For those not steeped in Israeli culture, there is an online forum called Rotter that plays a unique role in certain segments of Israeli society. It’s a cross between FoxNews, Matt Drudge, DebkaFiles and NewsMax. It is a wildly popular internet forum (Alexa ranks it 83rd in Israel) that deals in everything from celebrity gossip to political scoops and intelligence matters, all with a far-right political focus. It’s especially known for its brand of vituperative, scabrous political debate, sorta like the Jerusalem Post talkbacks on steroids. I’m routinely called “Terrorist” there as if it were my first name, which I wear of course as a badge of courage.
Rotter.net was founded in 1999 by Rabbi Yeshayahu Rotter, who now runs the site with at least a few of his children helping administer and moderate it. Meir Rotter, 37, married and the father of two, is Yeshayahu’s son and serves as a police officer in Jerusalem. In a Wikipedia discussion, his sister Tamar confirms that her brother is a police officer.
He is a fixture at the weekly Sheikh Jarrah demonstrations where he’s been assigned for the past six months. You can see him “in action” toward the end of this Sheikh Jarrah video in which he steals a Palestinian flag from the hands of an Israeli demonstrator. He’s known to be a particularly nasty, odious presence wearing his enormous blue settler-style skullcap, wraparound sunglasses, and a pistol strapped to his waist (see picture). Since he never wears a police uniform at the protests, he would appear to be a plain clothes officer. Frankly, I can’t quite figure out why he’d be there in plain clothes dressed as a settler. He wouldn’t be fooling anyone.
Most of this could be figured out pretty easily using public and online records. But what is hitherto unknown is that an Israeli source tells me that Meir Rotter is not only an administrator of Rotter, but a member who posts under the name Kafe, some of the most offensive material inciting violence against the Sheikh Jarrah demonstrators. He routinely calls them “leftist fascist, anti-Zionist, post-Israeli.” That Meir Rotter is a police officer isn’t news. That a Rotter administrator posts material advocating violence against lawful Israeli citizens isn’t news either. But the fact that a police officer paid by the Jerusalem municipality ostensibly to enforce the law and keep the peace speaks of knives and axes as “legitimate means of protest” should open a few eyes somewhere.
It certainly won’t open the eyes of Doron Zahavi, the former IDF torturer of Mustafa Dirani, who is the now the Jerusalem police “liaison” to the East Jerusalem Arab community. Undoubtedly, Zahavi and Rotter work together, perhaps in the same unit. Perhaps Zahavi is teaching Rotter a thing or two about torturing Arabs, just as the former’s subordinates sodomized Dirani in an Israeli prison several years ago.
There is compelling evidence to support the claim that Kafe and Rotter fils are one and the same person. First, Kafe was one of the earliest members to sign up for the forum (on October 21, 2001) just after it was revamped in the format it presently has. Second, for the past seven months many of his posts deal with the Sheikh Jarrah protests and police affairs related to them. In particular, they often deal with intelligence about either the Israeli protestors or the East Jerusalem Arab community. This is intelligence that would only be available or even interesting to either a police officer or a Shabak agent.
The image above on the right is from one of the hikes Rotter leads in the West Bank for his religious-nationalist acolytes. Here one of the participants names Rotter and refers to pictures that he took on one of these hikes. Another gallery on the same Picasa account displays images of Rotter himself (see right-hand image above) leading the hikes.
There is another stylistic element of Rotter’s writing that nails his identity as Kafe. In Wikipedia, he writes (in Hebrew) under his own name:
Often the number in Shomron reaches into the hundreds! of hikers.
In Rotter, he writes as Kafe:
Every day, my dear friend receives free, at no cost! these two newspapers at the doorstep of his home.
I’d say it’s a pretty rare thing for two different people to place exclamation marks in the middle of sentences as Rotter has done here. Using brackets [!] would not be unusual, but unbracketed is highly so.
I think the State might take an interest that one of its police officers is writing material like the following. Keep in mind that these are entirely non-violent demonstrations at which the only violence comes from the side of the police:
We should bring some yellow spray paint and spray the rioting anarchists and their band of left-wing fascists who join and even lead them. With the slogan: “Paint the traitors yellow [the color of cowardice], we’ll tar and feather ’em for the traitors against their people and terrorists against the state that they are.
Since axes, knives and clubs are a legitimate form of protest, spray paint will be my favorite weapon.
Or that he here advocates stoning protestors and vandalizing their property. Keep in mind that there is never any violence of any kind at the Friday Sheikh Jarrah protest except that perpetrated by the police against the protesters:
The anarchists view it as suitable to express their protests using massive stones thrown at vehicles, homes and people [in Sheikh Jarrah], why should we not wait for them at the exit of the village and take the same form of protest to them and their vehicles. Why wouldn’t they think that legitimate?
At last Friday’s Sheikh Jarrah protest, my source reveals that Officer Rotter “brutally assaulted” three demonstrators. It sounds like he’s a very loose cannon prone to do some serious and personal damage if not reined in.
Here (Hebrew original) our favorite officer of the law even lumps the policies of the Israeli government with those of the “anarchists” and radical Islamists:
Not all is rosy in East Jerusalem. The policy of the Israeli government itself, along with the activism of the leftist-fascist-anarchists in the eastern part of the city, and including the unceasing attempts by the PA and/or the Islamic Movement –they all cause severe harm to the control of the State of Israel over Jerusalem. The topic of what the Arabs really want [to destroy Israel] is never broached in Israeli [political] discussion.
Kafe advocates an iron hand against the Palestinian community. He suggests that protests must be isolated to the Arab villages and not be allowed to spread to the streets of the city. His ultimate goal is that the Jewish residents of the city never even hear about the protests in their own city except in the media. The price, if there is any, will be paid by the Arabs themselves who will harm, or so he claims, only themselves and not the city’s Jewish residents.
Rotter seems obsessed with the notion that the protests might spread outside East Jerusalem and infect Jewish neighborhoods. That would be, in his fervid imagination, making the mistake that any government makes when faced with civil unrest and chaotic conditions. If you engage even a moment’s doubt and fail to use every means at your disposal to violently clamp down, you will find the bastards running down your own street committing acts of hooliganism and God knows what to Jews. Before you know it you’ll have anarchy and Arabs taking over the country.
Rotter/Kafe is contemptuous of the gutless Israeli media (Hebrew original):
Once again, the Israeli media in its true ugliness and degradation
It’s no secret that the Israeli media, by and large, is precisely like the UN, hypocrites, anti-Zionist, post-Israeli. A megaphone and platform for the extreme leftist-anarchist agenda. Yes, yes, they’ll deny it and say that anyone making such a claim is a fascist, someone who suppresses democratic rights and shuts people up. They say that their role must be to expose and question and all sorts of bullshit coming from their demagogic lips.
In a survey of media coverage of Sheikh Jarrah we find not just hypocritical lies and falsification of facts, because the tendency in such coverage is toward a post-Israel, anti-Zionist, racist ideology which negates the rights of Jews to the Land of Israel
In a later portion of the same post, he brags that he persuaded a good friend to cancel the two subscriptions to Israeli daily newspapers which he had. One was to Haaretz. He didn’t specify the name of the other but it would either be Maariv or Yediot Achronot. It is an indication of just how radical his political views are that he cast scorn even on these two dailies known for their right-of-center reporting.
UPDATE: Earlier today, Meir Rotter posted a reply to this post at an Israeli police officer’s online forum in which he acknowledged that he is an officer assigned to Sheikh Jarrah and that he is Rabbi Rotter’s son. He denies that he is a moderator of the Rotter forum (because his father won’t pay him!). But he specifically does not either mention or deny the most important claim of my source, that he is the Rotter member, Kafe. There is a principle in the law: “silence is assent.” It applies here.
I’m afraid my source may’ve passed this information on to me because s/he was afraid that if it was revealed in Israel alone Meir Rotter might receive a promotion, instead of being disciplined. At least, if a foreign media source reports the matter, it may be treated as more than a curiosity.
It will surprise no one that the Jerusalem police force harbors in its midst violent radical settler thugs. But it may surprise Israelis that such individuals will express their venom, hate and rage in such a public setting. A question for the police superintendent to ponder: is he comfortable with his officers publicly advocating violence against peacefully, legally protesting Israeli citizens? Is that the standard of law his personnel uphold?