The radical Jewish left in Israel and Gaza is lending its voice to the outcry on behalf of Gazans.
Following Operation Protective Edge, many cities around the world have witnessed demonstrations sympathizing with the people of Gaza. Tel Aviv had a few as well. Haggai Matar, a leftist activist, participated in one on July 12:
The right-wingers announced in advance that they would be coming to physically assault us in the protest. However, police paid no heed to the warnings, nor to the threats made on the scene when the protest began, nor to our requests that the very few police officers present would call for backup and try to physically separate the two demonstrations.
When the air raid sirens wailed in Tel Aviv that evening, we knew one thing for sure: The thugs in front of us were more dangerous than the rapidly approaching Hamas-fired rockets. While the Iron Dome intercepted the rockets, by the evening’s end one leftist activist was injured and hospitalized, an independent journalist had his video camera stolen and dozens of others were hit, pushed, thrown to the ground or had eggs thrown at them. Two local coffee shops were vandalized as the right-wingers suspected that demonstrators were hiding inside.
Now, I’ve been shot at, beaten, arrested and spent two years in prison for conscientious objection, but this brutal attack by dozens of bullies chanting, “Death to Arabs” and “Burn the leftists” — just two weeks after a young Palestinian boy was torched to death — was one of the most frightening experiences I’ve ever encountered.
Matar captures the sense of terror and isolation that many Israeli radical leftists have felt in recent weeks. The brutality of the right-wing was condemned in mainstream media, but the event itself marks a dangerous trend in Israeli society.