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  • February 12, 2013

    The Newest Charge of the Speech Brigade

    By Stephen Plaut

    The Likud government and its leftist Attorney General continue to jihad against freedom of speech in Israel. The Likud has always been devoted to defending freedom of speech for Arab fascists and for Jewish anti-Israel radical leftists, just not for anyone else. Under the Likud *much like under the Labor Party Mensheviks), the Kahanists were criminalized and denied freedom of speech. People making “insensitive” or “racist” comments or having insensitive bumper stickers or Tee shirts were arrested, but only if they were being insensitive towards Arabs. Likudian Israel still enforces Israel’s
    ridiculous “anti-racism” laws that allow the police to arrest Jews making anti-Arab comments. All of Israel is subject to a “speech code.”


    Let us be clear. In real democracies it is not a crime to make a racist or insensitive or bigoted comment. If it were, half the universities in the United States would be shut down for issuing anti-Semitic statements. If you make an intolerant racist comment in a real democracy, you might get punched in the nose but the police will not arrest you. Civilized people may repudiate you or mock you or dismiss you. But you will NOT be taken to jail.

    Israel’s semi-democratic regime has a long track record of suppressing freedom of speech and arresting people for the “crime” of “racism.” Judges studiously refuse to defend freedom of speech. A rabbi who wrote a book deemed “racist” was harassed by the police, as were other rabbis who recommended that people read the book. People have been arrested for wearing “anti-Arab” tee shirts or having bumper stickers on their cars, where “anti-Arab” would include slogans like “Those who want rights must also fulfill obligations,” or “I like Rabbi Kahane.” A Jewish woman did hard jail time in prison for drawing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed as a pig. [Drawing Jews as long-nosed caricatures drinking the blood of Arab children is protected speech though.] You may regard such a cartoon as vulgar and offensive, but Israel is the only Western democracy where anti-Moslem cartoonists are jailed (unlike Holland and Denmark!). Salman Rushdie could be jailed under Israel’s speech code..

    The criminalization of “bigotry” in Israel is entirely selective.
    No Arabs or leftists are jailed or indicted for making anti-Jewish
    comments or publishing anti-Semitic tracts or books (such as those by
    Tel Aviv University professor Shlomo Sand, which are required reading
    at TAU!). Arab students may chant openly on campus support for
    suicide bombings against Jews and the campus authorities defend this
    as academic freedom. But a Ben Gurion University professor who
    expressed the opinion that it may not be healthy for children to be
    raised by homosexual couples was fired by BGU president Rivka Carmi.
    THAT, you see, was intolerable bigotry.

    Arabs calling upon Iran to drop nuclear weapons on Tel Aviv is
    protected speech in Netanyahu’s Israel. Calling upon Jews not to
    lease apartments in Jewish neighborhoods to Arabs will get you
    arrested, as will calling on Jewish women not to date Arabs. (Arab
    women who date Jewish men of course are subject to honor killings.)
    Even calling on men not to date other men might just get you into hot
    water. The political establishment in Israel wants the entire country
    to be subjected to a national speech code, one that prohibits making
    “insensitive” comments, but only those about Arabs (and gays).

    I have in the past on occasion commented about soccer hooliganism
    in Israel. Like in most of the rest of the world, soccer fans in
    Israel get rowdy and vulgar. Some of the soccer teams are those of
    Arab towns, and, at matches between Jewish and Arab teams, the fans
    tend to yell things at the other side such as “Kill all the Jews” or
    “I hate Arabs.” I do not approve of such things, and in fact in the
    past have proposed that the rest of society deal with the vulgarity by
    requiring that all sports events reporting in the media be conducted
    in Latin. But I also do not think that those making such catcalls are
    breaking any law or deserve to be imprisoned. Washing their mouths
    out with soap would be fine with me.

    But the Likud regime disagrees. Making moronic “racist” catcalls
    at soccer matches is a crime in Netanyahu’s Israel, and only when the
    catcalls are anti-Arab.

    Think I am exaggerating? Take a look at
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165115

    As you see there, the police, no doubt at the orders of the leftist Attorney General, have started rounding up Jewish catcallers but not Arab catcallers. “Massacre the Jews” is protected speech in Israel. Saying “Muhammad was no prophet, just another Arab” however is hate speech. Two young Jews were arrested by the police for the “crime” of making this “anti-Arab” catcall at the soccer match.

    Now just for the record, the number of “civil rights” groups and activists, the number of law professors terribly concerned about freedom of speech, and the number of Israeli Democracy Institute members who have spoken out against this arbitrary assault against freedom of speech for Jews is exactly zero!

    Here is the INN news story:
    Cops Charge Pair With ‘Racist Speech’ at Soccer Game

    By David Lev, INN

    Police moved swiftly Monday to indict two Jerusalem residents on charges of racism over catcalls they made Sunday night at a soccer game Sunday night between Beitar Jerusalem and the Bnei Sakhnin team.

    Hundreds of police were present at the game in order to prevent racial tension, with fans of Beitar and visiting Arab teams often facing off with each other over insults and threats mounted by each side against the other.

    Beitar fans have complained numerous times that Arab fans visiting the stadium incite to racism and hatred against Jews, calling for “death to Israel” and “death to the Jews,” and even waving PLO flags. The media has ignored those complaints, instead focusing on Arab complaints that Jewish fans call them names or make them feel unwelcome.

    The two fans, 27 and 18 years of age, are accused of getting up and shouting that they “hate Arabs,” and that “Muhammad was no prophet, just another Arab.” Police arrested the two, and filed charges against them of making use of racist speech. A Jerusalem court released them until trial, but they were instructed to remain far away from Teddy Stadium, where Beitar plays its games.

    In order to ensure that they follow the rules, the two have been instructed to report to their police stations during each half of a game played by Beitar Jerusalem at the stadium.

    Arab Fans Insult Jews, Israel as Soccer Game Ends ‘Peacefully’

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  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 2:38 pm | 10 Comments »

    10 Comments to The Newest Charge of the Speech Brigade

    1. NormanF says:

      I hate the Arabs because they hate the Jews.

      Its not racism its simple recognition of reality.

      But Israel’s Left pretends not to see Arab racism and genocidal sentiments against the Jews. Only healthy Jewish survival instincts must be forcibly suppressed in the name of political correctness.

      I can say what I want because Israel’s legal speech brigade can’t come after me. Its the duty of the honest man to tell the truth. The Arab attitude towards the Jews justifies my position as long as they are who they are.

    2. Bill Narvey says:

      As troubling as Plaut’s report is, there is a possible rationale for Israel’s discriminatory heavy handed application of hate speech laws against Israeli Jews for their damning and demonizing Arabs, but not for Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jewish left wing radicals damning and demonzing Jews and Israelis.

      That possible rationale roots in two operative realities.

      1. There is the double standard reality that the international community concertedly and aggressivley looks for reason to depict, denounce and demonize Israel as a pariah state as regards Israel’s policies and actions as regards Palestinians with the objective of pressuring Israel to conform to international views and demands. When these international denunciations are especially egregious, it inflames the anti-Israel – pro-Palistinian Israeli Arab activists, many of their fellow Arab Israeli citizens and their useful idiot Jewish Israeli left wing loud mouthed advocates and activists. That in turn creates the potential for violent anti-Israel protest to break out in the streets of Israeli cities and towns.

      2. The reality of not only the memory of intifadas being still fresh in Israeli minds, but the reality that the anti-Israel – pro-Palestinian passions of some Israeli-Arabs has boiled over into violence.

      This has precipitated a reality of fear in Israeli leaders’ minds that if Israel were to apply her hate speech laws against Israeli Arabs as vigorously as she does against her non-Muslim citizens, Arab Israeli activists would raise a hue and cry amongst the Arab Israeli community to specifically arouse their passions and belief that members of their community were being subjected to anti-Muslim discrimination.

      The international anti-Israel community might pile on to arouse those passions and anger even further.

      Israel knows that Palestinians and her Arab citizens need little pretext to foment outrage against Israel and that outrage has sometimes been expressed in protests and or just violence perpetrated by Palestinians or Israeli Arab citizens against innocent Jewish Israeli citizens in Israeli citizens and towns.

      To limit the chances for such Israeli Arab/Palestinian violence to break out against innocent Jewish and non-Muslim Israeli citizens, Israel thus applies its hate speech laws in discriminatory fashion for the most part, if not exclusively only against Jewish Israeli citizens.

      In respect of this latter rationale, one finds the same defensive fear based posture being taken by Western nations to a much lesser, but still significant extent in respect of their own Muslim communities.

      For instance, the U.S. under Obama a few years ago cleansed all security policies, laws and regulations of reference to Muslims or Islam, expressly or impliedly. The Fort Hood attack by Nidal Malik Hasan that murdered 13 and wounded 34 was described as workplace violence in spite of it obviously being a Muslim terrorist attack by a Muslim terrorist whose business card stated he was a soldier of Islam. Other Muslim terrorist attacks in the states have been categorized as ordinary criminal actions.

      In France, there are Muslim areas accepted by authorities as no go zones and those authorities countenance Muslims taking over French city streets for prayers, inconveniencing all non Muslims in the area.

      In Britain, France and other EU nations there are Muslim gangs targeting non-Muslims and authorities do little to stop it or treat it as Jihadist inspired activities.

      In all of these instances, not just Israel, but Western nations are imposing self censorship on themselves when speaking of Muslims, Jihadists and Islam.

      If there are any Israpundit contributors with expertise in fields of psychology/psychiatry that bear on these issues, it would be appreciated if they could weigh in on the discussion.

    3. Bert says:

      In all these discussions there never seems to be any reference to the Torah and the lessons it has for us Jews. We remain confronted with the ultimate choice. Either we fear man or we fear G-d. Our secular leaders lack true Jewish faith and therefor they ALWAYS choose to fear man. This leads to endless appeasment of our enemies and to endless attacks by our enemies who fear nothing and even celebrate death. We are ultimately responible for our own misfortune. The pity is that so many good Jews must suffer because of our corrupt leaders.

    4. Yidvocate says:

      Dear Ted,

      I just finished a lengthy comment and while posting, I forgot to answer your skill testing question. When I hit my back button, my entire comment was deleted and I didn’t have the time or the inclination to recreate it. I do hope you will correct this problem. It is not the first time it’s happened to me and I’m sure to other posters as well.

    5. Sam Goldblatt says:

      Ted has better things to do than be a second grade teacher for slow learners. As to Plaut, he’s never played with a full deck. And, he’s a pathological liar. No one in Israel is arrested for denigrating Arabs or homosexuals. It’s a crock from a nebbishy quack.

    6. the phoenix says:

      Sam Goldblatt Said:

      Ted has better things to do than be a second grade teacher for slow learners

      you see goldblatt, i happen to share yidvocates frustration where the time and effort to put together a lengthy comment has disappeared in cyberspace for a technicality…
      it happened to me a few times when i would switch computers and /or locations and forget to log in…

      i understand that you must feel very proud of yourself, goldblatt, to actually be able to answer such complicated questions as 1+1= ?
      also, while i am at it, goldblatt, even if such an event WERE to happen to you, it would not be much of a big deal for 2 reasons:
      1. it should not be too difficult for you to reconstruct whatever little comment you may have made (how difficult would it be to rewrite one or two sentences?
      2. the content of your posts is SO inane…

      so anyways, i think if you were to hurry and get to any costco in the ft lauderdale area you could get some free food samples!
      wouldn’t that be a better use of your time, golblatt, than shooting a random attack on an excellent commenter on israpundit?
      what do you think? goldblatt!

    7. dweller says:

      @ Yidvocate:

      “It is not the first time it’s happened to me and I’m sure to other posters as well.”

      You might want to cultivate the habit of always highlighting & right-click COPY-ing your entire comment BEFORE hitting “post.”

      Then, if anything goes wrong (including an error or omission of the arithmetic squib) — you can still re-create the post by right-clicking PASTE in the text box.

      The key, though, is making it a habit.

    8. I completely agree with this report on the ugly double standards on practicing freedom of speech in Israel. This is so ugly, that I would initiate a civil war against the lefts in Israel: the shooting war, mind you, not a cold war…

      I do prefer to wear a tennis shirt with a cartoon of stinking mohammed on it, meaning that I would get in jail in Israel… Sad, very sad. Not inspiring to make an alia.

      And I maintain my own web page with explicitly anti-islamic articles and calls to rid of islam in America and in any civilized nation, and with the anti-islamic posters like these: http://www.resonoelusono.com/Islam/ So what: Israel would close my web page?.. No thanks…

      And I explicitly call to make the life of mo-o-o-oslems in the West a bit uncomfortable, may be a bit unsafe, you know, so that they prefer to leave for good on their own. So what: Israel would send SWAT team to round me up?.. No thanks again…

      And by the way, Prof. Plaut, please stop using the obfuscating (softening) term “Arab” where in fact you mean and it must be “moslem”. You are highly educated person, and surely know the difference. The enemy of Israel (and of the civilization) is islam and moslems, which not all are Arabs, you know…

    9. Yidvocate says:

      @ dweller:

      If I’m going to make a “habit” of anything, it might as well be answering the skill testing question before posting. I have suggested a much easier and intuitive fix that seems to be in place in every other place on the Web that requires this confirmation prior to posting. Why not here also? Oh, and I remembered to answer the question before posting – this time!

    10. dweller says:

      @ Yidvocate:

      “If I’m going to make a ‘habit’ of anything, it might as well be answering the skill testing question before posting.”

      Well, yes, of course.

      The problem is that at one juncture or another every validation system seems to prove inadequate for one reason or another, & the decision is eventually made to opt for another.

      — And in the interim between the initiation of the new feature and the point where one becomes accustomed to it, posts are likely to get lost — unless you have some kind of personal stop-loss mechanism in place for yourself.

      So I suggested protecting each comment you want to save by copying it before hitting “post.”

      Whatever it takes to get it done. . . .

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