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Jailed For Posting the Number of Murdered Palestinian Children:
Repression, Terror, Censorship in Israel

As Israel continues to escalate the horrific, genocidal massacre in Gaza, and unleashes a frenzy of terror and murder against Palestinians in the West Bank, courageous voices of protest by Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel are under ferocious assault by the authorities and lynch mobs of Jewish racist fascists. 

And, in the midst of all this, a ruling on November 8 by Israel’s Supreme Court—promoted and worshipped as an institutional pillar of Israel’s claim to be a bastion of enlightenment—sent a chilling and ominous message by upholding bans against protests of Israel’s slaughter in Gaza.

Brutal Clampdown on Jews Speaking Out

Two incidents give a feel for the kind of brutality, repression and censorship being unleashed against a very wide range of dissent among Jewish people in Israel.

On October 10, a fascist mob laid siege to the home of Yisrael Frey, a religious Israeli Jewish activist, because he recited the “Kaddish,” a Jewish prayer of mourning for the dead, in commemoration of Palestinian people being slaughtered in Gaza. On a bullhorn, leaders of the mob outside his home called on his neighbors to drive him out of the neighborhood, saying he was a “murderer.” While police stood by, the mob fired flares and broke windows in the building, and attempted to break into his apartment. Frey is now in hiding in Israel. He released a video declaring he would not be silenced and called on his fellow Jewish people in Israel to stand up to “installing fascism on the land.”

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In early November, Israeli police brutally attacked Orthodox Jews protesting Israel’s genocidal massacre in Gaza. It took place in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim, which has a large anti-Zionist Jewish community. The police assault was in response to many Jewish residents of the community flying Palestinian flags.1 

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Non-Jewish Citizens of Israel Subjected to a Reign of Terror: Jailed For Posting Number of Murdered Palestinian Children

Palestinians and other non-Jewish Arab peoples within Israel are second class citizens or, to put it more correctly, oppressed people. They can vote, but their elected representatives are expelled from Israel’s parliament if they speak out against Zionism. They are subject to segregation, discrimination in every sphere, police brutality, and persecution, legal and otherwise. As the slaughter in Gaza escalates, many have felt compelled to risk speaking out. When they do, they are targeted by Israeli police, local authorities, and vicious Jewish vigilantes.

Zionists flood Israeli social media with incendiary calls to kill all Arabs, but Palestinian citizens of Israel who post empathetic messages of solidarity with the victims of genocidal slaughter in Gaza have their homes raided and are terrorized and detained by police. 

An artist and social media activist from an enclave of Arab towns in Israel was seized by authorities while breastfeeding. Her crime? A post on social media of a photograph of graffiti that said, “The heart is with Gaza,” and for a post that featured the number of children killed in Gaza as of that date. After reporting over a dozen such incidents across Israel by authorities against Palestinian Israeli citizens, Haaretz summarized, “All it takes to get the Israeli Police involved is an expression of support for Gazan residents or comparing the deaths on both sides of the border.”

Shortly after October 7, in a suburb of Israel’s largest (and most liberal) city Tel Aviv, the mayor shut down construction sites in the city to keep out the Palestinian construction workers. In another Israeli town, Palestinian cleaning women were not allowed to work at their jobs in schools until an arrangement was worked out where they would have no contact with schoolchildren. An official of a bus drivers’ union said non-Jewish drivers were “afraid to show up at their workplaces” and “afraid of physical threats to their lives.” He reported that at some terminals, half of all drivers were not showing up for work. Palestinian citizens of Israel make up a large percentage of working medical professionals (in part because Jewish medical professionals are attached to the military). As they tend to Jews and Palestinians, they report being subjected to racist insults and threats at work. 

In a scene that evoked the attacks that Jewish people were subjected by the NAZIs in Germany, a lynch mob of hundreds of racist Jews surrounded and invaded dorms housing Palestinian students at the Netanya Academic College, a private university north of Tel Aviv. They chanted “Death to the Arabs” and rampaged through the dorms. Rather than stop them, police guided them. And rather than investigate and expel students who took part in the assault, police issued a statement saying that any student “who expresses himself in a way that explicitly or implicitly supports terrorism or the enemies of Israel or calls, explicitly or implicitly, for violence or hatred against innocent residents—will be immediately suspended from studies pending a disciplinary investigation.” The town’s mayor is demanding the school close the dorm and make the housing available to Jewish Israelis who are being evacuated from areas close to Gaza.

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(from Google translate) 
Lynching attempt live, now in Netanya: hundreds of far-right activists are trying to break into the dormitory of Netanya College, where Arab students are hiding. The right-wing activists are trying to break through the fences, shouting "death to the Arabs", and the police are there - neither turning them away nor arresting them. And the head of the town? She promised to clear the dormitory from the Arabs tomorrow.


Menacing Moves to Shut Down Reporting

On October 15, Haaretz reported that Israel’s “Communications Minister Karhi is promoting regulations that would allow him to direct police to arrest civilians, remove them from their homes, or seize their property if he believes they have spread information that could harm national morale or served as the basis for enemy propaganda.” 

This edict is being described in some media coverage as aimed at the operations of Al Jazeera in Israel. That would cut off a major source of information on what Israel is doing in Gaza, the West Bank, and within Israel. But these regulations will go beyond even that. As Haaretz noted, they “will apply to both the general public and the media, as well as both local and foreign media... It will also apply to the publication of factually correct statements, at the minister's discretion.”

This is extremely ominous, and could further shroud the escalating genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and within Israel under a press whiteout. 

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FOOTNOTES:

1. A small but significant faction of extremely Orthodox Jews, who take the wording of Jewish religious texts literally, and who generally distance themselves from secular society, are opposed to Zionism on religious grounds. And also, in the words of a leading Orthodox anti-Zionist organization, because “The Zionists have established an occupying and racist state.” These forces have been visibly active in protests against the massacre in Gaza within Israel, in New York City and other places. [back]

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