Tuesday, February 18, 2014
When Israel Arrested Salman Rushdie for Incitement
As you know, Israel in recent days has been filled with the posturings of Israel's anti-democratic radical leftists, pretending to favor freedom of speech. In reality, the radical Left in Israel only favors freedom of speech for communists and other radical leftists. Haaretz has never once defended the freedom of speech for any non-leftist when it is under assault. The group of cheerleaders for the communist teacher in Tivon, who was in fact never fired or silenced even though he used his classroom for political indoctrination and calls for law breaking, has yet to defend a single non-leftist whose freedom of speech has been attacked. Such as the youth counselor who was just fired for telling a student outside of class what she thought of the Gush Katif appeasement. Such as the many rabbis harassed and persecuted by the leftist Attorney General for expressing "racist" opinions and "incitement."
One of the earliest assaults against freedom of speech in Israel involved the rather hapless Tatiana Suskin. She was arrested for drawing a cartoon showing the Prophet Mohammed as a pig. The cartoon may have been in poor taste, but poor taste is not a felony in any real democracy. She was convicted in 1997 of "incitement" and did two years hard jail time. Haaretz has never had a word of criticism about this suppression. Not a single tenured law professor in Israel has ever denounced the conviction. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has never defended Suskin's rights.
A few years back, I published one of the few protests against the suppression of Suskind's freedom of speech. It was a spoof piece, in which I reported that Israel had arrested Salman Rushdie for the crime of offending Islam, and I reported that he was sharing a cell with Tatiana Suskin. Most people understood that it was a spoof. But I got dozens of e-notes from Moslem countries congratulating Israel for having arrested Rushdie, from people who failed to detect my sarcasm.
Here is the original item I posted:
Israel Police Arrest Salman Rushdie to Defend Democracy
By Steven Plaut
In a surprise development, it has just been learned that Israeli police, tipped off by the Mossad, have arrested controversial author Salman Rushdie. The exiled Iranian writer had been on a private visit to Israel, shortly after being knighted in Britain.
Rushdie was apprehended while visiting the Middle East Studies department at the Hebrew University. He had originally been scheduled to address the political science department at Ben Gurion University, but the professors there all announced that they had decided to boycott Rushdie's talk, since Rushdie was offensive to Moslem sensitivities and politically incorrect.
Upon commencement of his talk at the University, Israeli police suddenly broke into the lecture hall and dragged a handcuffed Rushdie away. He is being held in isolation in an unspecified Israeli prison while his fate is being decided. Rushdie's arrest came as part of Israel's new campaign to imprison those whose expression and speech is offensive to Moslems. It will be recalled that a fanatical woman named Tatiana Suskin was sentenced to two years in Israeli prison for distributing posters in Hebron that show the Prophet Mohammed as a pig. Unnamed sources have been quoted as saying that Rushdie and Suskin will be sharing the same cell.
The Knesset immediately went into emergency session to debate the Rushdie Affair. The government's recommendation is that Rushdie be handed over to Iran as a goodwill gesture. Iran has an outstanding warrant for the arrest of the author, and it is believed he would be immediately executed if extradited to Iran.
The Hadash Communist Party has initiated a Knesset resolution that would create an exemption to Israel's criminal code, which generally bans capital punishment, and would allow Rushdie to be executed within Israel itself, or at least turned over to the Palestinian Authority for execution. The Likud and Labor Party are expected to vote in favor of the Hadash proposal, while other parties are still undecided. Newly appointed President Shimon Peres insisted that both arrests were part of the breaking out of good relations in the New Middle East.
Congratulations to Israel have been coming in from all over the world. The heads of the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Congress in the United States have issued statements supporting the arrest. "After all," explained ADL chief Abraham Foxman, "Rushdie's Satanic Verses is at least as objectionable as Suskin's pig poster. Israel is to be congratulated for its defense of freedom of expression."
Reactions in the Moslem world have been mixed. While congratulating Israel for the arrests of Suskin and Rushdie, the Prime Minister of Malaysia added that this still did not excuse the international Jewish conspiracy to control the world. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, backed by singer Cat Stevens, is quoted as saying that while both Rushdie and Suskin deserve the death penalty for offensive statements, Judaism is still a gutter religion. Jesse Jackson expressed satisfaction that Rushdie and "that Hymie-girl Suskin" got what they had coming to them for making offensive statements.
Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen expressed satisfaction that the Oslo peace process was at last producing some progress and forward momentum.