While I have a lot to say about whether or not we should or should not continue this war, I can briefly state that demonstrations against the war are OK by me, even though I’m not sure I’d participate in (another) one.
However, what I am againt is malign-stupidity or maligh-stupidity-provoking-stupidity.***
Hadash wrote a post about Israeli police forbidding their demonstration due to Hadash’s intent on raising PLO flags in the demonstration.
Why do I think that’s reasonable? Not because raising a PLO flag is like betraying your country (although it might be, depends on why you are raising it), not because raising that flag is a sign of weakness or any other fascist-babble the Israeli right will rail against the anti-war demonstrators,
I am against that because it is 100% batshit insane. We are in an extremely popular war against an enemy that has claimed Jewish citizen lives, and this not to say that continuing the war is the right thing to do, but it is right for most of the population. That said, raising a PLO flag is simply going to make people angry enough to enact violence against “the traitors”, and Hadash’s insistence on provoking them in the sake of “free speech” is just idiotic and careless. I’m simply revolted at the cynical use of free speech here. Freedom is a wonderful thing to have until you have to face the consequences, and I would gladly find ways that will get the message conveyed without purposely provoke malign idiots.
This is not a breach of Ben Franklin’s old saying: “If you give a little liberty to gain a little security, you will deserve neither and lose both”.
Freedom of speech should be acted wisely. Freedom of speech that provokes belligerent fools is a great danger to those who use it, and I think this is the last thing we need.
There is a key difference between can and should. Demonstrators have a right to say what they want and raise PLO flags. But they shouldn’t raise those flags because this will invite insane violence that will do no one any good. Their intent on risking the lives and well-being of their demonstrators, for me, is a huge blemish of their political character.
Demonstrate, say what you have to say,
but do so wisely and responsibly. Dying for freedom of speech is only something private individuals can assume responsibility for.
Do not take that responsibility for the demonstrators you send.
I think it’s perfectly okay for someone to raise PLO flags if he does that willingly and knowing the risks (including the risks others will take for one) – I am only against people being “forced into” this responsibility.