'Someone is going to die': The double standard reeks to the heavens

Opinion: The road obstructions by extremists, delays of ambulances and law enforcement’s lenient response have nearly cost lives; Before we descend into complete anarchy, it is worth revisiting Yair Lapid’s pointed words for protesters from back when they weren’t from his camp

He is just a 10-year-old boy, and his frail body was stretched out on the gurney as the ambulance wailed for the mercy of protesters near the Wingate Interchange. For 50 minutes, he lay in the rescue vehicle on his way to Laniado Hospital, sedated by medications meant to stabilize his condition after suffering a severe allergic reaction.
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Meanwhile, on a road in Modi'in Illit, a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a bus lay injured, but it took paramedics more than 20 minutes to reach him. Two elderly women, one experiencing a heart attack and the other unconscious, were forced to wait for more than 10 minutes because the ambulances couldn't reach them.
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תל אביב
תל אביב
Mounted police standing against crowd of anti-government protesters blocking major Tel Aviv highway
(Photo: Jack Guez/AFP)
Tens of thousands of protesters against the government and judicial reform, fueled by blind conviction in the righteousness of their cause, once again blocked the main transportation arteries of the State of Israel this morning. Out of concern for the future of Israel, they intend to continue doing so, as they have done dozens of times in recent months.
So far, they have received a feeble and inept response from law enforcement, and facing such a persistent policy of chronic containment, they remain unsatisfied, repeatedly crossing the red line.
I believe in their good intentions and do not dispute their concerns, but their passionate eyes, fueled by anger in the name of love (for the path they want to see the country take) and hatred (for those who think differently), blind them from seeing that their actions endanger human lives.
Would the road blockers have done so if they knew their parents were trapped in an ambulance, on their way or returning from chemotherapy, with a vomit bag in their hands?
Once again, the State of Israel violated its contract with its other citizens today, failing to provide them with protection and ensure their lives and health. The justice system has not yet arisen to defend those citizens in the name of the "reasonableness standard," embodied in the price they are required to pay for their protest.
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מפגינים ומפגינות מול שגרירות ארצות הברית בתל אביב
מפגינים ומפגינות מול שגרירות ארצות הברית בתל אביב
(Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP)
Warnings have been voiced on the right for weeks that if "the left is allowed," there will no longer be any red lines, and the country will be paralyzed day after day by opponents of West Bank outpost evictions, Ethiopian immigrants, people with disabilities, ultra-Orthodox, environmental activists and others. Personally, I am not afraid of that. I have no doubt that the police won’t hesitate to break some bones of protesters from less privileged groups.
There is no dearth of reasons to condemn and criticize the current government (as well as its predecessors). Ministers and coalition members - hot-headed provocateurs, fearmongers and fantasists, power-drunk and strategy-deprived - have crossed an extreme threshold and gone too far
This does not contradict the fact that the protest movement of the recent months is not necessarily against the government's legislative agenda, but primarily against the government itself.
The protest leaders, and those who egg them on them from the opposition benches, know that they will struggle to topple it as a minority, so they seek to at least subdue it and its supporters lest they think they are allowed to rule. Their cynical behavior leads to the escalation of tensions, rebellion and turning citizens against each other.
Israel has had bad governments before, and it will have more in the future. There will always be citizens, from all camps, who at any given time will not see eye to eye with the government's policies, its conduct and its values. However, it is crucial to be cautious not to lose any sense of proportion that would lead to a dangerous slippery slope toward anarchy. No matter how important the cause may be, it does not justify such actions.
In the summer of 2005, on the eve of the Disengagement, Yair Lapid, a columnist for Ynetnews’ sister publication Yedioth Ahronoth at the time, published a piece titled "Someone is going to die," referring to the right-wing road blockers adorned in their orange protest colors.
A screencap of that column is currently circulating on social media, and extracts from it can be heard on the Knesset floor. Hopefully, the opposition leader will return for a moment to the things he wrote about the protesters back then.
יאיר קראוסYair KrausPhoto: Eli Heze


"More than anything else, the recklessness stuck out yesterday. The young settlers are producing at our expense a festival of self-love, which they perceive as very revolutionary," he wrote at the time, calling for a "more determined and less fatigued" police response that would remove them from the road within three minutes.
His words hold true to this day. The former journalist and current opposition leader needs to rally his partners, criticize the road obstructions and act to prevent them, not only to allow emergency vehicles and ambulances to pass and save lives but also to prevent the unnecessary suffering of other road users, whether they are on their way to work, an exam or a meeting. Otherwise, Someone is going to die.
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