Today, Wednesday, Knesset Members will be voting on a very democratic bill calling for the creation of committees to investigate the funding sources of Israeli human rights groups.
They only want us since we have the audacity to engage in human rights, non-violence, and peace and social justice work. How nice to be the center of attention!
This bill, one of the many dream children of MKs from Yisrael Beitenu , erases any ambiguity that might have remained concerning the direction our country has taken.
Avigdor Lieberman, Chair of the political party, Yisrael Beitenu (Israel is our home)
We are in the middle of our hike on the fascist road - that leads from the south to the north, from the west to the east
Soon, there will be kiosks selling brown shirts and high boots, buttons and stickers.
(If you look hard, you can see them - there with the giant flags and brown-shirted guards...)
Up the road a bit, there are cars waiting to take us to jail,
Where we will be put in solitary confinement,
without the rights to meet with lawyers,
or to communicate with our families
When I first came to this land, in 1970, I came to a country I had been taught was democratic, to a country that believed in peace and freedom, that respected different views.
There were many, many things that I did not know about my country then. It took me a while to learn that the democracy, and the calls for peace and freedom, really only applied to the Jewish people. If you were Arab, well that was a different story.
In the past, when we went out to demonstrate, or to support peace initiatives, not everyone agreed with us, but our voices and actions were seen as legitimate, and our right to demonstrate unquestioned.
Today, legitimation is confined solely to those Jews who self-define as super-duper Zionists. These super-duper Zionists believe that the Palestinians (citizens of Israel, those in the Occupied Territories or who are refugees elsewhere) have NO place here, and that we, the Jews, are entitled to all of Eretz Yisrael Hashelma (Greater Israel). These super-duper Zionists, believe that they have the monopoly on defining who is Zionist and who is not, what is Zionism, and what is heresy, who can be Israeli, and who cannot, what it means to hold Jewish values, and what it means to be a traitor.
As we march on this fascist road
littered with anti-democratic bills and laws:
the boycott law
the bill to investigate human rights groups
the proposal to sign loyalty oaths
the proposal to begin each school with the raising of the flag and the singing of Hatikva
the arrest of non-violent peace activists at non-violent demonstrations
the song of the late great songwriter Phil Ochs comes to mind.
This is a land full of power and glory...her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom, her freedom depends on us all...on us all