Eretz Yisrael Time

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Sunday, January 24, 2010
I feel for Naomi Chazan. I really do.

When I saw her headline in the weekend’s JPost magazine, “Silencing dissent, fortifying a movement” I was momentarily confused, and assumed she was surprisingly going to be speaking about something close to my heart.

I assumed she would be speaking about the intimidations, and various human and civil rights violations that regularly take place against Settlers and those designated as being on the “Right”.

I mean after all, just last week the JPost ran the story of a Jewish girl arrested on her wedding day for allegedly trying to pray on the Temple Mount.

And all of last year the news was filled with the story of how the government kicked out the Jewish residents of the legally purchased Beit Hashalom in Hebron.

Or how Noam Federman’s home for over a decade was destroyed overnight, and his children scattered to wander the streets in a state of shock by brutal soldiers and policemen.

Or of police brutality against peaceful (and legal) right wing protesters (personally witnessed).

And of the biggest human rights crime in Israel of the last decade, where 8000 Jews were expelled from their homes, their business destroyed, and after years, their situation still unresolved – all in the name and abuse of democracy.

I might have thought she would speak about how Susie Dym was arrested for handing out flyers (produced in a joint project with the National Council of Young Israel and Near East Policy Research) before Bush’s last visit.

But alas, I was mistaken.

This miniscule sampling of examples of “silencing dissent” in the State of Israel from the last few years managed to all somehow pass under Naomi Chazan’s radar.

I mean, that fine. Naomi Chazan is about as far left as they come, and you can’t have any reasonable expectations that a leftist would demand respect for the freedom, human and civil rights of her fellow citizens whom she disagrees with.

And I guess that’s were Naomi and I differ.

Because after reading her article (I usually skip it because her whiny writing makes me nauseous) I sympathized with her.

I know that as a member of the elite, what she experienced is a new and unexpected experience for her. And new experiences can be scary, and can shake your worldview.

But more importantly, I sympathize with her because the State and particularly the Police do not respect the human or civil rights of citizens of the State – and this is a serious problem. A very serious problem.

It is a problem that all us citizens face - together, and if we don’t stand up to demand this treatment ends against both ourselves and our fellow citizens, then in the end we each stand alone and will fail.

As an aside, the fact that the Leftists who were protesting were demanding the total disregard of the legal rights of their fellow Jewish citizens is irrelevant (and typical for Leftists in Israel). But as long as their method of protest was within the legal bounds of the law, then they shouldn’t have been treated that way.

No citizen of Israel should be treated that way - even us Settlers and those on the Right.


Leah Goodman said...

you feel for her because she is seeing 1/100th of what the right sees?

JoeSettler said...

I feel for her in the universal sense that we are all in this boat together and what's being done is bad for Israel's democracy.

You know the old poem, "First the came for..."

Anonymous said...

Someone else agrees with you

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