Coverage of Sunday's attack on MK Simcha Rotman at Tel Aviv University focused on shouting at him and escorting the police, but what they did to Rotman's car shows the trouble created by the protest against the legal reform.
Rothman's vehicle was covered entirely with "Peace Now" and "Democracy or Rebellion" stickers. Roy Neumann, one of the protest leaders, ridiculed MK Nissim Vaturi's call for the president to condemn the attack on Rothman, writing dismissively: "Yoo, what barbarians! His name is stickers! On a car!"
Contempt and Slave Performance: Protesting at Tel Aviv University against Rothman | Photo: Gideon Markowitz/TPS
And that's exactly the whole story: the damage to a Knesset member's property is met with contempt and ridicule. This is what happened to the protest leaders. Over the course of 21 weeks, they normalized violent behaviors, setting a new standard for addressing previously prohibited and condemned offenses. Not only is there no condemnation here, but there is contempt and even dangerous legitimacy.
Take the road closure event. In the past, it was a real drama. Supreme Court Justice Edna Arbel even wrote in 2005 about the blocking of Ayalon roads by two young men protesting the disengagement plan: "The expression of protest, painful as it may be, is done by means that could seriously endanger human life, and the safety and security of a large public. You can't cross red lines while carrying the flag of a worldview, whatever it may be."
Tel Aviv's "Burning Man", photo: Yossi Zeliger
Today? Blocking Ayalon has become the new happening of Saturday night, with the addition of bonfires in the middle of the road (!), so that they will not have to go as far as "Burning Man" to complete the experience.
As the violent incidents have intensified in recent months, we have become numb to it. The third time Nir Barkat was attacked, we barely heard about it, military refusal that in the past ended in prison was "contained" and "understood", the theft of a tank from a memorial site in the Golan ended with dahka and smiles, and after money is thrown at the ultra-Orthodox or Bnei Brak is besieged (Kfar Qasim also has a low recruitment rate, and no one declares a siege...) - no one gets excited anymore about caricatures about haredim, Silver and long nose.
The theft of the tank was contained and ended with smiles, photo: Gideon Markowitz
Criticism of the government is permissible and even desirable, but raising the bar of violence and normalizing it is a disaster for our future.
Wrong? We'll fix it! If you find a mistake in the article, please share with us