The political arrests of anti-occupation activists is just the latest step in the Right’s war against political dissidents. The next stage is anybody’s guess.
By Itay Mack
The arrest of three anti-occupation activists, Ezra Nawi, Guy Butavia, and Nasser Nawajah, and the refusal to let them meet with their attorneys, did not take place as a result of them committing criminal offenses. The arrests were the result of the state’s security authorities belief that the activists were participating in the subversion of the existing order — one whose entire purpose is to entrench an irreversible occupation. The remnants of the Left in Israel cannot see the bigger picture, but rather are busy mourning over their tarnished image.
These latest events are not part of the Right’s struggle to replace the “elites” — that happened long ago in the army, the courts, and the political establishment. The goal of the Right is the destruction of all left-wing remnants. Anyone who watches videos put out by anti-occupation group Ta’ayush — of which Nawi and Butavia are members — will be convinced of the hatred that some members of Israel’s security forces harbor toward so-called “Israel haters.” Those who read the Facebook pages of leaders of the extreme right will understand that the incitement and hatred toward human rights activists could potentially lead to their death.
The elimination of the Left is being led by current and former top-ranking officials, in the political echelon, the security establishment, and the legal system. They are taking a double-pronged approach: public delegitimization and criminalization of human rights activists. Public delegitimization allows to mold public opinion against the Left and human rights activists, so that the majority will support outlawing both left-wing organizations and any activity that promotes human rights. This majority is crucial for providing democratic cover for an undemocratic move.
For dozens of years, Palestinians have been arrested, tortured, accused, and imprisoned under the pretext of breaking the law, although the subtext has always been an accusation of subversion against an oppressive regime of occupation. What we have seen over the past year has been the use of very similar tools against Jewish citizens.
We must remember that these tools were already used against members of the extreme right. Israel’s legal establishment gave the green light to torture them, prevent them from meeting with their attorneys, and keeping them in administrative...Read More