Thursday, December 28, 2006

Anarchists Bring Roadblocks to Tel Aviv

The "roadblock" set up in Tel Aviv (Ha'aretz).

Activists from the "Anarchists against the Fence" movement brought the roadblocks of the territories to Tel Aviv today - albeit only for a few minutes. The protesters set up barbed wire and military warning signs, apparently taken from pieces of the security fence in the West Bank, on fashionable Basel street in the north of the city. The twenty or so demonstrators wanted to inform Tel Aviv residents of the daily reality in the Palestinian territories only a few kilometers away from them. A traffic jam quickly developed at the location (though this is not a rare occurrence even without protests) and drivers contacted the police. The anarchists fled the scene before the police arrived.

The anarchist action seems like a smart modification of the anti-disengagement protests two summers ago, which infuriated so many Israelis. Unlike the settlers, the anarchists are conveying their message creatively without getting arrested. The inconvenience (and danger) to motorists is negligible compared to what transpired in the "orange days" of 2005. It is good to make Israelis aware of the suffering caused to Palestinians by checkpoints and roadblocks. I wonder though what the protesters would say to those who insist (rightly) that the fence and checkpoints have saved and continue to save hundreds of lives. The dramatic decrease in suicide bombings over the past year is proof of that. The often cited argument that checkpoints create terrorists, on the other hand, is hard to verify. Surely, suffering by itself does not create suicide bombers.

There is a police station just one block south of Basel on Dizengoff, so the cops must have taken their time.

This is the second Basel Street protest that has made it onto Kishkushim. Last summer, Arab Israelis demonstrated in front of the Egyptian embassy down the street.

NEXT: Palestinian leftists blow up mini van loaded with effigy passengers on Ramallah street to protest suicide bombing. Or: Gaza anarchists fire model Qassam at Palestinian houses. Oh wait, that's already happened.

2 comments:

zed said...

...the fence and checkpoints have saved and continue to save hundreds of lives. The dramatic decrease in suicide bombings over the past year is proof of that.

I have taken enough stats and philosophy of science to know that B following A is not proof that A caused B.

Is there any actual research to back this up? I mean, attacks ebb and flow, fence or no fence. It may be impossible to know how much the fence has contributed, especially over such a short period of time.

Amos said...

Zed, I don't know of any such studies. I'm sure they exist or are being written as we speak. You're right of course to question my easy linkage of A and B in this case. I wonder though what other causes one could find. It's possible that the organizations have decided that the negative publicity about the bombings has hurt the Palestinian cause. But I think a study would bear out the common sense intuition here.