The incitement is gathering steam

Ok, this is becoming worrisome. Such waves usually pass after a week. Not this time.

MK Israel Hasson (Israel Beitenu) has submitted a bill, which will break the financial back of those the IDF has given up on. According to the bill, any governmental agency will be prohibited from funding show or events in which “derelicts” take part. The bill addresses events, including sports events, which are both paid for or open to the public. The airing of such insidious events will also be prohibited.

This bill is, on the face of it, in direct contravention of the Freedom of Profession Basic Law (basic law are what we have in lieu of a constitution, a pale imitation). This will not, in all likelihood, prevent its approval by the Knesset Members; only a few of them, whom a child could count, will have the public courage to stand against the Preservation of National Hardon Act.

Which means there will be appeals to the High Court of Justice, which will suddenly find itself in the unenviable position of having to decide whether to strike down a law enjoying fiery public support. It is reasonable to assume that it will need several years to reach a decision. If at all. After all, it needed five years to decide that the use of human shields by the IDF is forbidden, and 12 years to prohibit official torture.

Which means that in a while, agents and broadcasting services will be forced to start making black lists, on which will be the names of those whose performance is prohibited – and who will have no recourse but to forcibly switch professions. Lovely.

At the same time, the Hesder Yeshiva rabbis announced today that should General Ashkenazi be so bold as to lengthen the service of their fine youth from to 22 months instead of the current 16 months, they will not enlist at all. These yeshiva boys have one hell of a deal: you serve less than half the time mandated by law (which is 36 months), your service is conditional (as long as you like the politics of your orders, otherwise it’s mutiny time), you serve with the guys from your yeshiva, you spray rose scent about you and claim to be the cream of the youth, and then you have the nerves to make threats. 

Every class of such “youth cream” costs the IDF more than the entire time unserved by all artists, in all of its history. But it’s hard to assume that Ashkenazi was bold enough, when he met with the rabbis, to call these semi-derelicts – who suffer from no health or mental problems, who have no excuse –  to “lower their gaze”.

Because Ashkenazi, like any Chief of Staff, is a politician first and foremost. He knows the yeshiva militias hold political power, and that they are not shy about using it. The athletes, not to mention the artists, have neither political power nor patron, and they can be freely targeted, and score points in the public opinion on their backs.

As if one can still speak of “public” and “opinion” in the midst of his jingoistic wave.


And aside from that, the Darfur genocide has to be stopped.

(Written and published today in the Hebrew blog. Translation: Yossi Gurvitz)




4 responses to “The incitement is gathering steam

  1. Darfur is insane- it is the holocaust plus all over again. It is beyond all horrors, but does anyone care? I feel my own activism a whisper in the wind sometimes.

    As for this legislation, I am sickened. I am thinking of my cousin, who has drunk every drop of his Zionist kool-aid since his aliyah in ’04. This is/was a pot smoking vegan neo-hippy in the states… Now he is about to get called up to his IDF service in November.

    He is prepared to kill and he looks down at those who refuse their service. I am sure he would support this. (This is the same cousin who drove me around the west bank last year trying to get me to agree that displacing Palestinian families was legitimate. We never agreed and I will always picture us on the hill in Ariel fighting.)

    It is unspeakable. Then the nightmare of the haredi and their service/non service.

    As always I feel ill qualified to comment here, but here I am every day. I have a certain love for Israel and yet feel such pain.

    Thank you for your words always.

  2. Why ill qualified? I’d say you’re far more qualified than many residents. As for your cousin, well, I’d say there’s a good chance Basic Training will evaporate much of the Kool Aid.

  3. Thank you Yossi. I have a complicated relationship with Israel with me being Catholic, but my father was from a Jewish family. Being in NY always around a lot of Jews etc. In high school (mid 70’s I grew a bit obsessed, walking around with my dog earred copy of Exodus and screeching my zionist thoughts to whomever would listen.

    Over time, I grew and changed. I made my first trip in November 04, sort of last minute. I had already developed some strong opinions and feelings about the dark side of the zionist overload. Arriving clarified that. I spent very little time with my cousin that trip and he was freshly arrived and struggling with ulpan; no time for me.

    I returned in July 06 and was there right before the Lebanon war. This time my cousin and I spent 3 solid days locked in discussion. All I could think of was- this kid is going to get the shit kicked out of him in training.

    He was so fired up from the conflict that summer that he had training in the fall and took it all hook line and sinker. He did also get his ass kicked.

    What I have the most problem with is this… One day I said something to him about a Palestinian (Christian no less) whom I had befriended in 04 and still know now. I said something about learning to see Palestinians (anyone for God’s sake!) as human beings.

    His reply- “I never ever want to see a Palestinian as a human being.”

    This from the mouth of an Ashkenasic Jew. I mean – wasn’t not seeing Jews as humans part of the basic problem of all Jew-hating of all time?

    I am sorry to be so long winded, delete this comment if you must. I am obsessed with this issue.

    On my second journey I also spent a week in Jordan and had some exceptional -and all good experiences. And when I was in Jerusalem, I stayed (much to my cousin’s dismay, he is near TA) in EAST Jerusalem. We would call that in Americanized Yiddish- a real schande.

    Anyway I love Israel and have much love for Judiasm. I also know and love some Palestinians and Jordanians. Its all so complicated.

    Living in the NYC area and being American in general usually means never, ever, ever say anything negative about Israel.

    As someone in touch with her Jewish roots – I must disagree. Anyone I know and love knows I argue with them all the time. It must be so with America and Israel as well.

    Thanks for letting me vent. Like I said, delete this if you wish. It is a bit rambling!

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