Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Never let it be said that Israel isn’t the land of contradictions.
As noted in my last blog, the head of BGU's Department of Politics and Government Neve Gordon recently called on the world to boycott Israel, calling it “an apartheid state”, saying that it order for Israel to save itself, “all foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements, faith-based organizations, unions and citizens (must) suspend cooperation with Israel”.
That was fine and dandy, as far as most officials were concerned – oh, sure, some BGU donors are howling, threatening to stop donating. Several traditional Zionists have come out forcefully against Gordon’s treasonous statements.
But certainly no one in the legal system or the courts, or the police, have suggested -- or even thought, apparently -- that Gordon should be arrested for his world-wide publication of treason, the granting of aid and comfort to those who would destroy Israel.
But then there’s another man, Noam Federman, who lives in Hebron. That's Noam and his wife Elishiva pictured above. While Neve Gordon (a self-hating Jew if there ever was one) has spent his life on an endless anti-Semitic, hate-Israel rant, Noam Federman of Hebron/Kiryat Arba has been a life-long defender of Israel. And darn near every time Federman opens his mouth, he’s endlessly and ceaselessly punished for his love of country.
The police couldn’t wait to arrest Noam Federman. He’s just been sentenced to four months of public service for his latest outburst.
What did Federman say? On Israel’s TV Channel 2 – the government channel – Federman was being interviewed. He said, "There are strange people who say we can live with the Arabs in coexistence. There are strange people who say I can coexist with cancer.”
Wham! For Federman, that’s four months of public service for “incitement to racism.”
So tell me, friends: When Neve Gordon publishes a plea in the Los Angeles Times, begging the world to punish Jews and the Jewish state, the Israeli legal system says that’s his right. We have free speech in Israel, they’d all chime in -- if anyone had asked for their opinion, which no one did, because it apparently never occured to anyone.
But let Noam Federman -- who’s probably spent more time in courts and prisons in his lifetime than in his own bed – suggest that co-existence with the people who refuse to even sit down to negotiate with Israel until Israel accomplishes most of what would be needed to kill the Jewish state? Ah, well, for that, you get prison.
So here's the deal: As long as you’re inciting hatred of Jews, that’s fine. That’s not a problem.
But heaven help you, if you “incite” against Arabs. Then it’s off to prison.
As I say, I sometimes think we’re getting just too civilized to survive.