A Tale of Two Daughters by Moshe Belogorodsky
July 11, 2006
This is a true story about two daughters - Chaya and Dana. Both are Israeli citizens. Both are Jewish. That's about all they have in common. And the differences? Here is one example:
While one spent 40 days in jail and is currently standing trial for her alleged crime, the other - who committed the same crime - did not spend one minute under arrest.
Chaya is my daughter. She is 15 years old. Last summer, during the forced expulsion of Jews from Gaza, Chaya went to a demonstration. She went to cry out against this inhuman crime, she wanted to protect Jewish rights. She was standing on the sidewalk when a policewoman approached her.
"Scram!" she told Chaya.
"I am not doing anything illegal!" protested Chaya.
"Beat it or I'll arrest you," repeated the bully in blue uniform.
"I have every right to be here. This is Eretz Israel, and I am not doing anything wrong!".
"This is the last time I'm saying it - get lost or I'll arrest you!"
"Well, shut up and arrest me then." That was Chaya's alleged response. I guess Chaya didn't want to put up with being bullied around.
Chaya was arrested. Her alleged crime? "Insulting a public official." The first five days she spent in solitary confinement. No showers, no clean clothes, no phone calls to parents or lawyers. She was declared an "ideological criminal" by none other than the Israeli Supreme Court (in-)Justice Ayala Proccacia, who remanded Chaya to jail until the end of legal proceedings. It was only due to the public outcry - of which many of you were a major part - that Chaya was finally released after spending 40 days in jail. She was 14 years old.
Even after the expulsion from Gaza was carried out, the prosecution refused to close the case and we are still in the middle of the trial.
But fear not. Freedom of speech is still protected in Israel. At least for some Israelis. The fortunate ones. The politically correct ones. The ones like Dana.
Two weeks ago, seven members of an Arab family were killed on a Gaza beach. Though it was pretty clear from the start that the IDF had nothing to do with it, the very moral Dana and her friends decided to demonstrate and cry out in order to protect Arabs and their rights. And so, bleeding-heart Dana made up signs, came up with slogans to chant and went to demonstrate at the home of the Chief of Staff Dan Chalutz.
"Chalutz is a murderer, intifada shall prevail!" wrote peace-loving Dana on the posters.
"Beware! Murderer in the neighborhood!" they screamed to every passerby.
Self-hating Dana knew that no-one would arrest her for "insulting a public official". And indeed, not one of about thirty policemen at the scene made any attempt to stop Dana (who never once protested the murder of innocent Jews) from spewing her belligerent diatribe. I suppose the prima-Dana, who's well in her twenties, didn't appear to them as much of a criminal as my 14-year-old Chaya.
Oh, one more thing. Dana's last name isn't Belogorodsky, it is Olmert. As in Ehud. As in the prime minister of Israel. Dana is his daughter.
There is no "equality before the law" in Israel. Chaya's case is one of many.
Nadia Matar, the courageous leader of Women in Green, is on trial for pointing out certain similarities between the Judenrat and Yonatan Bassi, the head of the Gaza expulsion authority. Her crime? "Insulting a public official." Itamar Ben-Gvir was arrested, prosecuted and punished for calling a far-left Knesset member a "murderer". Itamar, too, "insulted a public official."
Bleeding heart Dana, on the other hand, was never even taken in for questioning about the insults she hurled at the IDF Chief of Staff, much less jailed for her abuses.
Yes, I am outraged. Throughout our ordeal, the judges, prosecutors, cops all shoved the "sanctity of the law" in my face, thus justifying their kidnapping of my child and holding her in a stinking cell, figuring that thus they will succeed in breaking our protest against the expulsion. Why is Dana's distorted morality above that very same "sanctity of the law"?
I am going to visit a police station. The same one that Chaya was arrested at. I will file a complaint, demanding they investigate Dana's criminal behavior. I will forward my complaint to various MKs, demanding they hold a special session to discuss this disgraceful discrimination. I will demand that she stand trial. I don't expect anything from the "justice" system, I just want to expose their double standards once again.
What can be done to fight this outrageous discrimination? One of the main reasons why Dana & Co. feel so free to exercise their rights is because they have strong, influential organizations that will fight tooth and nail to protect their right to freely and loudly spew their venom. B'tzelem, the Association for Civil Rights, Rabbis for Peace - they have the means to protect Dana's "rights" to call for national suicide.
Today, we too have an organization that is fighting to protect the civil rights of our segment of the Israeli society. You've all heard of Honenu. For years, Honenu has been fighting to defend Jews from judicial harassment. The time has come for Honenu to become stronger, much stronger. Tough challenges lie ahead of us. Dana's father is determined to deprive us of our most basic human rights, and on a much larger scale than his predecessor. We must have a strong, loud, influential Honenu.
Every one of you can help by contributing much needed funds - tax exempt both in Israel and the US. You can also volunteer your time. Please visit www.civilrightsisrael.org for more information.
Over the past year, Chaya and I have conducted a number of highly successful parlor meetings both here in Israel and in the US. These meetings help Honenu with badly needed funds. They also provide an opportunity to form new contacts and get more people involved. If you feel that you can host such a meeting - whether in English, Hebrew or Russian - please contact me at [email protected] or by phone at 011-972-52-444-3929.
May we merit to see the fulfillment of our daily prayer: "Bring back our judges as in former times."