The massive threat of a non-violent peace activist

Gideon Levy in Haaretz writes in customary fiery fashion (and check out the recent Independent feature on this truly remarkable and unique man) about his country’s seemingly daily descent into deeper intolerance:

The photograph was recently distributed by the IDF’s propagandists: Mairead Corrigan-Maguire is seen being taken off the abducted ship Rachel Corrie at Ashdod port, as a soldier from the world’s most moral army holds out his hand to help the honorable woman disembark. It was not long after the IDF’s violent takeover of the Mavi Marmara, and Israeli propagandists were now hastening to peddle their cheap merchandise, showing how Israel treats “real” peace activists, as opposed to the Turkish “terrorists” on the earlier vessel.

Only four months have passed since the earlier event, and the very same lady has now spent a weekend in the deportees’ cell at Ben-Gurion Airport. While we were having another warm, pleasant weekend, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate sat in an Israeli jail and nobody seemed to care. We were not ashamed, we were not outraged, we did not make a sound. It was a spectacle that could only have taken place in Israel, North Korea, Burma (Myanmar ) and Iran – the state imprisoning and deporting a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize – and raised no more than a yawn here.

One court has already upheld the deportation, in a characteristically automatic action, and the Supreme Court will debate it today.

The new Israel is once again portrayed as an indrawn, detestable state, with a branch of the thought police at Ben-Gurion Airport. World-renowned intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, Spain’s most famous clown Ivan Prado and now Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, are deported from it shamefacedly only because they dared to visit the country. And all this is backed by pathological public indifference.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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