|FAQ # 3 - Freedom of speech and opposition: legitimate protest|
As much as one's freedom includes the right to freedom of speech, it should also include the right to be heard – in the street, the press, the media, in parliament – and the readiness of significant people to listen.
If no-one hears protest because the media do not want to broadcast or print it, because there is no political dialogue or parliamentary debate, then opposition views and protest remain within the opposition. In such cases, even the most respectable and law-abiding opposition will feel frustrated and deprived of legitimate status.
[In many democratic countries, the right to free speech excludes harmful incitement, incitement to racial hatred, slander, libel, while legal minors may be protected from some forms of freedom of expression (advertising, media); the law differs from country to country, as do public prosecution policies; legal interpretation and severity of sentencing also vary in the Courts of Law.]
These are the main conundrums of legitimate protest:
a. Not all non-violent protest will necessarily fall within the law (civil disobedience);
What is going on in Israeli society, will there be a civil war?
The best estimate is that there is a great deal of resentment, and a highly flammable situation, in terms of emotions [See B:6]. To an extent. it may be all part of the psychological warfare that is going on for and against Disengagement – the opponents being far more organized because they feel threatened.
Even if Disengagement passes relatively peacefully, it will be traumatic for the people evacuated, their extended families and friends. Even if and when they are all successfully integrated into new environments, employment and schools, it is a major life event; many will not have a successful passage into a new life. In political terms, however, it can be expected to leave an enduring scar, but one that will heal with time. However, if a hostile environment is all-pervading during Disengagement operations, and it cannot be contained, the consequences would be further-reaching.
What do Jewish sources say?
Points to Ponder
The limits of protest (legitimate protest) – the Rabin assassination – texts, presentation and assignments
198 Methods of Non-Violent Protest