The man who hurled a shoe at Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch yesterday might not have done so were it not for the ongoing incitement campaign against the Supreme Court and the anarchic atmosphere in the country.

Israel's Supreme Court, unlike those in other countries, deals far too much with small claims. Beinisch is especially sensitive to downtrodden plaintiffs and often tries to find a compromise.

All the same, Beinisch, as Supreme Court president, is seen as a symbol of power, much like the president, Knesset speaker and prime minister. Harming her means harming the government. Incidents like that which occurred yesterday have previously taken place in various forms, including an attack on prosecutor Edna Arbel many years ago.

Today, in view of the ongoing incitement against judges and six years after the murder of judge Adi Azar, yesterday's attack could become an awful precedent. The Supreme Court president, unlike other judges, has bodyguards not only in court and in her chambers but at all times. Other judges, however, are vulnerable. Yesterday's event signals the need for stricter security guidelines and severe, deterrent penalties for anyone acting against the law enforcement authorities.

In an act of leadership, Beinisch immediately returned to the courtroom yesterday and won applause from everyone in it. She showed everyone that nothing can prevail against the rule of law.