Ben-Dror Yemini
Ben-Dror Yemini
Photo: Ynet
The annual 'Flag Parade' in Jerusalem was cut short in May due to rocket fire from Gaza

No to Jewish and Arab provocation in Jerusalem

Opinion: The right's willingness to follow previously shunned extremists such as Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, who are only looking to provoke and fuel hatred, gives legitimacy to those in the global arena who are opposed to Israel

Ben-Dror Yemini |
Published: 06.07.21 , 23:16
Nearly all the right-wing pundits have recently found themselves indignantly demanding why we can’t wave Israeli flags in Jerusalem.
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  • Some of them have even taken it one step further, asking why can one wave the Palestinian flag in the heart of Tel Aviv but not the Israeli flag in Jerusalem?
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    מצעד הדגלים בירושלים
    מצעד הדגלים בירושלים
    The annual 'Flag Parade' in Jerusalem was cut short in May due to rocket fire from Gaza
    (Photo: EPA)
    There were even those who pondered aloud if they would be forced to take down the Israeli flags adorning their vehicles upon entering the capital.
    But they all already knew the answer to their questions: There is no prohibition on carrying, holding or waving the Israeli flag in Jerusalem.
    They are also aware of the enormous difference between proudly displaying the national flag - including in Jerusalem - and the provocation that is “Flag Parade” sponsored by right-wing extremists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich.
    The parade has little to do with strengthening Jerusalem and everything to do with causing chaos. And if some blood is shed along the way, then the provocation can be claimed as a success.
    If there is one city in Israel whose Jewish and Arab residents fail to intermingle and coexist, it's Jerusalem.
    This failure occurred during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year rule. And yet, his advocates and die-hard followers are somehow blaming the recent unrest and violence in the capital on the leaders of the new coalition that has yet to be approved, let alone take charge.
    It is nigh on impossible to explain to the global community why the extreme-right can behave so provocatively, and indeed their actions only help those who hate Israel.
    Similarly, there is no decent legal explanation for why Jews are trying to displace Arab families from their homes in the middle of a traditionally Arab neighborhood or why Arab landowners in the city are prohibited from utilizing their rights.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    הפגנה בשייח ג'ראח
    הפגנה בשייח ג'ראח
    Protestors in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood holding a banner that reads 'No to evacuating families'
    (Photo: Amit Shabi)
    Doing things out of contrariness (a concept know in Hebrew as "davka") is the best way to strengthen the anti-Israel crowd and its claims. These apparent anti-Zionists on the right have become the greatest allies of the anti-Zionists on the left.
    The greater problem is that what happened to Israel’s left wing over the past decade is happening to the right wing today. The extreme left managed to drag the entire camp to down delusional avenues, and it is now more prominent, more determined, and more strident than before.
    Now the right, which claims to be the sane majority, is dancing to the tune of extremists such as Ben-Gvir, the racist, Arab-hating Lehava organization and those who follow the teachings of racist rabbi Meir Kahana, who infamously called to “murder all Arabs.”
    People who had not for years set foot in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City were suddenly insisting on marching there as part of the Flag Parade, in the hopes of embarrassing the right-wing party leaders who are members of the nascent coalition that aims to replace Netanyahu's government.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    הפגנה מול ביתו של איילת שקד בתל אביב
    הפגנה מול ביתו של איילת שקד בתל אביב
    Bezalel Smotrich speaking a protest against the new government outside the home of Yamina No. 2 Ayelet Shaked
    (Photo: Ayelet Shaked)
    When those supporting the Hamas terrorist organization insist on marching through the city’s streets, we all know it is nothing but blatant provocation.
    We also all know it is nothing but provocation when right-wing extremists insist on parading through the city’s streets, even if in the current insane reality they have the support of several government ministers.
    In a democratic Jewish state, provocation sbe allowed to march.

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