Photo: B'Tselem

Trapped in a nightmare

Op-ed: Israelis are frightened by the lack of political desire to curb rightist violence

If you felt that somebody has been stealing your country in the past few weeks, it’s apparently true. If you thought that you are trapped in a nightmare and will soon wake up and forget about it in the morning, it won’t happen. This nightmare is reality. This is our life.


At a time when hundreds of settlers break into a military base, Jewish rioters charge at the vehicle of an IDF division commander and hurl a brick at his deputy in the aims of hurting him, a group of youths crosses the border fence near the holy Christian site of Qasr al-Yehud and threatens to complicate our ties with Jordan, a mosque is burned and price tag acts become a matter of routine - and all of this is happening against a backdrop of anti-democratic laws and the establishment of a committee to look into the exclusion of women from the public sphere – we are allowed to admit that, yes, we are scared.


We are scared of what is happening a few kilometers away from our homes, when hundreds of youngsters without parental, teaching or rabbinical authority do as they wish in this country, and there is no one to stop them; neither the government nor the army or police. We are also scared of the belligerent, aggressive and anti-democratic atmosphere that has taken over our country.


We are scared because we know that if instead of Jews it was Arabs who rioted like that inside a military base and hurled a rock at the deputy division commander, they would be thrown in jail (at best.) Yet this is a country that applies one law to Jews and another law to Arabs.


Stretching the boundaries

We are scared because we know that it is not about inability, but rather, about the lack of desire to act against these people, maybe because they reflect the DNA of this government. We are mostly scared of what has become of us.


Let’s make no mistake about it: What we saw was not a one-time event or a fleeting episode; an incident that one can look away from and forget about. This is a rolling process. These young people are fuelling each other and stretching the boundaries to see how far they can go.


What was a stone yesterday and a stick today will be a gun tomorrow. And we cannot even say that we saw the writing on the wall, because there was no wall. The wall was trampled on and collapsed. Meanwhile, our leaders condemn it and debate whether this is or isn’t terrorism, while treating it as they treat a social protest on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard.



פרסום ראשון: 12.23.11, 15:15
 new comment
This will delete your current comment