Monday, June 16, 2008

Police: Leftists in Hebron More Dangerous than Right-Wing Counterparts

The police, working in tandem with the settlers, are doing their best to demonize "Breaking the Silence" and "Bne Avraham" as outside agitators and provocateurs.

Why do I say "working in tandem with the settlers." Consider this:

Ynet has a video documenting the "illegal" demonstration in April. From the narration, it appears that the video was shot by the police. Aside from the fact that it merely shows a sit-in and nothing more, the video was shot by settlers, not the police.

In the Ynet article,a "senior Shai District Police official" is reported as saying,
"Organizations such as Bnei Avraham (which is committed to 'disturbing the occupation, disrupting the segregation and apartheid regime') and Breaking the Silence are wolves in sheep's' clothing",

Now that's a picturesque metaphor, isn't it? And wouldn't you know, it is taken almost directly from the Hebron's settlers' petition last Thursday to the High Court of Justice. You can read the appeal here
אנחנו טוענים שהמשטרה יודעת אל נכון וגם הפרקליטות יודעת אל נכון, שאנשי השמאל הקיצוני הם בעצם נמר בעור של כבש

All right, so the settlers' appeal has "tiger" rather than "wolves". But it is hardly coincidental that the "senior Shai District Police official" uses the same language as Orit Struck, the settler's spokesperson and legal representative.

And now a curious fact about the settler's video of the Breaking the Silence demonstration:

Surprise! None of the leaders of Bne Avraham or Breaking the Silence are in the video! You see, the famous "demonstration" that took place in April was really a the end of a tour organized by the BTS folks for other activists groups against the Occupation. The people who staged the non-violent sit-in were none other than the Anarchists! (In the article the police say that BTS are worse than the Anarchists. Actually, what they meant to say was that the Anarchists are worse than the Anarchists!)

All right, so maybe in retrospect the idea of holding a tour for all the leftwing activists in Hebron was a bit de trop. But if you have to kick anybody out of Hebron for being a nuisance, at least kick out the right guys! (Don't get be wrong; I am a big fan of the Anarchists. Look at what they have done in Bil'in)

There is a simple and reasonable solution to all this. The Breaking the Silence organization has agreed to do tours, and no demonstrations, in coordination with the police. The State's Attorney's Office agreed. That was the compromise. (By the way, the April demonstration only became one when the police would not allow the tour to continue.) You know what else? Limit the number of people who can tour. You know what else? Make sure that the people on the tour are not anarchists or other leftwing activists.

The police/settlers don't want this, of course, And can you blame them? I mean, if you lived in a town like Tombstone, where the bad guys are in charge, and can do what they like with impunity, would you want to allow the good guys to have tours for the world to see what you are doing?

Anyway, as I have written before, this has got to be win-win for Breaking the Silence. If the guys are allowed to have the tours, they win. If they are prevented from having the tours, they win. They are getting more publicity for less effort than they have had in the three years they have of getting the tours.

Last but not least, a big yashar koah to Meretz MK Zahava Galon and to Peace Now for speaking out against the police. Peace Now's Yariv Oppensheimer has called for the suspension of Avraham Peled, the Hebron District Commander and the settlers' unofficial spokesperson.

Stay tuned.

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