It's a Day of Rage!
Well, I think there should rightly be protests against the use of violent force by police officers during the Gilad Farm incident. Firing paint balls, or rubber bullets against Jews is wrong. This is especially true when considering the fact that the “Settlers” were unarmed! The police were under no threat to life or limb.
Itchy trigger fingers boys? Don't like these guys in kippot telling you that you don't have a right to tear down their homes?
Something's wrong here. Something's really wrong when Jews are shooting other Jews with sadistic glee. In one video, it looks like two policemen do the macho, “fist and elbow bump” in celebration of shooting someone. If true, it's just disgusting. There's nothing glorious, successful, or cool about hurting someone else just because you can. It's disturbing to see people of any stripe behave like they're doing something awesome at a rock concert, saying the equivalent of “rock on dude!” when what they've done is dishonorable.
Shame on the cops. Seems to be a worldwide trend though. In the U.S. There are many complaints of police brutality, and policemen behaving like thugs rather than upstanding citizens one should be able to trust.
With that said, let's go back to the “Day of Rage”. I was in Jaffa yesterday for a meeting. Something like 50 far right protestors marched down the street protesting the “Islamic Movement's Efforts to take over the city.” This is connected to the “Day of Rage” in that the settlers have been conducting “price tag” operations which target Arab property for destruction or vandalism. (Although the march in Jaffa was relatively peaceful.)
Once again, I can't begin to describe how stupid this idea is. “We're angry at the Israeli government, so we're going to hurt Arab property!”
I am baffled at how this helps the settler cause. You know, I can agree with protesting. I can agree with taking a stand, and showing the government that one can only be pushed so far. But surely this can be done without violence.
Don't these people understand that in Middle Eastern politics, it's the victim that gets sympathy? Don't they know that in the world of public relations, people surge to the side of the underdog? But if the underdog is busy beating other people up...when those people are not even the ones giving the orders the underdog hates so much...then the people on the outside looking in are going have a very dim view of the underdog.
So when the underdog gets kicked around, and abused, no one is going to care. The underdog has taken itself out of the “victim” mode and into the “aggressor” mode. These people need to understand that even victims can take a stand...and they can remain victims, as long as they're not physically lashing out at those around them.
Israel in general has always been really bad at PR. The Settlers in general are a million times worse.
What's the solution then? Hasn't it always been said that the pen is mightier than the sword? I've got some advice for the Settler movement.
Get some smart, and marketing savvy folks on your side, and start bringing people to your point of view. Otherwise, sit down and shut up before you get yourselves and others really hurt.