Sunday, August 09, 2009

Israeli Freedom of Speech takes another Death Blow

1. It sounds ironic but the record of Likud governments on freedom of speech
in Israel is probably even worse than that of Labor governments. Freedom of
speech is something leftists and Arabs enjoy in Israel, even when they cheer on
terrorism and insist that Israel be exterminated, but not something that
non-leftists may exercise. The exercise of freedom of speech by non-leftists
in Israel constitutes "incitement." Scores of people have been indicted for

As part of the crackdown on the exercise of freedom of speech by non-leftists,
the police in Israel have orders to arrest people sporting politically
incorrect tee shirts and bumper stickers. Not a single person with an
anti-Israel leftist bumper sticker or tee shirt has been arrested nor have
those spray painting leftist or pro-Arab graffiti on walls.

On Friday freedom of speech in post-democratic Israel took yet another
crippling blow, and once again it comes when the Likud is in office. A
religious man in Tel Aviv was arrested for having on an insensitive tee shirt.
It said in Hebrew "Homosexuals, we are tired of you."

You may well disagree with that slogan and you may well regard that tee shirt
as being in poor taste. But it is not the job of the police in a civilized
society to enforce good taste. That is the job of the police in totalitarian
societies. Moreover, any country that criminalizes insensitive speech is in
effect suppressing freedom of speech altogether. So here we have a Likud-led
Israel in which denying that there was a Holocaust or insisting that Jews are
racially inferior deserving of being mass murdered is all protected speech but
insensitive tee shirts are criminalized. In the past people have been arrested
for having bumper stickers or tee shirts that read "Where there are no Arabs
there is no terrorism."

Here is the full report of the death knell of freedom of speech in Israel from

Hareidi Man Arrested for 'Tired of Gays' T-Shirt
Av 18, 5769, 08 August 09 11:48

by Gil Ronen and Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

( Police arrested a hareidi man, Aryeh Yerushalmi, for
wearing a T-shirt that said "Homos, We are Tired of You" to a rally by
homosexuals at Tel Aviv's main square Saturday night.

It is not known what law Yerushalmi is suspected of breaking.

According to NRG, police asked him to leave the area and when he refused,
arrested him. "They arrest people here because you cannot express yourself in
this country," Yerushalmi said before being forced into a squad car.

Yerushalmi, 27, is known for two earlier provocative one-man demonstrations
that he held at branches of the Tiv Ta'am supermarket chain. For two years in a
row, he took off almost all of his clothes near the bread shelves in the store
during Pesach (Passover) to protest a court ruling that allowed the store to
sell chametz (leavened, and therefore unkosher for Pesach) products during the

Yerushalmi explained that the protest was meant to highlight the absurdity of
the ruling which determined that the store was not a public place and could
therefore stock chametz without breaking the Chametz Law. Yerushalmi reasoned
that if the store was not a public place, he should be allowed to take off his
clothes there. To drive home the point, he wrote "it's not public" on his body.

Those protests received much media attention, but Yerushalmi admitted he could
be kicked out of his yeshiva for the indecent act. After the second
demonstration he was brought before a judge, but was not charged.

Thousands attend rally
Thousands of people flooded into Tel Aviv's Rabin Square Saturday night in
memory of two people murdered in a shooting spree at a club for homosexual
youth exactly one week ago. The mass gathering was accompanied by well-known
Israeli musicians and was addressed by President Shimon Peres, Tel Aviv Mayor
Ron Huldai as well as a young man wounded in the shooting and a sister of one
of the murder victims.

In his comments, Peres said that the shooter was aiming at all the citizens of
Israel, even though he physically attacked the gay youth organization.
"Preventing murder is our uncompromising duty," Peres declared. "We have no
right to rummage around in the lives of others, as long as they obey the law
and maintain order. Only tyrants in dictatorships give themselves permission to
do so."

The president added that the security services would not rest until the
perpetrator was captured

2. Not a spoof. An anti-Semitic Israeli leftist "academic" has been selected
for the Fat'h terrorist organizations "Central Revolutionary Council." The new
terrorist is "Dr." Uri Davis, a self-hating Jewish terrorist who recently
converted to Islam. Details are here:

He lives in the Israeli Arab town of Sakhnin. He enjoys freedom of speech in
Israel because he does not wear insensitive tee shirts.

3. There are two quiet revolutions going on in the Israeli print media, for
decades the occupied territories of the Israeli Left. The first is the massive
growth in the freebie daily "Israel Hayom," which will soon launch a weekend
edition (it is a weekday only paper now), which is getting close to Maariv in
terms of market share. It is the most pluralistic Hebrew newspaper in Israel,
with a balance of views from the Left and Right. That is very unusual in
Israel, although Maariv is somewhat balanced. The Jerusalem Post used to be
but is now moving toward the port side.

The other change is the growth in Makor Rishon. The paper used to be dismissed
as a mediocre poorly-edited "settler newspaper." But it is today in many ways
the best Hebrew newspaper in Israel, the only consistently Zionist one. More
importantly it is today professionally edited with high-quality Hebrew writers,
and often uncovers scoops and stories that appear nowhere else. Its market
share is growing rapidly, mainly for its weekend issue. It mails out an
electronic version of the paper for free to a list anyone can join. It still
suffers from two serious weaknesses: while it tried in the past to run some
English language pieces, it evidently gave up, and that is unfortunate. At the
moment English readers have no access to its materials. Secondly, for reasons
I cannot fathom they have the very worst web site of any newspaper on earth,
grossly disorganized, impossible to search, failing even to carry the major
current stories from the paper. The low quality of the web site,, is a major obstacle to the paper gaining more influence.
The paper is aimed at both secular and religious Zionists, and its features
range from political to human interest to a Talmud commentary that is written
by someone who actually knows his stuff.

I mention all this because there were several items in the paper this weekend
that were so superb that they really deserve mass circulation in my opinion.
The first concerns Amos Keinan. Keinan was a strange creature of the Israeli
far-Left, perhaps the last of the truly-Zionist leftists. An interesting
writer, he died last week. While a passionate believer in most leftist dogma,
and a groupie of Cuba and Marxism, he was also a patriotic Israeli who defended
Israel's right to use military force against its enemies. While celebrated by
the moonbat Left in Israel, he also made them feel uncomfortable with his
non-apologetic Zionism. With his passing, the Zionist Left in Israel is
essentially extinct.

Makor Rishon ran several items treating Keinan and his life with respect and
gentlemanly honor this week. But one also carried a tremendous story, one of
which I had not been aware. The editor of the paper, Amnon Lord, tells the
story of the attempted assassination of a cabinet minister in Israel from a
religious party in the 1950s, carried out by several assassins from the
ultra-Left (basically, communists). In June 1952, assassins tried to murder
David Zvi Pinkas (who was for a while Minister of Transportation) by placing a
bomb on his porch. (Funny thing how all those leftist McCarthyists who
bellowed that the "Right" was collectively guilty of the pipe bomb left last
year next to the home of a far-Leftist professor have nothing to say about
this!) Amos Keinan was seen fleeing the scene with a comrade, and was
arrested as a co-conspirator, but was eventually released for insufficient
evidence. Keinan and friend took the equivalent of the Fifth and refused to
testify on their own behalf. While the minister survived the attack, he died
six months later of heart failure, no doubt brought on by the attempt.
Israel's Lord Haw Haw, Uri Avnery, was also involved.

The new part of the story reported in Makor Rishon is that Keinan was guilty.
His own wife later published a book and provided detailed evidence of his
guilt. Keinan was never retried (even though Israel has no protection against
double jeopardy). The early fifties were the days when MAPAM was a Stalinist
party (now part of MERETZ) and some of its members were communists-in-a-hurry.
They demanded an immediate bolshie style revolution and some plotted to
assassinate Ben-Gurion. Many of these same people were later behind the demand
that all Rightist "inciters" be arrested after the Rabin assassination. Oh,
and Keinan was clearly driven to attempted murder by the verbal incitement of
his friends. They mocked his bravado about the need for a violent overturn of
the government and suggested that he go to Russia to assassinate the Czar since
Israel was too small for him. None were imprisoned for that incitement.

Keinan instead went to France for many years, became a beatnik, and there is
even a highly-forgetable film about him, called Warrior's Rest, with Brigette
Bardor, who is not at all forgettable.

Lord has another scoop in the same paper about the anti-Israel leftist Israeli
journalists who ran to "Freedom House" in the United States to smear Israel
with lies about the degree of journalistic freedom in Israel. It was a bit
like those people from "Breaking the Silence" who disseminate fictional and
imaginary stories about IDF soldiers mistreating po' Palestinians. They do so
in order to help get Israel destroyed. The Makor Rishon story is that Freedom
House had a single rep in Israel who decided to evaluate freedom of the press
in Israel by interviewing one single journalist who happened to be a
far-leftist anti-Israel pro-terror moonbat named Yizhar Beer. Beer was head
of a far-leftist anti-Israel propaganda NGO financed by the usual Eurotrash.
It was named "Keshev" and in past postings we had occasion to discuss them.
See this:
http: // and
http: // . And on the
basis of that single interview, Freedom House sharply downgraded Israel.

Finally Uri Elitzur, another of my favorite writers, has an interesting column
in this week's Makor Rishon. He reminds readers of the endless hate speech
coming from the Left about how the exercise of freedom of speech by Rightists
produces violence and murder (just look at the Rabin assassination, they say).
And about how Rightist politics are a petri dish for violence. Then over the
past week it has been repeated in the Israeli conscripted press at least 5000
times that the murderous attack on a homosexual center in Tel Aviv was directly
caused by comments critical of homosexuality spoken by religious party
politicians. Never mind that the police are now convinced that it the attack
on the center was not done for political or ideological reasons but by a person
with a personal grudge to settle with those inside, evidently unrelated to
homosexuality. Finally, a yeshiva student who tried to run down an Ethiopian
woman guard at a shopping center is obsessively called the "Yeshiva Drive-by

Elitzur reminds readers of recent cases in which the Israeli media had no
interest in mentioning the political leanings and background of perps involved
in murder and attempted murder. Assaf Goldring, a man who recently murdered
his own daughter to spite his ex-wife, was a leftist. Dudu Topaz, the Israeli
comic at the top of the charts who contracted out a series of attempted hits on
various people with whom he was angry, was an outspoken leftist. Hanan
Goldblatt is a leftist entertainer now facing multiple rape charges. The media
never add adjectives about the politics and life style of THESE criminals.

4. I think the funniest thing that has happened in a long time is the story
the Fat'h leader in Bethlehem saying that Israel had murdered Arafat (see ). If only he were
telling the truth! It is the worst disgrace since the Golden Calf that
Israel did NOT kill Arafat!

But it did bring back to mind my commentary on Arafat's original croaking,
which appeared in Jewishworldreview in 2004,

I repost it here for those who appreciate some good nostalgia:

Jewish World Review Nov. 8, 2004 / 25 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765

The Monty Python Dead Parrot Sketch with Minor Corrections

By Steven Plaut

OK, OK, it's bad form to celebrate an enemy's downfall. But cut us some slack.
The man was a mass murderer:

Abu Mazen: Hello, I wish to register a
complaint . . . Hello? Miss?

Suha: What do you mean, miss?

Abu Mazen: Oh, I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint.

Suha: Sorry, we're closing for lunch. I need to shop in Paris for 400 new

Abu Mazen: Never mind that my lad, I wish to complain about this Rais what I
purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique. You promised me a
live terrorist!

Suha: Oh yes, the Jihad Green one. What's wrong with it?

Abu Mazen: I'll tell you what's wrong with it. It's dead, that's what's
wrong with it.

Suha: No, no it's resting, look!

Abu Mazen: Look my lad, I know a dead terrorist when I see one and I'm
looking at one right now.

Suha: No, no sir, it's not dead. It's resting.

Abu Mazen: Resting?

Suha: Yeah, remarkable bird the Jihad Green, beautiful plumage, innit?

Abu Mazen: The plumage don't enter into it -- it's stone dead.

Suha: No, no -- it's just resting.

Abu Mazen: All right then, if it's resting I'll wake it up. (shouts into
cage) Hello Abu Amar! I've got a nice cuttlefish for you when you wake up,
Abu Amar!

Suha: (Jogging cage) There it moved.

Abu Mazen: No he didn't. That was you pushing the cage.

Suha: I did not.

Abu Mazen: Yes, you did. (takes terrorist out of cage, shouts) Hello Abu Abu
(bangs it against counter) Polly Abu, wake up. Abu (throws it in the air and
lets it fall to the floor) Now that's what I call a dead terrorist.

Suha: No, no it's stunned.

Abu Mazen: Look my lad, I've had just about enough of this. That terrorist
is definitely deceased. And when I bought it not half an hour ago, you
assured me that its lack of movement was due to it being tired and shagged
out after a long squawk.

Suha: It's probably pining for the fjords.

Abu Mazen: Pining for the fjords, what kind of talk is that? Look, why did
it fall flat on its back the moment I got it home?

Suha: The Jihad Green prefers kipping on its back. Beautiful bird, lovely

Abu Mazen: Look, I took the liberty of examining that terrorist, and I
discovered that the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the
first place was that it had been nailed there.

Suha: Well of course it was nailed there. Otherwise it would muscle up to
those bars and voom.

Abu Mazen: Look matey (picks up parrot) this terrorist wouldn't voom if I
put four thousand volts through it. It's bleeding demised.

Suha: It's not, it's pining.

Abu Mazen: It's not pining, it's passed on. This terrorist is no more. It
has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late
parrot. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't
nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies. It's rung down
the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot.

Suha: Well, I'd better replace it then.

Abu Mazen: (to camera) If you want to get anything done in this country
you've got to complain till you're blue in the mouth.

Suha: Sorry guv, we're right out of chief terrorists.

Abu Mazen: I see. I see. I get the picture.

Suha: I've got a slug.

Abu Mazen: Does it talk?

Suha: Not really, no.

Abu Mazen: Well, it's scarcely a replacement, then is it?

Suha: Listen, I'll tell you what, (handing over a card) tell you what, if
you go to my brother's pet shop in Bolton he'll replace your terrorist for

Abu Mazen: Bolton eh?

Suha: Yeah.

Abu Mazen: All right.

Suha: Look, what do you want?

Abu Mazen: No I'm sorry, I'm not prepared to pursue my line of enquiry any
further as I think this is getting too silly.

Colonel: (Coming in) Quite agree. Quite agree. Silly. Silly . . . silly.

Right get on with it. Get on with it.

5. No comparison:,7340,L-3758636,00.html

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