Dying for Justice in Israel
Israel is one of the most repressive, socially unjust states.
by Stephen Lendman
Among developed countries, Israel is one of the world's most socially, politically, and economically unjust. It mocks democratic values and social justice.
It's run of, for, and by privileged elites. Ordinary people don't matter. Extreme wealth disparities, eroding social benefits, and security force harshness reveal a declining nation in decay.
Its ideologically hardline neoliberal, repressive, and corrupt. It's no fit place to live in. No wonder so many Jews vote with their feet and leave. Many others prepare by securing foreign passports.
Israelis want longstanding grievances resolved equitably. Issue one is social injustice. Street protests highlight growing anger. Moshe Silman expressed outrage by self-immolation death.
In December 2010, Tunisian Mohammed Bouazizi set himself ablaze. He protested in front of Sidi Bouzid government offices. At issue was police confiscating his merchandise for operating without a permit. He was a street vendor. He sold vegetables.
His uncle, Mehdi Horchani, said he "gave his life to draw attention to his condition and that of his brothers." Then and now, Tunisia and most other Arab states have high unemployment, severe poverty, few social benefits, deep-seated corruption, and extreme repression enforcing state policy on non-believers.
At his January 4, 2011 funeral, marchers chanted, "Farewell, Mohammed, we will avenge you. We weep for you today. We will make those who caused your death weep."
He inspired mass activism for change. Islamist Ennahda party officials replaced President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and close associates. Everything changed but stayed the same. New leaders are hostile to social justice and democratic values.
Whether Silman's sacrifice proves more successful remains to be seen. His statement was powerful. His wrath matched Bouazizi's. His death highlights a corrupt, decaying, socially unjust state.
He left a letter saying:
"The state of Israel stole from me and robbed me. It left me helpless."
"Two Housing and Construction Ministry committees rejected me, even though I had a stroke."