How 2-3 Years in the Army Can Buy You 7 Extra Seconds Before You Are Called a Terrorist

At a demonstration, Friday afternoon (surprise). We are passing out fliers, accompanied by the drums of Yassamba (see above). The fliers decry our government’s latest plans of gut-wrenching injustice towards Palestinians (ibid). The crowd in Zion Square, downtown Jerusalem, is largely bemused, some are angry (…).

One tall man comes to me:

“What have you done recently for the safety of the State?”

Me: “I think that what I’m doing right now increases the safety of all people living here.”

Man: “Were you in the army?”

Me: “No, I was not and will not be.”

Man: “Then you have no right to speak in this country!”

He turns to the woman next to me:

“And you,” pushing his finger close to her face, “were you in the army?”

“Yes,” she says, “I was in Tanks.”

“Probably as a teacher, am I right?”

“No, I was [some acronym that my civilian-immigrant self did not understand].”

“Oh. Well… What you are saying is pro-Arab. Why aren’t you demonstrating for Migron?”

“I think that–”

“You are speaking against the security of the State- you have no right to speak!”

The truism goes: “if you weren’t in the army, no one will listen to your criticisms of the army.” That seemed to be affirmed here. What is left out of the truism, though, is the second clause: “if you were in the army, you get an extra seven seconds or so until no one will listen to your criticisms of the army.”

“Terrorists,” he mutters and walks off.