Thursday, October 9, 2008

Holy Crap

"For Jews, Yom Kippur is a sombre day of fasting, during which it is considered offensive to drive in much of Israel."

Just to be clear, driving is offensive. Kicking the shit out of your Arab neighbors? That's all good.

So here are the facts:

It was Yom Kippur, or, if you're not Jewish, Wednesday. In the city of Acre, an Israeli Arab (I know, right? It's like being a poor black lesbian Republican... I digress.) got in his car and drove, because it was Wednesday and he had someplace to go.

The streets were deserted "except for pedestrians, cyclists, and skateboarders." Happily for the cyclists and skateboarders, the ancient Israelites had found time off from their holy duties of burning dead animals, keeping slaves, and committing genocide to a) predict the invention of automobiles, bicycles, and skateboards; and b) respectively declare them unacceptable, acceptable, and acceptable modes of Yom Kippur transportation.

A group of Jewish youths saw him driving and felt that, while it was sacreligious to drive on Yom Kippur, it was probably not sacreligious to commit a violent assault, as long as you can gather a large enough group of holy-minded pussies to gang up on the lone driver.

So they beat him up.

Because he drove a car.

On Wednesday.

News of the attack spread, promoting reactions of "What the fuck, don't they know it's Wednesday?" and "That sounds like wholesome Yom Kippur fun," in the Arab and Jewish communities, respectively. I may be paraphrasing. I didn't go and ask them.

Anyhoo, hundreds of people poured into the streets to establish that along with "violent assault", "destruction of property" and "vehicular damage" are also activities that their cheeseburger-shunning, shrimp-hating, menstrual-cycle-fearing ancestors would probably approve of as acceptable ways to celebrate the Holiest Day of the YearTM. Provided the violence is directed at Arabs, of course... I'm guessing they would not approve of the same violence were it directed toward Jewish people, especially on Wednesday. As I recall, they get rather tetchy about that.

The Chief of Police in Acre described it as a "serious incident" and said that they would "deal with all the rioters and those who take the law into their own hands with an iron fist." (The cliche collision left it unclear which party has the iron fist, but I'm assuming that he meant that the police have fists of iron, and the rioters have to make do with regular hands made of flesh and bone.)

You may take solace in the fact that he said "all of the rioters" will be dealt with, unless you excuse yourself and have a quick look at the past performance of the Israeli justice system. Fewer than 10% of police investigations into settler attacks on Palestinians even make it as far as an indictment, much less a conviction. You may also want to note the disparity between the 205 cases that were opened in recent years and the police knowledge of at least 407 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians so far in 2008 and another 366 incidents last year, in the West Bank alone. Knowledge of incidents prior to 2007 may be assumed, although it didn't come up in the article.

In the light of these statistics, one may be excused a certain level of skepticism that "all of the rioters" will be dealt with, no matter what kind of fist with which the police chief may be equipped.

Look, I'm not saying that Judaism is any more or less ridiculous than any other world view based on the principle that an all-powerful entity lives in the sky and has nothing better to do with his time than obsess over a project that he spent a week on eight thousand years ago. What I am saying is that even if you do believe in that crap, some people don't, and that means that you don't get to tell them what to do. They have their own crazy-ass world view that they have to follow. They don't have time to follow yours too. They're busy, I don't know, not drinking beer, or figuring out how many is too many wives, or worrying about cartoons, or some shit like that.

Oh, right... also, before you form a group of violence-prone pedestrians and approach me while I'm in an automobile, you may want to consult your giant-slaying, manna-eating, witch-hunting forefathers about how to celebrate Vehicular Manslaughter Thursday, because I'll run over your asses. Fair warning.

Happy Thursday.

1 comment:

GETkristiLOVE said...

That's very alarming, but your post is pretty funny. I'll make sure to steer clear of Vehicular Manslaughter Thursdays.