Israel: United, Except When It’s NotJanuary 14, 2009
Allison Kilkenny • Operation Itch Contributing Writer
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According to our stellar American media, Israelis are united behind their country’s military actions in Gaza.
New York Times:
JERUSALEM — To Israel’s critics abroad, the picture could not be clearer: Israel’s war in Gaza is a wildly disproportionate response to the rockets of Hamas, causing untold human suffering and bombing an already isolated and impoverished population into the Stone Age, and it must be stopped.Yet here in Israel very few, at least among the Jewish population, see it that way.
It’s very east to make generalities like that when one doesn’t include Israeli dissidents, who are jailed when protesting the war against the Palestinian people:
Israel National News:
Five leftist protesters were arrested Saturday night at a demonstration in Tel Aviv against the IDF’s operation in Gaza. The marchers attempted to enter the Ministry of Defense compound but were prevented from advancing by police. One demonstrator was injured.
Protesters said that the Gaza operation would not contribute to the security of the country. “No one can say that a massacre of Gaza residents will protect the residents of Sderot and Ashkelon,” one of the protesters told a reporter from the Hebrew-language newspaper Haaretz.
Israel: United is a convenient slogan when one completely neglects to mention the hundreds of Israeli Arabs, who apparently don’t count when referring to this vague concept known as “Israel.”
Seven hundred protesters against the Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza, mostly Israeli Arabs or residents of East Jerusalem, have been arrested since the operation began, and dozens have been indicted. The protesters, 226 of whom are still in custody, are suspected of involvement in disturbances, illegal demonstrations or stone-throwing, police said. Of the detainees, 237 are minors. Most of the protests that led to arrests took place in Jerusalem or the north.
Protest isn’t limited to the civilian population. Haaretz reports that an Israeli soldier has been jailed after refusing to fight in Gaza:
An Israel Defense Forces reserves soldier, taking part in Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip which entered its 17th day on Monday, has refused to enter the Hamas-ruled territory along with his unit in protest of the killing of Palestinian civilians.
On Monday it emerged that the soldier has been jailed for 14 days in a military facility. He was the first soldier to be tried for refusing orders since the beginning of the operation.
And what does the Times say of all of this?
But voices of dissent in this country have been rare.
Oh. Well, I guess they’re rare if you don’t report them.