Thursday, August 03, 2006

Democracy?

I would have never thought I would read this. I would have never thought that Israel, the so-called only real democracy in the region, is actually seeking power to muzzle and kick out any Member of Knesset (MK) who "identifies or supports" terrorism. What does "identify or support" mean? Isn't it the right of anyone to speak his mind in a real democracy, whatever the situation? Aren't MKs voted for by the people? Shouldn't they represent the people? Imagine if the USA or the UK would kick out an MP because he/she doesn't agree with the war on Iraq. What would happen then?
One of USA's darkest moment in history was when Senator McCarthy obtained power to accuse anyone he unjustly deemed was a Communist. McCarthyism, as it was called, is defined as such by the American Heritage Dictionary: "the practice of publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence" and "the use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress opposition."
mrtez

A widening divide
by Sheera Claire Frenkel
JPost

On the day the rockets began to rain onto northern Israel, Knesset members could do little but sit, glued to the televisions in the Knesset cafeteria, and give half-hearted predictions on the war that everyone was afraid to name.
For many MKs, that day three weeks ago was the beginning of a newly unified Knesset. The calls for a national unity government, which would bring all political parties together and create a broad wartime coalition, may have gone unheeded - but in the days to come Opposition Leader Binyamin Netanyahu became the government's unofficial spokesman and earned the nickname "the un-opposition leader."
"We all, all of us here at the Knesset, stand united by our forces," announced Netanyahu during an emergency session of the Knesset this Monday morning. Several minutes later, however, he was forced to change his statement to "most of us here at the Knesset" when three Arab MKs were ejected from the Knesset after yelling out "child killer," "war crimes" and "Israeli hate machine" in quick unison.
Even during that first day around the crowded TVs, there were 10 faces notably missing. Absent, because instead of watching Israeli news, they were locked in their offices, tuning in to Al-Jazeera on their computers to gauge the reaction from the Arab world - their world, and the world of their constituency. In the weeks to come, Arab MKs were to become further ostracized from the rest of the Knesset, leading many to wonder if the Balad, Ra'am-Ta'al, Hadash and United Arab List parties would have a future in the Knesset.
"For a long time there has been discussion about whether these MKs fit into the Israeli Knesset framework," said MK Zevulun Orlev, (National Union-National Religious Party). "Especially during a time of war, when patriotism and support of the government are the chief concerns of the Knesset, these Arab MKs - who support terror networks - do not belong in the Knesset."
Barely a week before the Knesset began its recess, Orlev had pushed through a first reading on a law that would evict MKs from the Knesset if they voice support of terror organizations. Several months in the making, Orlev's law enjoyed various levels of support, but the MK acknowledges that with the start of the war, there was a sudden burst of support for the bill.
"During this difficult time, when the IDF is struggling to fight against terror, there are Arab MKs clearly supporting and encouraging terror organizations such as Hamas," said Orlev. "Whoever wants to support these organizations can go join the Palestinian Authority's parliament - now is their chance because the PA is missing a few parliament members right now," he added dryly, referencing the June 26 arrests of PA parliamentarians.
According to the bill, the Knesset House Committee - with the approval of the Supreme Court - could cancel the membership of any MK who "identified with or supported" a terror organization.
In the first vote, many of the government's Kadima and Gil MKs joined the right-wing Likud, Israel Beitenu, NU-NRP, Shas and United Torah Judaism in voting for the law. The bill must still pass a second and third vote before it becomes law, but the Arab MKs have already banded together to call it the "most racist legislature to come out of the Knesset in years."
"Now, especially now, in a time of war, when the Arab MKs still feel like they can say anything, it is important to have a bill like this," said an Israel Beitenu spokesman. Israel Beiteinu had originally urged Orlev to impose even more stringent limitations on Arab MKs' rights to speak in public forums, nationally and internationally.Since the recent violence began, Arab MKs have been slammed for failing to support the Israeli Defense Forces.
"Israel has declared war on the citizens of Lebanon and the massacre in Kafr Kana is part of that. Those responsible have committed a war crime and should be tried in The Hague. The world must act quickly to stop the Olmert-Peretz-Halutz war machine," said MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) during a Knesset session on Monday. He, along with MK Taleb a-Sanaa and MK Ibrahim Sarsur (Ra'am-Ta'al), were all ejected from that session by Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik for "constant disruptions to the proceeding order."
As the three left the plenum, many MKs shouted at them that their final exit would not be far away."I will not stop until I see you thrown out of the Knesset and the State of Israel," yelled out MK Effie Eitam (NU-NRP).
There have always been Arab MKs in parliament; three Arabs served in the first Knesset. However, the past Knesset session has seen a steady and serious deterioration in relations between them and the rest of the parties.
"This Knesset has clearly been one of the worst for Arab MKs," said MK Taleb a-Sanaa. "There is a serious deterioration in this Knesset in the treatment of Arab MKs… It is racism."

For the rest of the article, click here.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why you never would have thought to read this Mrtez. ISrael is not a true democracy. It never was. The ISraeli arabs are treated as lesser beings just as the Russian jews are and the Ethiopians even though all are encouraged to emigrate to Israel in their numbers to bolster the state and fight for it in armies that kill children as a matter of policy. And that's not even mentioning the fact that for 50 years a significiant part of the population - the Palestinians - have had no civil rights whatsoever, no citizenship, no nothing. Attacking various Knesset members for any opposition points of view is par for the course I am afraid.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Bash said...

When saying "For a long time there has been discussion about whether these [Arab] MKs fit into the Israeli Knesset framework," don't they mean "...racist Jewish mainstream" instead of "Israeli Knesset Framework"?

12:34 PM  
Blogger mrtez said...

Its sad to use the word democracy so easily then...
I recently spoke to an israeli friend who did mention to me the blatant racism that exists against israeli-arabs, russians and ethiopians that you have mentioned.
but i would have never thought that an actual law is being set up to "get rid" of any opposition or different thought "legally". that is simply put, blasphemous...

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Israel is what it is

12:44 PM  
Blogger Bash said...

When are you Jews gonna learn?????

By you attacking Hezbollah and Lebanon YOU PLAYED STREIGHT INTO HEZBOLLAH'S HANDS!! It's EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANTED!!

The Lebanese were ON THEIR WAY to disarming hezbollah. We dealt a sevre blow to hezbollah by cutting off their supply lines by kicking the Syrian Army out, and we were having a "national dialog" (for the first time in Lebanon's history i think) to plan it's fate of carrying weapons... this is a sensitive subjuct and requires time to find ways to avoid a civil war... and now you've MESSED IT ALL UP. we're back to square one again, and not only that, everyone is back to supporting hezbullah again! BRAVO ISRAEL! BRAVO THE INTELLIGENT AND WISE IDF! BRAVO BRAVO!

1:19 PM  
Anonymous dror from israel said...

mena while in the real world...
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today the solution to the Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel, state-media reported.

In a speech during an emergency meeting of Muslim leaders in Malaysia, Ahmadinejad also called for an immediate ceasefire to end the fighting between Israel and the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah.

“Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate ceasefire must be implemented,” Ahmadinejad said, according to state-run television in a report posted on its website today.
http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/story.asp?j=191028774&p=y9yxz948x&n=191029534

you see the great logic, first we will have a ceasefire, but we are only for it so we can move to postion to hert you more. it is a great wonder why israel is aginst this "ceasefire".

and about democarcy. you have lots of democarcy to lectre to israel. 20% of israel popluaiton are arabs that are citizens and vote. true , there is racisem and discrimantion. now look at the other side -
almost all the jews lived in arab countries fled them, why? i'm sure no racisem and discrimantion at all. at the great democracis of egept, saudya, iraq, syria, jorden, yaman, and the muslism state iran, is a beacon of democracy to us all.

well, israel has many falts. we can sit here and count them till the restorant in the end of the universe. it will be a great step for peace and for democracy and freedom, while HZ and IDF keep killing lebaonens and israelis.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous hanan from zafed (under Lebanese attack) said...

as an Israeli reader, I find this post difficult to coment ... as I agree with the article and with MRTEZ. When it comes to the Israeli Arabs, Ethiopians, Russians I think Israeli politicians are bastards! racists in the same way Germans were treating Jews.

however the rule of law preside over Israel and I dont believe this proposed law will pass in the knesset. at least I am very much hoping for this outcome.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous dror from israel said...

well i'm also agians such stupid law. by the way, till now the knesst used its power to "defend" the democratic state
only to remove the extrem right movment of khana as it was calim un democtacit and racist.

racisim is all over the world. each countries say they are not, but the others are. what would the parlament in lebaon do to a parlament member how would say that IDF are his heroes ? that only Hz and iran are falt of the matter?

parliment memebers in israel can say that IDF is wrong in bomoing civilions and that all this war is stupid and barbaric.(some of them, including non arabs say just that). those this contradict saying that HZ is a terror group?

"racists in the same way Germans were treating Jews." - are you realy from zefat? i'm not sure. germans burned 6 millon jews. vrey close comparison. but arabs in israel object to the plan of right wing libewrman to swap tertytorie and join them with palestine, so i guess they prepfre israel very-far-from-perfect democracy to the optin of becomoing palestine citizents. why?

3:16 PM  
Anonymous WH said...

A postgraduate student in engineering at Tel Aviv University, Amir Paster, has become the first Israeli soldier to be jailed for refusing to fight in Lebanon. Mr. Paster, a captain in the infantry reserves, was sentenced to 28 days in prison after declaring at his trial that "taking part in this war runs contrary to the values upon which he was brought up," according to a written statement from Yesh Gvul, a group that supports Israeli soldiers who refuse to fight in the all-conscript military.

http://chronicle.com/daily/2006/08/2006080303n.htm

3:18 PM  
Anonymous justice in the face of hate said...

i'm not surprised. Racism is becoming more pervasive in the Israeli mainstream society--and consequently in the Knesset. But this is nothing new for IDF and drives much of its military strategy.

An excerpt from an article by Omar Barghouti:

"Th[e] intentional and coldly calculated Israeli policy of targeting innocent Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructure stems from a time-honoured, but hardly ever successful, Israeli doctrine of applying intense "pressure" against a civilian population in order to compel them, in-turn, to pressure the resistance into submitting to Israeli dictates, thereby doing Israel's bidding by proxy. It has been consistently used against the Palestinians ever since the Nakba of 1948, and is still applied now in the ongoing barbaric offensive and hermetic siege against Gaza. Israel may have plagiarized this doctrine from the legacies of previous oppressors, but it has refined it to a degree that it no longer raises any moral qualms in most of Israeli society, where it is widely accepted by the public as a right, even a duty in the fight for Israel's "security."

Such blatant racism, which may have been frowned upon in the past by many Jewish-Israelis as a pathological anomaly, is now quite popular in the Israeli mainstream, including among lawmakers, academics, journalists and, of course, military leaders. While it has become normal to read scathing -- occasionally valid -- critiques of the hateful and chauvinistic discourse "inherent" in Islamic and even Christian brands of fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, which is among the key factors informing current Israeli apartheid policies and laws, remains a taboo subject that is rarely discussed or debated in the West. It is rooted in a long tradition of fanatic, yet popular, fundamentalist interpretations of Halakhah, or Jewish law, propagated by influential rabbis and internalized by a widely acquiescent Israeli society, secular and religious sectors alike. Even before the creation of Israel, the core concept in this fundamentalist worldview was publicly espoused by Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak Kook, the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Palestine, who said, "The difference between a Jewish soul and the souls of non-Jews...is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle."[5]


For the complete article:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14318.htm

4:59 PM  
Anonymous long live israel said...

the knesset will never pass such a law in israel. the people will not allow it. if ever they do, i will leave israel asap because this is not why i have shed blood for the country.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous ej said...

dear long live israel and hanan from zafed,
it is important to know that there is dissent from israeli people on this issue. make your voices heard!

5:14 PM  
Blogger CMAR II said...

I agree. It won't happen. The sign of a strong democracy is that the wackos can say "blah blah blah" and it will come to nothing.

I pray that the governments of the democracies of the Lebanese, Palestinians, Afghanistans, and Iraqis could be so placid about elected wackos.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous an american said...

unfortunately, in the US, the wackos are running the country. so much for democracy.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous i care said...

Visit Human Rights Watch for this weeks news releases and reports. Know the truth, do not listen to "Hez hides behind civilians and they take them hostage to get them killed". Any government official who speaks like this is purely predjudice. Collectively we can speak out to demand they stop this talk. Look what they did to Mel Gibson. Why can't ADC or the mosques speak up and stop this discrimination! Enough is Enough. The word terrorism is being used in a predjudice manner also!

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Benjamin Nethanyahu said...

please read this horrific Lebanease attack:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3285857,00.html

Lets hope this madness stops as soon as possible.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous dror from israel said...

6 more Israelis citizens were killed today, and 5 mortally wounded by Hezbollah "freedom fighters" (its not terrorism! its something very different!). Of course its not like IDF kill Lebanese citizens, it is OK. Because Israel is so bad, and Lebanon is so poor.

This is what they say double standards.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Lebanoni said...

and this.....

Lebanease freedom fighters planning to hit TA:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3285833,00.html

Thanks Lebanon,

5:58 PM  
Anonymous everyone is a little racist said...

Gosh it seems to be that now there are more israelian on that blog than lebanese....being neither nor beleiving in a religion i can say that Israel for the outside word is not the contrary of only jews..Isrealien does not equal being a jew...I have many jewish friend all over the world they are not israelian though...

All countries have their racism issue, it has been clearly seen during the world cup. And every one is a little bit racist anyway, who has not made a joke concerning poles, or jewish people or black people....

But this does not change the current situation that Israel seems not to listen to the international voice of a ceasefire. We can not ask the lebanese govenment to do so..they are not at war Hezbollah is...and it is asking for a ceasefire..

Hatred push Hatred that why we need to be more intelligent and to see clearly through it!

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what an excellent clear message from my friend(everybody....) above???

Seek HELP Mate

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

go and watch for propagada:

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2006/07/who-is-this-man.html

(make sure you watch the updates!)

...it is the same technique used as here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_B1H-1opys

never, never forget that the hezbollah are no angels.

7:34 PM  

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