Monday, August 08, 2011

The ongoing deacdes-long Assault against Freedom of Speech in Israel

In the late 1990s I joined a web site that was documenting the
suppression of freedom of speech in Israel. It was set up by Karl
Ericson (who is not Jewish as far as I know.) The site stopped
operating in the early 2000's. It is still up at

As I myself had forgotten many of the items there, I thought it might
be interesting to post a small number, just to take you back to the
anti-democratic campaigns of the Israeli Left at that time and to the
atmosphere in the country. Here are some samples (I have not edited
them, so excuse spelling and grammar glitches). Sorry it is a little

"Anyone who speaks or writes against the Disengagement Plan is
guilty of incitement."
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to his cabinet
February 13, 2005

Israel At Last Acts Against Violence with Determination
Dr. Steve Plaut's email-newsletter
12 Oct 2000
Well the High Holiday pogroms are not yet complete, but at long
last Israel has evidently decided to take a vigorous stand against
violence. It has decided to fight violence by convicting Avigdor
Eskine of having bumper stickers that read "He will redeem us."
Let me explain. Eskine is one of the more active of Israeli
Kahanists. Originally from the USSR, he has been in frequent
courtrooms and trouble in Israel for his activities. He tossed a pig's
head on the grave of a Palestinian terrorist killed in the 1930s. The
same Israeli government that did nothing to prevent the destruction of
Joseph's Tomb last week or a construction of a mosque on top of it
this week found the pig's head business insensitive and tried to
charge him. Eskine was also accused but not convicted of torching a
Dor Shalem (leftist protest movement) office.
Yesterday, Israel tore up what little is left of freedom of
speech in the country. It convicted Eskine of violence and incitement
to violence. What for? Seems in 1996 he was handing out bumper
stickers that read "He will redeem us." What was the problem? "He will
redeem" in Hebrew is Yigal - the first name of the killer of Yitzhak
Rabin and the police said he was saying something nice about the
murderer in the bumper stickers, at least when properly deconstructed.
Of course Eskine wears a yarmulka and so it was just possible He will
Redeem might have been referring to someone else.
SO what is this like? As if someone had a sign that said Peres is
a Dolphin, and you see if you read it quickly, a Dolphin, becomes
adolph in, a clear reference to Hitler and so a call for violence
against Peres.
In case anyone thinks the Likud is any more democratic than the
Labor Party, the prosecution of Eskine for the stickers began under
Now for the past two weeks, the fascist leaders of Israeli Arabs,
including the Knesset Members from the Stalinist/fascist parties, have
been openly calling for violence against Jews, especially against the
police. They have called for more desecrations of Jewish religious
shrines and synagogues, applauded the destruction of Joseph's Tomb,
and supported the pogroms. The number of Arabs who have been arrested
or indicted for "incitement to violence" from all these events is a
great big zero.
But have no fear. Democracy is safe. Eskine may be going to prison.

New Recruits to the McCarthyist Jihad
Against Free Speech in Israel
Dr. Steve Plaut's email-newsletter
Mon, 07 Aug 2000
The McCarthyist assault on free speech and democracy by the
Israeli Left continues, but this week what is interesting is the
collection of new allies that have joined the Leftist jihad against
free speech.
As you recall, the McCarthyist Left launched an "investigation" of
Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, the spiritual guru of SHAS, because he called
far-Leftist Minister of Education Yossi Sarid a modern-age Pharaoh
and a Haman. The Left insists this constituted a clear and present
threat of violence because there may be SHAS followers out there
unawares that Pharaoh died 3500 years ago and that Haman died 2500
years ago and so they just might try to murder Sarid.
This is the same Left that soiled itself in outrage when the same
Rabbi Ovadia allegedly asked the SHAS Knesset Members to vote against
the Left's candidate for President this week - Shimon Peres. Just
because Rabbi Ovadia is being persecuted by the police and attorney
general for his free speech at the behest of the Labor Party, THAT is
an excuse for voting against Shimon Peres? Now Rabbi Ovadia at
first cooperated with his Inquisitors, but after explaining his
statements a few times, he decided enough was enough and he know
longer is willing to undergo Inquisition interrogation by the
McCarthyists. The Attorney General is now trying to decide whether to
prosecute him for his refusal. I am kind of hoping he DOES, as this
will at last force SHAS to get off its fence and take a position on
the Left's McCarthyism and Oslo suicide, as opposed to being nothing
more than a party of "religious" pork barrel kleptocracy.
Meanwhile, the campaign against Rabbi Ovadia and free speech
escalated this week after the "betrayal" by SHAS of Shimon Peres.
The Labor Party regards SHAS as traitors and lying renegades because
SHAS indicated they might split and partly support Peres and then
apparently in the actual vote they did not. Of course, the fact that
the Labor Party lied when it ran on a campaign platform swearing
never to divide Jerusalem, never to stage a unilateral withdrawal
from Lebanon, nor surrender of the Jordan Valley is just one more of
those irrelevancies.
Now the Labor-led campaign against Rabbi Ovadia's freedom of
speech has picked up support from an interesting group - Ahmed Tibi
(the open agent for Yassir Arafat in the Knesset) and the Arab
Knesset Members. Divided among several party splinters that are
either openly Stalinist or openly fascist, these Arab politicians and
other "Arab lawyers" have launched a petition demanding that Rabbi
Ovadia be prosecuted for expressing his opinions. Of course, these
are the very same people who openly cheer on Arab terrorism and call
for violence against Jews, who cheer on the Hizbullah and call it a
heroic force of resistance to Israeli fascism, who openly call for the
destruction of Israel, and who are never ever prosecuted for
incitement to violence, sedition or treason. Whose freedom of
speech is always scrupulously protected even when it should not be.
And who else has joined the McCarthyist bandwagon against Rabbi Ovadia?
Hold on to your streimel - because it is the Israel Committee for
a Constitution. These are people who think Israel needs its own
constitution and bill of rights. They have large ads in the papers
today calling for the DENIAL of the freedom of speech to Rabbi
Ovadia. The ads are under the slogan "For freedom of religion in
Israel". In other words, in the name of "freedom of religion" these
great believers in constitutionalism are demanding the denial of
freedom of speech to Rabbi Ovadia and his prosecution. Got that?
(Wanna send them a cyber-moon? Address
Now the immediate straw that upset these camels of constitionalism
and their fellow liberals was a speech by Ovadia this week. In it he
expressed his own theological theory of the Holocaust. Briefly, he
believes in reincarnation of souls (gilgul nishamot) and thinks that
every few centuries or so a huge tragedy occurs in which all the
accumulated sins of these souls over their numerous reincarnations
are purged and punished.
You may agree or disagree. Personally, I find the idea
distasteful but I have never found any other theological explanation
of the Holocaust any better or any worse than this. In other words,
I doubt there can be a satisfactory theological explanation of the
Holocaust. And life means living with that impossibility. (Not sure
social science is any better at providing an explanation.) I try to
keep theology out of these incitements, but since we have gotten into
this, let me just say that in my own humble and unlearned personal
viewpoint, all theology must allow for the observation that humans
cannot conceive of a world in which there is a God who could allow
the Holocaust to occur and at the same time they cannot conceive of a
world without God and so in essence humans cannot conceive the world
at all.
Now be that as it may, regardless of your own belief or
disbelief, there can be no system of rudimentary democracy in which
freedom of speech is denied, which means that all those attempting to
deny Rabbi Ovadia's freedom of speech are anti-democratic and clear
and present dangers to freedom and democracy in Israel.

Try to imagine an American Congressman getting up in the House and
praising the Japanese for bombing Pearl Harbor or the Germans for
sinking the Reuben James.
Well, even that would not adequately describe the speech yesterday by
the Arab Knesset Member Azmi Bashara in the Knesset. Bashara
represents one of the Stalinist-fascist Arab parties in Israel. He
spent the afternoon singing the praises of the Hizbollah from the
Knesset podium, adding "For the first time since 1967 we taste the
sweet taste of victory (in the Hizbollah chasing out Israel from
Lebanon). The Hizbollah has the right to feel proud of how it debased
The Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm this week also held an official
"Victory for Hizbollah" celebration. Umm al-Fahm is where the Islamic
fundamentalists have their center.
We have been arguing all along that one of the worst forms of Oslo
damage is the Nazification of Israeli Arabs.
And how many of the above Hizbollah celebrators have been taken off
for police questioning for "criminal incitement and sedition"?
Not a one!
You see, the security services are too busy these days pulling in
"Rightists" and "settler leaders" for questioning. The Israeli
McCarthyist Left is once again wheeling out the tired old "Free Speech
Killed Rabin" mantra, and warning - with eyeballs rolling - how the
free speech of opponents of Barak constitutes a clear and present
danger that Barak might get assassinated. One loud-mouth settler
leader fell in the trap when he predicted that if Barak forces Jews to
abandon their settlements Barak would get assassinated. He then
insisted that he opposes violence and it was only a factual
prediction. But that did the trick and the McCarthyist Left, which
never set much store by democracy and free speech anyway, is all over
the TV and press warning that the same "they" who murdered Rabin with
their speech are back and "they" will now try to murder Barak. The
"they" being everyone who does not agree with the Left.

News from Israel's Today in the Inquisition:
A letter in Haaretz April 4 details one of the best recent
examples of Leftist McCarthyism in post-democratic Israel, in which
the Inquisition against free speech advances. Two weeks ago, a
Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak was invited by a student group at Hebrew
University to speak. The Rabbi specializes in bringing secular Jews
closer to religion and "repentance". About 40-50 students showed up
to hear the Rabbi. But when he got up to try to speak, 6 or 7 of the
campus' best known Meretz fascists got up and started screaming to
prevent the Rabbi from being heard. They continued to scream
non-stop for 150 minutes, at which time the auditorium was closed for
the night. The Dean of Students there has apparently not done
anything to punish these students nor defend free speech on campus.
The Meretz Party has not renounced these cadres. This is not the
first time that Meretz student fascists at the Hebrew University used
such behavior and violence to prevent people from speaking on campus.
The Israeli Left is fundamentally anti-democratic and opposed to
freedom of speech.
April 4, 2000

The New Israeli Rules for Free Speech for Soldiers
It is now official. Israel has new rules governing the ability of
senior military officers to speak publicly about their political
views. The rules are quite simple: officers are permitted to express
support for the partisan views of Israel's Labor Party and in
particular for the latest Oslo fads. They are not permitted to express
any dissident opinions that contradict what Israel's Leftists think.
Ever since Oslo began the Labor Party organized public petitions of
military officers and public speaking tours by the same, who assured
the public in Israel and the world how Israel was not being put into
any danger by the Oslo plans to return Israel to its Auschwitz borders
of 1949, how a PLO state would represent no security threat at all.
They lectured the world about how the only true security was that
derived from striking deals based on turning over Israeli lands to
Arab fascists. In recent months the politicalized officers are on TV
and in the press almost daily, explaining how having Syrian tanks
parked on the Kinneret beaches would not threaten Israeli security in
any way. And of course how simply pulling out of Southern Lebanon
would make the Hizbullah just go away and create peace and tranquility
on the northern border.
AH, but then along comes a poor officer this week, Colonel Shmuel
Zakai, and refers in a conversation to the "Four Mothers" protest
movement (which demands immediate unconditional surrender to the
Hizbollah) as the "Four Rags". It was in a private chat with some of
his soldiers in Lebanon. He also refers to Sheli Yachmelovich, a
Far-Leftist radio/TV bimbo, as Shmatalovich (Shmata means rag). Within
nanoseconds, the calls were going out demanding he be court
martialled, including from Labor Party Smurfette, Dalia Itzik
(Environment Minister under Barak), and the usual McCarthyists from
the Left. The poor Colonel apparently was under the delusion that
Israel was a democracy and that political expression for the military
goose was as permitted as is political expression for the military

Sat, 29 Jan 2000
A while back we reported to you the case of poor old Dr. Rado
Reichlin. Dr. Reichlin is a threat to the public safety, at least
according to the Committee on Public Safety of Chaver Robespierre, er
- I mean - the Israeli government.
Reichlin is a retired grandfather, a man who immigrated from
Russia after years of being persecuted for his Jewishness, and now
lives as an Orthodox Jew in Haifa. He taught electronics engineering
for years at the Technion, and maintains his own internet site on
which he posts his thoughts and comments on events of the day. (I do
not have the address, but if interested try a web search.) He also
tends to be a bit on the anti-Oslo side of things.
Reichlin was in the news last year because in a fit of temper he
sent a nasty letter to Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him some foul names
like traitor, murderer and criminal. In post-Rabin Israel, saying
something impolite about a Prime Minister is tantamount to threatening
to murder him, despite the fact that Reichlin never even tried to get
within shouting range of any politicians. For letting off steam and
frustration in this way, he was arrested by the police and had his
computer equipment impounded by the politeness patrol.
Anyway, he did not learn his lesson, and in general seems to be
having difficulty making the adjustment to a totalitarian society
after leaving the Soviet Union. This week, Zayda Reichlin was back
in the slammer. You see, he has been accused of threatening to murder
Israeli President Ezer Weizmann. (Ba-Ir, Jan 28, 2000). Did
Reichlin attempt to break into the President's palace with an Uzi?
Maybe stalk him with some weapons?
No, grasshopper. Reichlin wrote an enraged opinion of the acts
of Weizmann on his internet site, responding to Weizmann's recent
misbehavior and the assorted news scoops about Weizmann's corrupt
past. Reichlin, who is not about to win any awards for Mr.
Congeniality when it comes to expressing his political views, wrote
as follows: "Weizmann, I hope for the sake of our country that we
shall soon be able to urinate on your grave." Some sociology
students in Tel Aviv stumbled on this and reported the incident to
Robespierre, who promptly had Gramps Reichlin arrested for attempted
murder. You can see right away the clear and present danger,
because Weizmann stood to become the first President in human history
to be murdered by an electronic obscenity.
Now I have long argued that any society in which political
criticism is only permitted when it is polite, calm and eloquent is in
fact a totalitarian dictatorship. Countries in which impolite
criticism is banned are countries that do not have freedom of
expression. No one says anything impolite in North Korea. The level
of civilization of the leaders of a country are an INVERSE function of
the amount of obscene pejoratives heaped upon them.
Ironically, Israel's judges and legal community include many who
have been at the forefront of demanding that course and impolite
criticism be criminalized, especially when it is directed at the
Courts and legal system. Kind of reminds me of the California Bar
leaders who blamed "lawyer jokes" for a shoot-up of a law office in
San Francisco a few years back, and so demanded a law criminalizing
the telling of such jokes. Among such Israeli members of the
Committee of Public Safety has been Chief Justice Aharon Barak, the
Guru of Judicial Activism in Israel. (To their credit, some other
leading legal intellectuals have denounced this judicial Robespierrian
approach to free speech.) The Committee has been arguing ever since
the Orthodox held their quarter-million-man-march against judicial
tyranny in Israel that criticizing the Courts should be prohibited and
Now let us put all this in perspective. In Jewish tradition one
is perfectly free to criticize the judgement calls of God, protesting
against injustices in the world and God's "failure" to correct them.
The Book of Job comes to mind, but not just there. The non-elected
Court Justices of the secular state of Israel are, however, to be
beyond reproach. Call them to account and you risk joining Zayda
Reichlin in the klink. Or is that the Bastille?

Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 19:32:38 GMT
Yossi Sarid, Minister of Education of the state of the People of
the Book, has issued a fatwa prohibiting a Haifa area Rabbi from
addressing school children. Anywhere anytime. The Rabbi in question is
Rabbi Meir Druckman, the young Chief Rabbi of the Haifa suburb of
Kiryat Motzkin. His crime? He has spoken out against Oslo. (You may
recall that under the Peres regime before Netanyahu, the Rabbi of the
Technion was similarly witch-hunted for criticizing Oslo.) Rabbi
Druckman was in the news a couple of months back, when he spoke his
mind. Two religious college students, boyfriend and girlfriend from
Haifa, were murdered by an Israeli Arab near Megiddo who seems to have
had nothing more important to do with his time that day. The boyfriend
was from Kiryat Motzkin. After the funeral, the Rabbi denounced the
Oslo accords in harsh terms and even said that those who signed them
(meaning the PLO) were accomplices to murder or murderers, and even
called them Nazis. A Labor Party member in the City Council named
Friedman went through what has by now become the Labor Party's
alternative to daily prayer and petitioned the authorities, including
the police, to go after the Rabbi for "incitement". The other City
Council members refused and Friedman then denounced these fellow
alderman as resembling those Germans who kept silent while the Nazi
crimes were taking place. Curious how Friedman was never prosecuted
for THOSE statements. Now lest you be confused by all this, let us
make things clear. In post-Rabin Israel, it is possibly a crime (the
police are still investigating Druckman's statements) to say the PLO
is a group of Nazis. But to say that people who do not denounce a
Rabbi or demand his arrest are Nazi collaborators through their
silence, THAT IS FREE SPEECH!! All clear now? Now word of all this
Druckman incitement was whispered into the antlers of the Minister of
Education. Sarid has now issued an injunction prohibiting Rabbi
Druckman from entering any school on pain of arrest. Once it became
clear that Druckman would not recant his comparison of the PLO to
Nazis, as demanded by the Ministry of Education, Sarid issued his
fatwa. The Rabbi responded by suggesting that Sarid go and reside in
Gaza. Sarid says Druckman is similar to Rabbi Meir Kahane, the
ultimate insult when voiced by a Leftist Israeli, although Druckman is
NOT a Kahanist.

Date: Wed, 01 Dec 1999 08:02:39 GMT
While the courts in Israel generally back up the McCarthyist
anti-speech jihad of the Left, every once in a while they DO defend
the rights of free expression, but in a somewhat selective way. Take
Prof. Moshe Zimmerman, the Hebrew University historian and far-Leftist
anti-Zionist who regular compares "settlers" with Nazis and says
settler children are "Hitlerjugend". Well, after one such bout of
lunacy a group of settlers decided to sue the good Professor for
slandering their children. Yesterday the court in Jerusalem tossed out
the suit, defending free speech. Now, had Zimmerman said that Oslo is
a foolish idea, he might be doing time as we speak, possible in the
cell next to Tatiana Suskind.

Jews Do Not Have Free Speech in Israel
Dr. Steve Plaut's email-newsletter
27 Nov 2000
Free speech suffered yet another setback today in post-democratic
Israel. Two cases came before Israel's Supreme Court, which is
increasingly a bastion of judicial activism and politically correct
The Court heard two appeals by extremists convicted of that
amorphous "crime" used in Israel to suppress free speech, "incitement
and sedition". This was the "crime" for which the two leaders of the
Zo Artseinu protest movement were earlier convicted for blocking a
highway intersection. Never mind that students, Arabs, and others who
block roads in protests are never indicted. It is also the catch-all
crime for which assorted public and nonpublic figures are routinely
interrogated in Israel, including Rabbi Ovadiah Yossef (for referring
to the head of leftist Meretz as a modern Pharaoh). "Incitement" has
become the bully club used by the Israeli Left and its captive judges
and police to persecute nonleftist dissidents who express disagreement
with the Left.
In today's appeals, the first involved the son of Rabbi Meir
Kahane, who currently heads one of those Kahanist factions that have
been criminalized by the Israeli Left, banned under Israel's laws as a
"terrorist" and "racist" organization at the same time that the
PLO-front groups, the Arab Fascist-Stalinist parties, and the Islamist
fundamentalists all operate legally and openly.
What was junior Kahane's "crime"? Seems that Kahane the Younger
had handed out leaflets expressing his personal opinion that it would
be advisable for the Israeli military to bomb the Israeli Arab town of
Umm al-Fahm, which is headquarters of the Islamist fundamentalists and
the scene of frequent anti-Jewish violence. Kahane's call to bomb the
town came after town residents had butchered three sleeping Israeli
soldiers in a tent near the town. Kahane himself did not engage in any
violence nor even call upon plain citizens to use violence but simply
expressed an opinion, albeit one you might not agree with, regarding
how the Israeli military should handle violence by Israeli Arabs. An
earlier Supreme Court appeal in 1998 had acquited Kahane but under
Israel one is not protect against double jeopardy and so the
prosecution, led by Labor Party loyalist Attorney General Elyakim
Rubinstein, appealed it to the Supreme Court.
In the second case, an Israeli Arab journalist named Muhammed
Jabrian was indicted for publishing articles that praised the
anti-Jewish violent acts of Arabs. His pieces literally included
cheers of "Hoorah Hoorah" for Arabs who attack Jews. His articles also
called for driving the Jews out of all of "Palestine". Jabrian had
been convicted of incitement to violence and an earlier Supreme Court
decision had upheld his conviction.
The Supreme Court, which meets with panels of 3 justices in
ordinary cases, met today with an expanded panel of seven justices to
decide the two cases.
The Israeli Supreme Court has made little efforts in the past few
years to hide the fact that it is a partisan and politicized affiliate
of Israel's Left.

His Opinions Frighten Me!
Dr. Steve Plaut's email-newsletter
22 Jan 2001
The Supreme Court of Mister Judicial Activism, Chief Justice Aharon
Barak continues to try to act as the real government of Israel. Better
that non-elected judges who are sensitive reign in the place of
elected legislators, you see. This week it is hauling the army into
court to demand that it explain before the Court why it has
assassinated some terrorists who were merely involved in murdering
Jews and firing into Jerusalem. Ah, but here is a case no doubt the
Supreme Court will NOT be interested in hearing. Seems an Orthodox
soldier stationed in Hebron was kicked out of his unit because he
expressed politically incorrect opinions to his fellow soldiers.
(Haaretz Jan 21) His commander stated, "His opinions frighten me."
My guess is the soldier said he was not sure that Oslo would work.

Dr. Steve Plaut's email-newsletter
6 Feb 2001
Speaking of free speech, Amos Oz, one of the leaders of Israel's
Literary Left, is cited in Globes Feb 6, 01 as saying that anyone who
does not vote for Barak is a traitor, mentioning in particular
leftists who abstain from voting. Yep, he used the "T" word. But this
is odd because, ordinarily, saying people are traitors in Israel (at
least when referring to Leftists) would be regarded as a clear and
present danger of violence and criminal incitement deserving of
prosecution and incarceration, or at least a good stiff fine.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?