Who posted announcements about a long-term power outage in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem? For once, the national electric company is not the culprit, but anarchists and left-wing activists. This motley crew is protesting the government's plan to cut the flow of electricity to Gaza as collective punishment for the Qassam salvos that terrorists in Gaza continue to fire at Sderot and the Gaza-area communities.
Tuesday night, dozens of anarchists and left-wing activists took to the streets in Israel's two largest cities to post thousands of such notices on the doors of private homes, buildings, and bulletin boards. These 'notices' are exact replicas of the electric company's announcement that warns of planned power outages.
The notice reads: "Cutting power is a step taken when no other alternatives remain, and one we are forced to take given the presence, in your city, of neighborhoods full of headquarters of an army that carries out war crimes and harms civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"Out of humanitarian concerns, the power cuts will not be total, and we will leave it to your discretion whether to divert the remaining electricity to hospitals, the sewage system, or private homes."
The Gaza Liberation Front claims responsibility at the bottom of the flyer.
Tuesday night lights (Photo: Activestills.org)
'Collective punishment is a war crime'
According to Adar Greivsky, one of the campaign's organizers, the activists are posting the announcements to attract the attention of citizens to what is being done in Gaza and the government's decision, supported by the High Court of Justice, to reduce the supply of electricity and fuel to Gaza.
"Horrifying things are happening in Gaza: people are killed every day, there is a prohibition on transporting goods and the residents have been under siege for some time now. Israeli citizens are unaware of the extent of crimes carried out there. I hope that worried residents will look at the announcements, read them, and perhaps become a little wiser. Collective punishment is a war crime."
Greivsky believes that the decision to limit the electricity flow to Gaza is a war crime that will not prevent Qassams from landing in Gaza-area communities, only sharpen Hamas' response. "The claim that if we sufficiently hurt civilians it will stop the Qassams is mistaken... if we cut the supply of power to the residents of Tel Aviv, will it stop the army from committing crimes in Gaza?"
Greivsky added, "The degree of influence Gazans have over those launching Qassams is null, and we can not lend a hand to those harming innocent people and destroying their lives. The prime minister divides Palestine into two: the good (or at least the good half of Fatah), and the bad, i.e. Hamas. He thinks he can reach an agreement only with the good ones, but this won't work because the Palestinians are not divided. We need to talk with Hamas, but instead we prefer to continue boycotting and fighting them."
After the false announcements, the electric company call center was flooded with calls from concerned citizens worried that the company was going to cut power in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The company stresses that it is in no way connected to the protest.
Tani Goldstein contributed to this report