Israeli Protesters Want a Legal Rebellion. There Is No Such Thing

By B. Michael, HAARETZ

A passionate debate has been taking place recently in the TV news studios: On one side are people calling for a nonviolent civil rebellion against the approaching dictatorship. On the other side are overwrought interviewers who repeatedly demand of supporters of the rebellion that they specifically state whether they also support “illegal” acts. And the debate is raging.

But this debate, if you’ll excuse me, is somewhat idiotic. A “rebellion,” by definition, is an illegal act. Because “rebellion” means refusal, disobedience, opposition, an uprising. And a rebellion is also directed against the authorities, their laws or their conduct. For example, a rebellion against a government planning to pass evil and despicable laws.

And so, there is a clash between authority and rebellion. One side is demanding obedience to the law in the name of the law. The other side is calling for disobeying the law in the name of justice. Consequently, the self-righteous demand that the rebellion refrain from violating the law is a non-starter. It’s like demanding that a boxer fighting in the arena refrain from striking his opponent.

Truth be told, most of the protesters’ acts are already illegal: assembly, blocking roads, using a loudspeaker after 11 P.M., throwing garbage in the public domain, insulting civil service employees and police horses, scribbling slogans on walls, disturbing the peace of the cabinet minister and his neighbors… and who knows, perhaps things have already gone as far as parking on the sidewalk on the way to Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv.

All the sins, crimes and offenses of this type are very common in nonviolent civil rebellion. The same is true of strikes. They involve interrupting daily routines, disobeying police orders, and even – perish the thought – utilizing the right not to volunteer for the army of a potential dictator.

But in the final analysis, the legitimacy of a rebellion and of all the criminal behavior it involves is measured by the rationale behind its existence. And it’s hard to find a more just rationale for a civil uprising than attempting to nip a dictatorship in the bud.

T. Belman. Except that the current government and their proposed judicial review is “not a dictatorship in the bud.”

As a first step, the reasonableness standard is now a candidate for elimination. In lay terms, the reasonableness standard is nothing more than somewhat inflated legal jargon for common sense. Really. And the desire to cancel the reasonableness doctrine is in effect a desire to cancel common sense.

T. Belman. This is nonsense. Most countries do not have a reasonableness clause.

It’s the desire to forbid the legal use of common sense, which recently prevented the appointment of a serial criminal as interior minister, and to replace it with twisted and lawless sense that would, for example, permit the appointment of Yair Lapid as the Sephardi chief rabbi. It’s hard to find a better moment for declaring a rebellion than the moment when common sense has been outlawed.

On second thought, there was no need to wait for the reasonableness standard in order to foment a rebellion. The present government lost its legitimacy the moment it was formed. A quick check will demonstrate that most of the supporters of the present government, 34 out of 64, are avowed anti-democrats. The sovereign of all the members of Shas, United Torah Judaism, Religious Zionism, Otzma Yehudit and Noam, is not the people, as required in a democracy. Their sovereign is somewhere up in heaven.

In other words, most of the supporters of this government are actually ineligible for election to the Knesset, since they reject the existence of Israel as a democratic country – see the Basic Law on the Knesset, paragraph 7a, section (a), subsection (1). They snuck into the government deviously and on false pretenses, and now they’re working on destroying the vestiges of Israeli democracy in order to fulfill their heavenly vision. This situation really makes civil rebellion an imperative.

And irony of ironies, this time, this rebellion is completely legal. Because democracy’s fight for survival (even if that democracy has been lame from birth) is definitely a legal war.

July 10, 2023 | 2 Comments »

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  1. Why quote or reprint such drivel as Haaretz puts out? B. Michael first admits that there is no such thing as legal rebellion and then goes on to rant about this oxymoron. He shows, for one, that he has no moral principles. Legal is not the same as common sense. Only the Knesset can make laws (if they are elected to do so) Opposition never has the right to rebel. That is anti-democratic.

  2. So being a religious Jew in Israel means you are not a democrat entitled to a vote in this country.
    So much for shocking Schocken and his Haaretz inciting rag.