Yisrael Valis: Shoe on the Other Foot

In a fascinating article in Ha’aretz, Uzi Benziman explains why “the state authorities… have acquired for themselves a shady reputation when it comes to their credibility.”

Meanwhile, in the Jerusalem Post, the Mayor of Sderot retracted his earlier call for a city-wide strike “out of respect for President Moshe Katsav, who planned to visit the city on Monday.” During the strike, residents were going to “block junctions in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem” and “burn tires.” I guess it’s only when charedim do exactly the same thing that it’s called a “riot.”

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11 Responses

  1. SephardiLady says:

    Did residents block streets and burn tires, or just talk about it? If they did, that is a riot. If they didn’t, it was just disgusting talk?

  2. Micha says:


    1- Sderot didn’t talk about burning anything. Just closing the city in civil disobedience. Non-violent protest vs rioting. BIG difference.

    2- Sderot is fighting a certainty, not an assumption. In this case, they know what little has been done to protect them — it’s not guesswork. Frankly, they are alive because of explicit divine miracle, and because Hashem stepped in so far, the gov’t goes on underplaying the danger. The Chareidim, OTOH, were rioting because they assume that anyone from our little community must be innocent. Whether he actually is innocent or not hasn’t yet been shown. I must judge him meritoriously. But the police must be charged with safety and thus must deal with the possibility that he isn’t. It became an us vs them between the Chareidi public and the police; more about past battles than some until-then unknown kollelnik. And so they tried to stop due process of someone they really don’t know is innocent. Nothing about the facts on the ground.

    3- I think that wondering why the gov’t is doing little to stop Kassam’s from falling on your head is a little more unnerving than whether someone you never heard of did or didn’t beat a child. Even if the response were parallel, and the motivation just as assumed rather than known, more slack is due.

    4- Why would Haaretz treat staunch religious Zionists any different than their coverage of Chareidim? Sderot is home of a Yeshivat Hesder, and boasts strong Bnei Akiva and NCSY presence. The central battle in Israel’s kulturkampf is “blue” vs “orange”, and Haaretz and Sderot are on very distant sides.

  3. Bob Miller says:

    Do Uri Benziman and others like him ever focus on the lies of the Palestinian Arabs? Ignoring these lies is the real basis of the “peace process”.

  4. Yaakov Menken says:


    The charedi “rioting” amounted to blocking streets and burning garbage. The Sderot “closing the city” amounted to blocking streets (in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv) and burning tires (which are far more valuable than garbage).

    What they were demonstrating about (which can, in the charedi case, be attributed to a lot of old baggage) is irrelevant to the double-standard being applied to describing the event itself. I didn’t bother to mention that the charedi one was condemned by charedi leadership, while it was the Mayor of Sderot who was calling for not mere civil disobedience, but the destruction of property.

  5. HILLEL says:

    As always, it depends on whose ox is gored.

  6. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “As always, it depends on whose ox is gored.”

    I prefer editorialists who are equal opportunity critics to those who have the attitude which you mention. At least they are fair, albeit negative and pessimistic.

    However, rare is the writer that does not hide his head in the sand, and at the same time offers constructive criticism. Such writers have an ayin tovah, and therefore besides attempting objectivity, they write about the weaknesses and strengths of both sides. The latter is important, because without recognizing strengths, one can not correct weak points.

  7. Zalman says:

    The article which you linked to in the Jerusalem Post makes no reference to “block junctions in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem” and “burn tires.” (I also googled those phrases and came up with nothing on the entire web.)

  8. Yaakov Menken says:

    Zalman, while that is true, this is because of the Jerusalem Post, which shows the article was posted June 18 and “revised” June 20. It is unrecognizeably different from the original. This one is replete with quotes critical of the Mayor — the original featured quotes from the Mayor, describing his intent to block intersections and burn tires.

    He retracted those calls, as I said. Though now the article states that even following the President’s visit, “Mayor Eli Moyal announced that Sderot residents would soon march on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in order to awaken the country to what was happening.”

  9. Moshe says:

    As far as I know, there have been no street blockings in either Jerusalem or Tel Aviv in support of Sderot.

    Maybe there should be, but there are none.

  10. Binyamin says:

    Uzi Benziman’s article only quotes cases that the left was nervous about, most of which there is no real reason to suspect that Israel lied (the gaza beach) or where the victims are personally guilty, even if Israel lied (Tom Hurndall). He is just rejecting the government for not being sufficiently left-wing. (Maybe he should move to Meah Shearim?)

    I do not thinkhis article was worried about transparency in government. He could have mentioned Amona or Valis, among numerous other examples, if he wanted a clear case of the government not owning up to its wrongdoings.

  11. Yoel says:

    Mr. Garlasco has retracted his remarks, and there are some very strange goings on on the Palestinian side. see http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1150355528023&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

    Readers should know that “Human Rights Watch,” for which Garlasco works, is hardly an evenhanded organization.

    “Moreover, while Human Rights Watch has been condemnatory of democratic Israel, it has turned a blind eye to the terrorist Palestinian Authority and its campaigns of orchestrated violence aimed at Israeli civilians. Joe Stork, the acting director of HRW’s Middle East and Africa Division, was formerly the principle of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), a radical left organization which called for Israel’s destruction and published a report lauding terrorist leaders like George Hawatmeh of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Stork and other activists distributed literature from both the PFLP and Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction. After the murder of several Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich, MERIP issued a flyer that read, “Munich and similar actions cannot create or substitute for a mass revolutionary movement, but we should comprehend the achievement of the Munich action. . . . It has provided an important boost in morale among Palestinians in the camps.”

    from http://www.discoverthenetworks.com/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6258

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