Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Why Civil Disobedience in Israel is failing
Civil disobedience in Israel is premised on heavily American and Western European ideas. Israel though is more Middle Eastern than American. Civil disobedience however only works when those engaging in it are more willing to break the rules than those in power. In a tyrannical regime civil disobedience is of little use.
Time and time again Sharon has pushed forwards by simply breaking more rules. In response to sit downs in the road, he sends Shabak agents to throw nails and gasoline on the roads. If response to buses heading to a rally, his agents stop the buses and throw out the passengers. Soldiers who refuse illegal orders are convicted and jailed in show trials. Passive resistance is met with violent assaults. Symbolic gestures with physical ones. The media oversees it all and slanders the victims. This is the nature of a tyrannical regime.
Those engaging in civil disobedience are taking actions premised on the idea that the mechanisms of the state can be brought to a halt by it. But that works when the state follows some rules, when the state follows only whatever rules it makes up on the spot, symbolic gestures and peaceful protests are the lamb protesting against the wolf's dinner menu.