The only democracy in the Middle East is perhaps
unique, but it’s doubtful if it’s the real thing. Results of a poll
published in Haaretz yesterday reflect what has been known for a long
time: a combination of ignorance, a basic lack of understanding and a
fascist mood. An ill and dangerous wind is blowing toward a government
that is threatened with collapse.
According to the poll, which was conducted by the Tami Steinmetz
Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University, there is a clear,
solid anti-democratic majority. It’s a majority that wants to punish
people who expose wrongdoing by the military, and it’s not willing to
allow human rights groups to operate freely. It’s a majority in favor of
punishing those who call for a boycott on Israel, and it wants heavy
sanctions against journalists who reveal information about immoral acts
committed by the Israel Defense Forces.
Punishing and punishing, and delighting in the silencing of the
critics – that’s what the people want. That’s their opinion. Of all the
real and manufactured dangers lurking against Israel, this is the
greatest, most real and most immediate.
Take accountant Haim Yoavi-Rabinovich in the Anat Kamm case. He
called for the arrest and trial of Haaretz’s publisher, Amos Schocken,