Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Don't We Have More Important Things to Discuss?

I saw this cabinet communique and sent it out to a few friends and asked for their comments, by writing:

What say you about her actions?

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 9:32 AM
> To: Yisrael Medad
> Subject: Cabinet Communique - Jan 14, 2007
> Cabinet Communique - Jan 14, 2007
> 1/15/2007 9:53:57 AM
> Shalom, Yisrael Medad

> 2. Defense Minister Amir Peretz raised the issues of the clashes in
> Hebron, including at Tel Rumeida, between settlers and local residents
> and said that the state must provide significant legal tools to both
> the police and the security forces in order to deal with the situation.
> Prime Minister Olmert referred to the confrontation between a woman
> resident of the Hebron Jewish community and a Palestinian woman: "I
> was ashamed to see a young Jewish woman standing in front of the
> Palestinian woman and speaking to her as she did. I was ashamed of her
> aggressiveness. This was sheer provocation. I expect all those who
> support the settlers and who love the Land of Israel to completely
> disavow her because she shames this entire public. One can favor or
> oppose settlement but there is an unacceptable gap between this and
> such boorishness, condescension and contempt. I say this on behalf of
> the entire government."
> Regarding the issue of law enforcement in Judea and Samaria and the
> need to provide the police and the security forces with significant
> legal tools, Prime Minister Olmert instructed Justice Minister Tzipi
> Livni, Defense Minister Peretz, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter
> and Interior Minister Ronnie Bar-On to formulate proposals on the issue.

SB replied wonderfully -

Iran could wipe us off the map in ten minutes, Syria is at our throat and the next war is almost guaranteed, we lost every war we have fought since 1967, and the Egyptians are shipping arms to Gaza like there's no tomorrow - so like let's get really excited about what a boorish young woman said (or didn't).

Is this the way gov't officials will make us forget that the most accomplished boors and louts sit in the Knesset and steal systematically from the public coffers. Start with that known defender of fine manners and finesse, Mr. Olmert, and it only gets better as we skip merrily to each minister (that is, those who are not yet in jail).

That's what I say about those who want to discuss her actions.


And a second opinion from TM -

The reported gov't reaction is a classic communist/socialist reaction, where the gov't thinks it should act like the mother for its people's, as opposed to taking a more passive approach. However, one must ask are the gov't officials involved with this response really interested in ensuring good behavior, or more interested in denying basic human rights from a portion of its citizenship with which it disagrees.

I did not see the video clip, but I understand that we are essentially talking about one neighbor cursing out another. Firstly I highlight that I have no idea what was the background to the Hebron argument, and it is possible (and in light of past events, likely) that there were prior actions justifying the angry and rude response.

Nonetheless, even assuming the rude response was unjustified, I see neither any legal basis nor any political wisdom to outlaw the act of screaming at a neighbor. To make rude behavior illegal is democratic barbarism, politically much more dangerous than the actual rude act, and indicates absolutely no understanding of the basic freedom to speech, and no understanding of basic human freedom to allow freedom of action, even if rude. Where is the concept of "laissez faire"? If we make cursing and giving the finger illegal today, perhaps we should make nose-picking illegal tomorrow?! To make a request from gov't ministers to find a way to prosecute such behavior also indicates not so much an attempt to ensure good behavior, but rather a desire to deny basic human rights of those we don't like.

The added statement that all supporters of settlers and the Land of Israel should be embarrassed by such actions is akin to the statement "why, some of my best friends are Blacks". Does Ehud Olmert take responsibility for the actions of every rude Jerusalemite? The fact that Olmert and other government officials have dedicated so much time to this issue is more indicative of their small-mindedness, as opposed to their desire to ensure that the nation be good natured and polite.

Well, now that I got that off my chest, I think I'll go kick my cat!

Does the cat want to add anything?

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