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Continuing to investigate those who do not agree: Israeli version

by on March 21, 2011

About a month ago I wrote about a bill going through Israel’s Knesset that would investigate any organization Israel deemed unpatriotic.  According to a recent summary of the bill “the original version called for sentencing anyone who marks Independence Day as a day of mourning or who holds memorial events for the Palestinian “Nakba” (destruction ) to three years in prison.”  That’s been revised only to “deny public funding to institutions that sponsor activities which deny Israel’s status as a democratic state and as the state of the Jewish people.”

The choice is a bad bill or a less bad bill – how about the choice of no such piece of legislation?  I feel like it’s hardly necessary to write a lengthy defense of not passing the bill.  It should be clear either that the bill should be passed or the bill should not be passed.  There can’t be any middle ground here, and if you support passing this piece of legislation I feel sorry for you, but you get to keep that opinion.  I can’t persuade you that my opinion – that the bill should not be passed and to come to the point where such a piece of legislation is even considered in a democracy (or anywhere) shows just how far a government can fall – and I won’t ask you, if you believe in the legislation, to meet me halfway and only sort of investigate organizations.  Do it or do not do it.  It’s a stark choice a form of government that calls itself a democracy should not have to consider.  This is not ‘regulation,’ where regulators ensure that laws in place work, this is ‘you’re for us, or if you’re not for us, we’ll destroy you because we can.’  This is where a democracy is no longer a democracy.  It has happened.  Do those of you with the power to vote think it should happen again?

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