Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Ignorance is No Excuse

Uzi Benziman writes

Let there be no mistake regarding the decision about to be made in the Gush Katif area today: It is not the fate of the disengagement that is at stake, but the ability of Israeli democracy to continue to function.

The demonstrators wish not merely to sabotage the evacuation, but to replace the government; they are using non-kosher means to achieve it..

...While Orlev's legislation initiative is a constitutional, legitimate act, the mass march on the gates of Gaza is the complete opposite...

...By using the right to freedom of protest, and by complaining about the allegedly nondemocratic reaction of the police, the demonstrators are throwing sand in the public's eyes...

Benziman doesn't know his democracy and protest history.

What about Gandhi's 1930 Dandi March and broke a bizarre British law. He and 78 fellow marchers walked for 23 days over 240 miles to pick up a lump of mud and salt on the Indian coast. Thousands then made salt illegally all over the country. Within days, tens of thousands were in jail. And the marches from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. and when 2,200 protesters were arrested for demonstrating at the Nevada Test site.

Or when Bertrand Russell and the Committee of 100 at Trafalgar Square on 19 September 1961 after the home secretary banned any public procession for the 24 hours starting at midnight on Saturday 16 September. On the day itself protesters gathered in the square to march at midnight when the ban was supposed to end. Arrests began at 5.07 pm and continued throughout the evening, often with considerable police violence. At the end of the protest over 1,300 arrests had been made from a demonstration of around 10,000 people.

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