Supreme Court Judge Slams Culture of Civilian Vigilantism

Justice Levy makes comments in ruling on settler who shot at Palestinian truck driving on Israeli-only West Bank road.

Supreme Court justice Edmund Levy on Thursday criticized the culture of civilian "vigilantism," singling out in particular residents of "those areas of the country over the Green Line," a reference to settlers in the West Bank.

Levy's comments came as part of a ruling Thursday to reject a petition by Menachem Livni of Kiryat Arba, who was convicted of negligent and reckless behavior with a firearm and sabotage of a vehicle.

Livni was convicted at Jerusalem District Court in June 2003, for stopping a Palestinian truck that had been traveling on a West Bank "security road," and therefore not for Palestinian use. He pointed a gun at the driver, shot at the tires on the truck, and accidentally hit one of the headlights.

"It's already been long-forgotten that in a democratic state that has the rule of law as a guiding light, one cannot accept a defective situation in which civilians have the freedom to take the law into their own hands and act as replacement law enforcement agents," Levy wrote in the ruling.

Livni headed a Jewish terrorist organization in the 1980s and was convicted at the time of a nationalistic murder.