual  that provided clear instructions on how to set fire to, say, a mosque or a Palestinian house.
This latest generation of Jewish militants is said to be an outgrowth of the so-called hilltop youth who pioneered the aggressive Price Tag doctrine, which calls on settlers and their supporters to exact revenge for any army or police acts against unauthorized building in the settlement outposts.
Many of them are said to be school dropouts who are not drafted into the army, like most Israeli 18-year-olds, but wander from unauthorized outpost to outpost, living on the fringes of society and answering to no parental or rabbinical authority. They typically remain silent in interrogations and have devised techniques like leaving their cellphones with friends and having them make calls from them in order to create false alibis, according to a report  in the newspaper Haaretz.
"They want the Messiah to come, to bring back the Kingdom of Israel, like in the days of King David, to rebuild the temple and to drive out all idolaters, meaning Muslims and Christians," said Lior Akerman, a former Shin Bet officer.
Less sophisticated than the Jewish underground of the 1980s, or the Bat Ayin underground  that tried to blow up Palestinian schools in the early 2000s, those suspected as members of the Revolt are not known to be heavily armed or equipped with explosives at this stage.
"The people themselves are known to the Shin Bet," Mr. Akerman said. "The problem is their modus operandi. They work in very small cells, with no command and control issuing orders, and no hierarchy."