The Challenge to Human Rights in Israel–a Democracy under Threat

colation for peace-taped mouthsThe current increase in racism in Israel should be put into context. It reflects, at a crude and populist level, and ‘unfortunate’ tendency in goverment, police, military, the media and various right-wing NGOs to take no prisoners when it comes to confrontly those who challenge current practices.
This report from a women’s NGO is incredibly sobering reading, particularly because it accounts for hundreds (so it seems) of disturbing incidents over the past couple of years, incidents which challenge the idea that democracy is healthy and unchallenged. However, I frankly wish that NGOs in the region could issue such reports without being beaten up or jailed by their muhabbarat (secret police).
Take this quote as an example:
” Under the public atmosphere created, members of the media also joined the scathing attack against the organization. In the radio program “The Final Word” broadcasted on July 17th 2009, the anchor Kobi Arieli asked: “why don’t our strongmen beat them [leftists] up and send them home scared?” His co-anchor, Irit Linur claimed: “the organization concocted a report”, and concluded with a demand from the organization’s members: “verify your report, you scum”. It is reasonable to assume that Linor did not read the report, in which Breaking the Silence clearly notes that all testimonies were examined and verified by independent sources and other testimonials which could not be verified were not published. ”

The report also makes clear that the Israeli public were being warmed up to a pretty violent attack on the Gaza Flotilla through various stories being run in the media before the event took place.

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