Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 13th, 2014

 

‘Unprecedented’ violence stalks anti-war demos across Israel

The recent demonstrations in Tel Aviv and Haifa against the Gaza war have largely failed to reach the global media.

And while the end of the bloodshed still seems far from sight, there is a different, violent confrontation being held inside Israel – one that targets Arab citizens and left-wing activists on the internet, and uses physical violence against anti-war demonstrators.

Omer Raz Published July 29, 2014

Tel Aviv, July 13

The second weekend of Operation Protective Edge saw the first bout of physical violence at Habima Square – the cultural heart of Tel Aviv.

At around 8 p.m. a crowd of several hundred people gathered to protest against Operation Protective Edge, and called for a ceasefire.

A second small group, comprised largely of teens and young adults draped in Israeli flags, began harassing the anti-war demonstrators, shouting slogans against their protest and accusing them of treason. The protest got tense as the right-wingers became physically violent.

A few minutes after 9 p.m., air raid sirens began blaring after Hamas shot multiple long-range rockets at Tel Aviv.

The leftist protest scattered to find shelter, while the rightists chased them into dark alleys and cafes, where several leftists were beaten.

Shortly after, +972’s Haggai Matar wrote the following:

When the sirens sounded into the night, only one thing was obvious to all of us: the fascists in front of us are more dangerous than the rockets on the way.”

Right-wing nationalists attacking left wing activists during a protest in center Tel Aviv against the Israeli attack on Gaza, July 12, 2014. The protest ended with the nationalists attacking a small group of left-wing activists with little police interference. Three activists injured and one right-wing person arrested. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The scene was later described by the new, self-ordained nationalist leader – a long forgotten ex-rapper who goes by the name of “The Shadow” (HaTzel). He wrote the following on his Facebook profile shortly after the protest:

We started with 3 people against their 800, and finished with 350 of ours and zero of them. It was crazy to do it all with sirens in the background and explosions in the sky.

Haifa, July 16-17

A city with a mixed population of Jews and Arabs, Haifa is known as a bastion of Jewish-Arab coexistence. (In the past it was referred to as “Red Haifa” for its blue-collar port and industry working class politics.)

Haifa has held regular Saturday night demonstrations since the beginning of the assault.

The July 16 protest was organized by the Balad party and Abna’a Al-Balad – a secular Palestinian movement in Israel – and included prominent Arab political figures such as Knesset members Hanin Zoabi and Jamal Zehalka, both of whom are hated by the general non-Arabic public.

The demonstrators marched and chanted slogans through the streets of the Wadi Nisnas and the German colony neighborhoods, before violence erupted between the protesters and police forces, resulting in 40 arrests.

The following day, Hadash, the Arab-Jewish socialist party, held a joint demonstration against the Gaza war as well as against the arrests.

In response, leading figures of the far-right, including Kahanist activist Baruch Marzel, called on supporters to attend and “take a stand” against the anti-war demonstration.

Palestinian protesters demonstrate in front of Haifa's Baha'i Gardens against Operation Protective Edge. (photo: Activestills)

The police did not take any chances this time; helicopters hovered above Mount Carmel, police officers on horseback guarded the main entrances to the protest, and a large vehicle equipped with a water cannon was station across the road.

The anti-war demonstrators numbered no more than 300, while at least 1,000 counter-protesters stood on the other side of Moriya Avenue.

Police presence was heavy and kept the two sides at bay. The rightists yelled slogans such as “Go to Gaza,” “Death to Arabs,” and “Death to leftists.”

Water bottles and stones were thrown at the Arabs and Jews who stood together and yelled “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.”

Young men in their 20s roamed the main road leading to the protest. They were hooligans; we had never seen them in Haifa before.

This wasn’t only hostile ground for Arabs, it was hostile to anyone who is not committed to the war effort. When the left-wing protest dispersed and buses began to load people back to their homes, the mob got out of control.

They started again chasing and beating leftists, including women and elderly people. The police then used water cannons and stun grenades to disperse the rioters; at least 30 people were injured.

Tel Aviv, July 26

It took three weeks before the anti-war camp slowly materialized.

After the events in Haifa, organizers put together an event to be held in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square – where 400,000 people once demonstrated against the Lebanon war in the 1982. Thousands were expected.

Three hours before the event, just as people from all across the country were making their way to Tel Aviv in the heavy Saturday evening traffic, the police announced that it was canceling the protest for security reasons, because was slated to coincide with the end of the humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

However, the police reversed its decision one hour later.

Between 4,000 and 5,000 protesters came to Rabin Square, with hundreds on the nationalist side. The latter were supported by many passersby on the street, who shouted and harassed the leftists.

Israelis protesting the Gaza war in Tel Aviv light candles to commemorate the victims. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The demonstration was once again heavily guarded by police, and the two sides were separated by steel fences.

Speeches were made by politicians, as well as by members of Combatants for Peace (former soldiers and militant Palestinians who have since come together to renounce violence).

Police dispersed the protest at 10 p.m., a full hour before it was scheduled to end. But the nationalists did not stop there.

As demonstrators were leaving the square, several were accosted and attacked by right wingers, some of them wielding metal batons. At least eight people were beaten and needed medical attention, while eight nationalist protesters were detained by police.

WATCH: Anti-war demonstrators square off with right-wingers in Tel Aviv:

Omer Raz is an environmental engineering student and former editor of the student magazine editor at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa.

Related:
‘No more deaths’: Thousands of Israelis protest the Gaza war
How can you possibly oppose this war?
Israel has alternatives to this war

Principle of Legitimacy? And Authority figures bias

What rules and how authority is challenged?

Perceived Legitimacy is based on 3 rules:

1. People who are asked to obey to authority have to feel they do have a voice: if you speak up, you are heard and negotiation is put on rail

2. The law has to be predictable. A reasonable expectation that the law is not going to be broken or cancelled or “reformed” in a short span of time.

3. Authority has to behave fairly. All groups, ethnic groups, religious, minorities, genders, economic classes…have to be treated in the same way under the law.

All 3 rules have to be applied consistently.

Otherwise, major and convincing reasons must be clearly stated to the people.

How you punish is as important as the act of punishing itself.

To bring Law and order is dependent on legitimacy and how strong it is perceived.

Suppose the election law is perceived and documented to bias particular groups. Isn’t it legitimate that citizens surge against this blatant deviation from the agreed upon rules.

If the Constitution is not applied consistently or a few clauses favor particular groups, it is legitimate to question authority.

If the parliament votes to extend its tenure beyond the Constitutional mandate, it is legitimate to resist the political system.

If the old rich classes and deep-pocket institutions have far more leverage to lobby for laws that are not fair to the whole citizens, it is legitimate to start a political and social opposition movement.

If law enforcement is not playing by the rules and consistently, the neighborhood will perceive their law enforcing officers as illegitimate.

For example, a new tactic is applied to round up randomly delinquents based on administrative laws and not for actual crimes committed, or the crime is minor and the incarceration period is not proportional to the crime.

Do you believe the neighborhood will ever cooperate with law enforcement during serious events?

Do the neighborhood believe that Law and Order is a great concept for the community?

For example, US law enforcement in large cities incarcerated 60% of Black juveniles in the last 2 decades.

In North Ireland, the British army regularly rounded up the catholic youth and randomly searched houses. The result was a total fiasco of these tactics.

Israel still apply the British administrative detention law enacted during its colonial mandated period of Palestine.

Israel has detained “administratively” 60% of the Palestinian youth and for long periods without any charges: A consistent tactics for de-humanizing the Palestinians and humiliating them.

The Authority bias poses two main problems:

1.  The track records of an authority is sobering.

2. Authority figure craves recognition and reinforce their status. The cloth makes the priest, the military officer, surgeon, and every profession.

Every day, more symbols and props are used to signal “expertise”. It is kind of authority changes like fashion, and society follows this fashion in blind obedience just as much.

Do you know that Crew Resource Management (CRM) program, for instructing airline pilots, co-pilots and the crew to openly discuss any reservations they have on difficulties facing the flight, contributed more to flight safety in the past 2 decades than any technical advances? Pilots were considered as God during the flight and no one in the crew dared challenge his decisions.

Do you know that up the year 1900, patients were better off avoiding physician offices and paying them visits for medical predicament? The poor hygiene practices and bloodletting methods harvested the “healthy” patients who believed this authority figure of a white-clad physician is going to cure them.

Why not a single economist, out of 1 million economic professionals, failed to predict the Timing of the financial crash of 2008?

And yet, the only job of these handsomely paid economists are to forecast economic growth and interest rate fluctuations.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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