After Facebook groups boasting of hundreds of Israeli members have sprouted urging the hanging of Israeli Palestinian MKs and real settler brutes have killed Palestinian farmers and maimed Israeli Jewish activists helping them, all of which ended in not just no criminal charges but not even an investigation, the State prosecutor will open a criminal investigation (and in English) against Eyal Nir, a Ben Gurion University chemistry lecturer.
His “crime?” He posted on his Facebook account, in response to a provocative far-right “flag dance” Jerusalem Day march through Palestinian East Jerusalem, that “someone should break the necks of these scoundrels.” He linked in his post to a YouTube video in which marchers called “death to Arabs” and “Muhammad is dead” (this through the heart of the most Palestinian neighborhood in the city). 24 marchers were arrested. None, I’m sure, were prosecuted. Despite all this, instead of the marchers being considered provocateurs of violence, Nir is.
A note on Nir’s Facebook posting–his reference to “gangs of bandits roaming through our land” was a sly reference to a defining speech by Yeshaia Leibowitz, Israel’s most famous 20th century public intellectual, in which he thundered:
“Against the gangs of bandits who roam our streets today, why can’t we form groups of people who will break their bones, as simple as that…and if you say that this is a call for a civil war, I say ‘yes’…and those who are afraid of doing so should not portray themselves as activists fighting against the threat of fascism in Israel”
All of which means that Prof. Nir was in essence paraphrasing one of Israel’s most distinguished academic figures of the past century. Now let’s see the Israeli State prosecute the good professor for his incitment! As usual, such prosecution will show the state police and justice apparatus and the far-right groups on whose behalf they act, to be utter fools. Leading the state prosecution will be none other than Shai Nitzan, the legal “brains” behind the railroading of Dirar Abusisi.
Now, keep in mind that the very brutes who were flagrantly provoking violence by tramping through East Jerusalem are the ones who don’t just provoke, but commit acts of extreme violence, and they do so routinely.
So this is how Israeli society works, it offers immunity from prosecution to the far-right and comes down like a ton o’ bricks on the progressive activist communty. This, of course is a travesty of democracy in which comments considered free speech in any other western society are criminalized.
Ben Gurion University, known for standing ‘firmly’ by its faculty and their rights of free speech as they did (faintly) in the case of Neve Gordon, issued a statement saying that the University had no role in this matter and that the legal process should proceed apace. Another faculty member enjoyed receiving a death wish from a University trustee. Not a word about free speech or academic freedom for Prof. Nir from Pres. Rivka Carmi and the spineless academocrats at the University.
This further lends credence to those who say the far right is becoming a problem and more influential in Israel.
The ‘gangs of bandits’ apply equally to the miscreants amongst the settlers too, though they blame the Palestinians.
Richard Branson reported he was shocked at what he saw in the occupied territories. These people are a blight to their nation. Soon things will come to a head, if they don’t clean up their act. If they need a nanny to do it for them, so be it.