Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gaza Blunder Rains On Parade

Hey, what do you know? For the second time this year, the Jerusalem Pride parade was postponed. This past summer the government attributed its refusal to the need for troops in the North during the Hezbollah crisis, this time its reason is the tense situation in Gaza. And as for those two big news stories in Israel (see last post), they come together dutifully, beautifully, as one story today. Everybody wins! And not least of all, NO more burning trash.

Nevertheless, I must admit I enjoyed the excitement of the spirit of anarchy that reigned the past few days. I discovered it wasn't just about religious people protesting a potentially offensive parade, it was about freedom. It was about putting an end to tyranny. It was about saving the land and its people. It was about the right to go to school in Israel without the police banging down your doors and arresting students (see story below): The freedom to live a chosen way of life unobstructed by others who want to force their views into your face. (Ironically, this is the tag-line of marchers on both sides.)

Police entered one of the buildings on campus after several protestors fled there from from a nearby rally. Police followed the protestors to the university dorms, but students denied the police entrance. Bedlam ensued. As police, some mounted, other in riot gear, clubs extended, tried to force their way into one of the dormitories, angered students who had been getting ready for bed assaulted the cops from 3rd, 4th, and 5th story windows with anything that was handy to throw. Others blockaded the doors. The American students especially did not take kindly to Israeli police intrusions into their life and liberty without due cause: none of our students, they reasoned, were involved in the rally. Therefore, the cops do not belong here. Note, that presence of riot police means citizens will be beaten, and some arrested, even if nobody is guilty. The stand-off continued until the Dean met with police officials and it was decided the cops would go in return for a promise that no students would return to the rally.

If the gay parade continues to result in war, and the organizers don't stop trying to march, they are putting us all in danger. I don't just mean the game of cops and robbers (the cops are the bad guys here, and it is a fun game. The rules are as follows: instigate a commotion at a protest rally by some harmless activity that draws the police, then run away from the evil cops. Repeat as desired.) The war in Lebanon and the new one we are poised to fight in Gaza were timed just perfectly so as to rain on the parade. Interesting.

P.S. What do you think of the new Google toy at the bottom of the page?

No comments: