The movement that dare not speak its name in Israel

Vocal opposition to the war in Gaza can be hard to express in Israel, where campaigner Gideon Levy says people ‘leave their liberalism’ at the 1967 border

Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv to protest against attacks on Gaza, 26 July 2014. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty

By Giles Fraser in The Guardian

Gideon Levy doesn’t want to meet in a coffee bar in Tel Aviv. He is fed up with being hassled in public and spat at, with people not willing to share the table next to him in restaurants. And now he is fed up with the constant presence of his bodyguards, not least because they too have started giving him a hard time about his political views. So he doesn’t go out much any more and we sit in the calm of his living room, a few hundred yards from the Yitzhak Rabin Centre. Rabin’s assassination by a rightwing Orthodox Jew in 1995 is itself a sobering reminder of the personal cost of peacemaking in Israel.

In his column in Haaretz, Levy has long since banged the drum for greater Israeli empathy towards the suffering of the Palestinians. He is a well-known commentator on the left, and one of the few prepared to stick his head above the parapet. Consequently, he is no stranger to opposition from the right. But this time it is different. Yariv Levin, coalition chairman of the Likud-Beytenu faction in the Knesset, recently called for him to be put on trial for treason – a crime which, during wartime, is punishable by death.

“It is time we stop regarding despicable phenomena like this with tolerance,” Levin said of Levy. Soon after that interview, Eldad Yaniv, a former political adviser to ex-prime minister Ehud Barack, wrote on his Facebook page: “The late Gideon Levy. Get used to it.”

Levy’s unpardonable crime is vocal opposition to the war and to the bombing of Gaza. According to recent polls, support for the military operation in Gaza among the Jewish Israeli public stands somewhere between 87% (Channel 10 News) and 95% (Israel Democracy Institute). Even those who are secretly against the war are cautious about voicing their opinion openly.

Read more at The Guardian

The next time you hear an American politician refer to Israel as a free and democratic society, please, stop and think. It isn’t true.

Author: konigludwig

progressive social democrat, internationalist, conservationist

6 thoughts on “The movement that dare not speak its name in Israel”

  1. Israel doesn’t behave as a Democracy. With no freedom of speech, I couldn’t call it that.

    Why is it that countries who have overwhelming consensus, are only united when they are killing?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So happy to hear from you! Hope to see you at World News Forum. I have really missed you, sister.

      Israel is ruled by political neoconservatives. They believe in Israeli “exceptionalism,” which is just another way of saying that “our culture is superior to those of others,” and, therefore, we are above the rules that apply to everyone else. It’s the same old fascist, Machiavellian worldview promoted by every petty dictator. Cheney did it; Netanyahu does it; Putin is doing it. It’s romantic ultra-nationalism, bigoted stupidity, elevated to the status of a serious philosophy.

      Listen to Netanyahu carefully. He sounds exactly like Dick Cheney.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The longer this continues, the worse it looks. There is no place for the children in Gaza to run and hide from Israel missiles. I heard that there have been over 450 children murder. How does anyone justify this?

    To read that there is even a personal cost of peacemaking in Israel is just plain insane. The man can not even go outside and relax. Why are we giving Israel money? I know that they use that money to purchase our weapons which sounds like a bad deal for the US tax payers. We are buying the wrong friends. I wonder what would happen if we pulled our funding and support? It is not like we have control over their behavior.

    I am tired of the murdering and killing of innocent souls. This is just wrong on so many levels. It is time for change. In my opinion, Israel looks like a bad actor now and they are enjoying this abuse of power, way too much.

    Liked by 2 people

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