Orange ribbons

The disengagement opponents finally hit upon a way to express their position, which is nevertheless a legitimate use of Freedom of Expression, and which does not arouse the ire of neutral third side parties.

They tie orange ribbons to the antennae in their cars if they are anti-disengagement, leaving blue-white or green ribbons to supporters of disengagement.

On Friday I drove to Jerusalem and back. There were several cars with orange ribbons, as well as youths standing in road junctions ready to give an orange ribbon to any car driver who shows the slightest interest in having one.

On Saturday afternoon, I drove to Netanya. This time, the orange ribbons were conspicuous in their absence. I saw exactly ONE car with an orange ribbon.

My conclusion: there is high correlation between disengagement opposition and degree of Jewish religion observance, as Jewish religious people do not drive on Saturdays.

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1 Comment

Comment by Anonymous
2005-07-26 12:03:20

Hi Omer,

I find it interesting that you think that disengagement opponents “finally” hit upon a legitimate means of expression. So let's consider - what *is* a legitimate means of expression, besides sending mock evacuation notices to people in Tel Aviv?

How about voting in general elections? I would think that elections are a pretty legitimate means of expression. Yet the current government was elected on a platform of opposing *precisely* what they are now doing. Opponents of one-sided withdrawal made their statement by voting against Mitzna's Labor - non-violent, non-obtrusive, classicly democratic expression - and it didn't make a difference, since the leaders of Likud did what they want anyway.

How about going house-to-house to influence the public? Is that legitimate? Non-violent, non-disturbing, campaigning - that is what disengagement opponents did, even after Sharon's about-face, during the Likud referendum that he promised to honor - and it didn't make a difference, since Sharon ignored his promise and did what he wanted anyway.

How about mass public demonstrations, with all government approval, with no disturbance to anyone, non-violent, quiet? I would think that to be pretty legitimate means of expression. That's what over 100,000 people did (a low estimate, by the way) when they stood by the roadside making a human chain from Jerusalem to Gush Katif. Just to let Sharon know that plenty of people oppose his change-of-mind. And it didn't make a difference, since the leaders did what they want anyway, without the slightest modification.

So are you surprised that many people start to act like Amir Peretz and his buddies, and block roads, even if, unlike Amir Peretz, they'll get arrested for it?

So please don't say that disengagement opponents “finally” did something legitimate. They've been playing by the book all along, doing exactly what concerned citizens do in a democracy. But they've been taught by Sharon that sadly, democracy means nothing in Israel.

I've noticed from your Linux posts that you're a very bright fellow.
That's why I'm surprised at the conclusion in the last line of your post. If you didn't see orange ribbons on cars on Shabbat, that doesn't mean that relgious people are pretty much the only ones against disengagement. It means that they're pretty much the only ones who display their opposition on their cars. I'm convinced that many people have severe reservations, or even opposition to the plan, but won't go to demonstrations or put stickers on their cars, but that's a “religous, settler” thing. Don't forget about them.

And just out of curiosity - out of a totally secular population on the roads, how many blue ribbons did you see?

Best wishes,
Alan Yaniger

(http://livejournal.com/users/)

 

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