Leftist activist calls for civilian guards to protect Palestinians

Left-wing activist Haim Shadmi suggested allowing him to create a civilian guard to protect Palestinians from settler violence.

 Left-wing activist Haim Shadmi during a Knesset conference on settler violence, November 21, 2021. (photo credit: KNESSET CHANNEL)
Left-wing activist Haim Shadmi during a Knesset conference on settler violence, November 21, 2021.
(photo credit: KNESSET CHANNEL)

Left-wing activist Haim Shadmi called for allowing an Israeli civilian guard to bear arms to protect the Palestinians, during a Knesset conference on settler violence held on Sunday.

“Give us the authority to bear arms,” said Shadmi, and allow an Israeli civilian guard to protect the Palestinians.

“We will do the work for the Palestinians, we will not harm anyone,” he said. “If you are not capable of doing the work, we will protect human life because you do not know how to do it.”

Shadmi also spoke of his frustration with the debate itself.

“I don’t know what is happening here,” said Shadmi. “There is a debate as if the ‘occupation’ and ‘settler violence’ just started in the last few years. I hear one MK after the other... What is this? a conference that is all talk? Where are the solutions?”

THE KNESSET building in Jerusalem holds one of the world’s smallest legislatures. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)THE KNESSET building in Jerusalem holds one of the world’s smallest legislatures. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Organizers of the conference distanced themselves from his statement.

“The remarks made at the end of the conference by Haim Shadmi do not represent our position in support of a non-violent struggle to end the occupation through peaceful means,” the conference organizers stated.

They added that they wished that those who were outraged at Shadmi’s words would also speak up against “the severe violence that settlers have used against Palestinians and Israelis in recent weeks.”

The event took place one day after a terror attack in the Old City in which 26-year-old tour guide Eli Kay was killed and four others were injured.

Religious Zionist Party MK Itamar Ben-Gvir spoke of the terrorist attack at the start of the conference.

“A man was killed yesterday and you are holding a conference on settler violence – are you stupid?” asked Ben-Gvir.

He requested a moment of silence in Kay’s memory, and when the room did not immediately respond, he asked if they were not “ashamed.”

Ben-Gvir stood up and continued to shout, demanding a moment of silence, until he was ousted from the room.