14:55 , 11.11.06


Photo: AFP Aftermath of IDF attack in Beit Hanoun Photo: AFP
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It's a shame…

Israelis have no excuse for remaining silent in face of Gaza war
Ariel Rubinstein

It's a shame that we live in a society in which we are free to say whatever we feel like saying. How good it would be if we could cite restrictions on free speech as the excuse for our silence in the face of what has been happening for years in the Gaza Strip.


It's a shame that no one is stopping us from demonstrating against the government's policy and that we know that even if we go wild and block streets then at most we would be detained for questioning for a couple of hours. Thus, the fact that we are not demonstrating against the unbridled actions in Gaza clearly proves that what happens there is about as interesting to us as last year's snowfall.


It's a shame that the Israeli press does not refrain from publishing the chilling testimonies of the Israeli journalists who travel 82 kilometers from Tel Aviv to Gaza and describe the scenes of the destruction of our morals from there.


It hurts to see these reports and to consider for a moment whether to read them or skip to the next page.


It's a shame that we live in an open world in which we can know everything and the media publishes an abundance of accounts about what is happening in the Strip. If anyone still does not know what is going on there, it is a sign that he is totally preoccupied with the saga of the president and the owner of the Betar Jerusalem soccer team.


It's a shame that even if we were to express strong political views against our actions in the Territories, no one would prevent us from strolling through the halls of power or filling key positions in our government, economy and legal system.


Our silence would be more understandable if we were made to pay a price, even a tiny one, for expressing an opinion.

It's a shame that during our school classes on Jewish history, the members of a people that abuses another people do not have the right of remaining silent. How annoying it is that in this country one cannot remain silent without pangs of conscience.


It's a shame that we live in a society where even if we refuse to serve in the reserves for reasons of conscience or express support for the right to refuse, the State's bigwigs will continue to shake our hand warmly and regard our protest as a wink to Tel Aviv's Shenkin Street crowd. Anyone who does not refuse is willingly carrying out orders.


It's a shame that we cannot justify our obedience by blaming it on the tyranny of the Rightists. What can we do? The Right is not a tyrant and is not in power. Even a wise Lieberman will attain his objectives without budging any of the foundation stones of the sturdy Israeli democracy.