Who will speak up for Israeli citizens’ right to free speech?
Liberal Israelis who dare to speak out against the treatment of Palestinians may soon be facing prosecution
The most widely mentioned text in Israel over the last few weeks has been the famous quotation by Pastor Martin Niemöller from 1946, which begins: “First they came for the Communists”.
Cited by journalists, politicians and academics, or by commenting readers on websites (known in Hebrew as “the talkbackists“), the quotation serves to communicate one idea: the increasing persecution of Palestinian citizens has led to verbal threats against Jewish radical left activists, and is now directed at proposed laws against Zionist-left activists, university professors, journalists, artists and others. The warning from the quotation is clear: “Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.”