Last Thursday I received a package from asos – a perfect summer dress, in red and white stripes. I uploaded a picture of it to my instagram account, as I do daily. Less than 48 hours later it came in handy for my internet friends to identify me from behind, while a policeman grabbed me by the hair and pulled my head down violently.
You might not know me. You might assume I am a violent person, who smashed windows and egged policemen. You might think that I am one of these people whose only interest is to go out on the streets and shout. That i’m a nihilist, anarchist, communist. Someone who deserves a good slapping, to show her what's real.
That's not the case. I was standing with my brother on the sidewalk near Gan Ha'ir – a city shopping center. Yes, we shouted, I'm not denying it. But we were not being violent – physically or verbally – we didn't smash windows, we didn't even block the road. The only thing we've done wrong is stand just a little too close to Chief policeman Yoram Ochaion, whom I saw with my own eyes marking my brother, three seconds before ten border-control policemen jumped on him violently. When I tried to help him, they jumped on me as well, as can be clearly seen in the picture above.
I read the headlines in the newspapers – thousands of protesters broke into banks and smashed windows – and I'm furious. I don't think this demonstration should have stooped to vandalism. I personally think it was a mistake. But the media creates a false presentation, as though hordes of violent protestors went berserk in the streets of Tel Aviv and the police just did their job. There was a small number of people, a few dozens at most, that allegedly participated in the more violent acts, but the absolute majority of the protesters were non-violent without attacking the policeman or torching trash cans. The police violence that was unleashed upon us was clearly a product of a direct order from above. Its purpose was to scare the common citizens, to keep them home and make them afraid to come out and protest, so that the only people who come out and demonstrate are the extremist who will not be able to gain the public sympathy and so the social protest will never gain a public momentum.
I would like to address you, Yoram Ochaion – I see you as directly responsible for what happened to my brother and I on Saturday night. You are responsible for the fact that non-violent people were dragged by their hair, kicked in the face and spent the night in custody, because you decided to unleash unchecked police brutality on them. And the values you are apparently teaching your policemen are to lie and say that there was violent resistance to arrest, while the pictures clearly demonstrate that there was no such thing. Go home, Ochaion, you failed. You are not interested in the safety of the public you are entrusted with guarding, you are only interested in yourself and your career.
And you, Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu – last summer I was accused of being your accomplice. The part I played in leading the social media team of the Trachtenberg committee earned me comments such as "You are Bibi's pawn, he is just trying to dismiss the social protest without bringing any real solution". But I persisted. I joined the government effort because I truly believed that is the way to find a solution to the deteriorating state of our country, and give my children a chance for a future here. You did not disappoint your critics – you made the Trachtenberg Report go away, not implementing its most important recommendations, and terminating what could have been the beginning of a real, sustainable, change in Israel. You are a disgrace to the Israeli democracy and we will keep on fighting to preserve it, despite your best efforts to destroy it.
Photo credit: Amir Weiss