Friday, November 7, 2008

Mind-blowing

A common complaint raised by the right wing is that the IDF and Shin Bet act more stringently toward the right wing than the left wing. As you might imagine, the left wing makes the exact opposite argument. Both sides claim that they are as kind, gentle and pure as the driven snow, and entirely undeserving of any police or military interest.

If you have spent any time in the English-language Israeli blogosphere over the last few weeks, you will have learned about how the settlers are persecuted and maligned by the media, the police, the IDF, the public and just about everyone else apart from G-d. G-d, of course, is firmly on the side of the settlers and right wing, as per instructions He received from Rav Ovadiah Yosef and various other Rabbanim whose names I cannot keep straight and none of whom know me, but all of whom believe that I should wear a lot more clothing than I regularly do.

As such, imagine my surprise this morning when I read the following:

The Israel Defense Forces has asked the Shin Bet security service and the police to provide it with information on left-wing figures active in the West Bank so it will be easier to issue restraining orders against them, Haaretz has learned….

Among the activists the intelligence services were asked to provide information about is Yonatan Pollack of Anarchists Against the Fence.

(Full article here):

I am of an astonishing assortment of minds about this. (Apparently, my attempts to work myself to death have made me somewhat schizophrenic.)

Mind Number One is a staunch supporter of free-speech and non-violent protest. Regardless of the violence implied in the name "anarchist", if all that they are doing is getting together and screaming and yelling, without actually hurting anyone or anything…that is their right.

Mind Number Two is an equally staunch opponent of violence, and in particular when that takes the form of citizens throwing rocks at the soldiers who regularly put their lives on the line to protect their sorry asses. If you are throwing rocks at soldiers (or at civilians, for that matter) you should be sentenced to time in prison for assault. This should cover Jews, Arabs, random tourists here to support the brave and noble Palestinian struggle and random tourists here to support the brave and noble Jewish struggle. The random tourists should then be sent back to their home countries to create problems there. (Hello, we need to import crazies? We don't have enough of our own?)

Mind Number Two also asks Mind Number One if it is for real. Anarchist=non-violence? On Mind Number One's home world, maybe.

Mind Number Three would like to remind Minds Number One and Two that even verbal and written protest has its limit—and that is when it crosses the border into incitement. It would remind those minds that we Jews do not find it particularly harmless or amusing when non-Jews engage in verbal attacks on Jews and/or Israel. It proposes we employ a simple test to determine whether an Israeli's language has crossed the border. Take the statement. Replace the "Arab" or "Palestinian" or "Haredi" or "Secular" with whatever you are. If the statement would not have you calling for the arrest of whoever spouted it, it is kosher. If not, it is not kosher. For example, take the following popular statement:

ירדן היא המדינה הפלסטינאי "Jordan is the Palestinian State"

I now change it to fit me:

נוי יורק היא המדינה היהודי "New York is the Jewish State". Clearly, this is very offensive. How dare someone imply that I am a New Yorker?

As such, arrest is clearly warranted.

Mind Number Four believes that we should be a country of law, and not of anarchy. The law should apply to and be enforced equally in respect to all parties subject to it. It proposes another simple rule of thumb: if you would arrest the Palestinian for it, arrest the Jew. If you would not arrest the Jew, do not arrest the Palestinian. It also suggests that said rule of thumb can be easily amended with such groupings as "right wing-left wing", "secular-orthodox" and "corrupt politician-corrupt government clerk".

(I realize that the anarchists will disagree with this, as they like anarchy*. They are, of course free to disagree, so long as they act within the boundaries of the law.)

Mind Number Five has found the silver lining to this state of events:

"Pollack also said he presumed that 'since there's a lot of talk now about restraining orders against right-wingers, they would use that against us to show balance, although there has almost never been a case of a left-wing activists suspected of violence and certainly not of violence like that of the right-wing activists.'"

Finally—something that the Far Left and the Far Right can agree on. Well, at least the first part of the statement. But that is something, no?

Right then, my vast collection of minds and I are now off to drop off my bike at Alyn in advance of next week's ride!


* If a person supports anarchy, should that not automatically result in him being precluded from ever complaining that the government is enforcing the law unfairly? That IS anarchy. He should be happy, no? Oh, it is so confusing!


VOTE BARKET-HITORRERUT YERUSHALAYIM ON NOVEMBER 11.

8 comments:

tnspr569 said...

I like your line about importing crazies :)

Asher said...

Hi Gila

Too serious for a quick scan through, even though I agree with you (natch!).
Don't entirely agree with the phrase 'Regardless of the violence implied in the name "anarchist"' though. Anarchism isn't just Molotov coctails. I of course agree with the second half of Pollack's statement.
Just dropped by in any case to wish you luck next week (and while Gila's riding you're all invited to read my "blog", nobody else does....)

president, scuba divers for low-maintenance ladies, Israel chapter said...

you can have all the minds you want as long as they don't all need a different set of bag, belt and shoes...

muse said...

We live in a crazy country. On that theme, is this about "your" terror attack?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Gila; I was rather shocked as well that the IDF went to the shabak having ignored the anarchists violence for years...

aliyah06 said...

"simple rule of thumb: if you would arrest the Palestinian for it, arrest the Jew. If you would not arrest the Jew, do not arrest the Palestinian...."

Excellent! What is so difficult about enforcing this concept? I think this is what's called 'equal protection under the law' - we all submit to and are protected by, the same standards.

Asher said...

Gila, you wrote

Rav Ovadiah Yosef and various other Rabbanim whose names I cannot keep straight and none of whom know me, but all of whom believe that I should wear a lot more clothing than I regularly do.

Lennon wrote

Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
Minister, Sinister, Banisters and Canisters,
Bishops, Fishops, Rabbis, and Pop Eyes, Bye bye, Bye byes
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Mo-ha-med said...

As I read Pollack's quote "there has almost never been a case of a left-wing activists (...) certainly not of violence like that of the right-wing activists", I realised that the moment one compares their own bad actions with someone else's (yeah, i killed some, but they killed more!), their argument fails completely. Justifying one's mistake by the other guy's does not make you righteous. Is that so hard to understand?