imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Dying for Justice in Israel

by Stephen Lendman Sunday, Jul. 22, 2012 at 9:17 PM


Dying for Justice in Israel

by Stephen Lendman

Among developed countries, Israel is one of the world's most socially, politically, and economically unjust. It mocks democratic values and social justice.

It's run of, for, and by privileged elites. Ordinary people don't matter. Extreme wealth disparities, eroding social benefits, and security force harshness reveal a declining nation in decay.

Its ideologically hardline neoliberal, repressive, and corrupt. It's no fit place to live in. No wonder so many Jews vote with their feet and leave. Many others prepare by securing foreign passports.

Israelis want longstanding grievances resolved equitably. Issue one is social injustice. Street protests highlight growing anger. Moshe Silman expressed outrage by self-immolation death.

In December 2010, Tunisian Mohammed Bouazizi set himself ablaze. He protested in front of Sidi Bouzid government offices. At issue was police confiscating his merchandise for operating without a permit. He was a street vendor. He sold vegetables.

His uncle, Mehdi Horchani, said he "gave his life to draw attention to his condition and that of his brothers." Then and now, Tunisia and most other Arab states have high unemployment, severe poverty, few social benefits, deep-seated corruption, and extreme repression enforcing state policy on non-believers.

At his January 4, 2011 funeral, marchers chanted, "Farewell, Mohammed, we will avenge you. We weep for you today. We will make those who caused your death weep."

He inspired mass activism for change. Islamist Ennahda party officials replaced President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and close associates. Everything changed but stayed the same. New leaders are hostile to social justice and democratic values.

Whether Silman's sacrifice proves more successful remains to be seen. His statement was powerful. His wrath matched Bouazizi's. His death highlights a corrupt, decaying, socially unjust state.

He left a letter saying:

"The state of Israel stole from me and robbed me. It left me helpless."

"Two Housing and Construction Ministry committees rejected me, even though I had a stroke."

Disabled and disheartened, he couldn't survive on his monthly 2 allowance. "I can't even live month to month," he said. "I won't be homeless, and so I am protesting."

He blamed "the state of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, for the humiliation that the weakened citizens go through every day, taking from the poor and giving to the rich."

During a July 14 street protest, he poured gasoline on his body and self-immolated. He suffered severe second and third degree burns over 94% of his body. He got emergency care. He was too far gone to save.

On July 20, he died. Activists and close friends were told he couldn't survive. In respect, they're sitting Shiva. It's a traditional seven-day mourning period.

An unnamed friend said he no longer would let Israel "run him over anymore." Israeli authorities killed him by neglect, oppression, disdain, and dismissiveness. They didn't give a damn. They destroyed his life, welfare, and will to live.

Close friends and family members weren't surprised by what happened. Another friend said he had "protest in his soul. He waited for it to break out and was glad when it did." He regularly attended public demonstrations and marches.

Two years ago he moved from Bat Yam to Haifa. He suffered business and health reversals. His ability to sustain himself deteriorated.

At the end, he lived in a dilapidated two-room apartment in Haifa's poor Wadi Salif neighborhood. Like Silman, others there struggle to survive.

His friends were activists. His neighbors didn't know him. His refrigerator was empty. His savings were depleted. He lost hope that anything would change. He refused to live homeless in the street.

One of his sisters said "(h)e was in despair. He was mired in debt. Until the last moment we helped him. But he didn’t want it. Since the day he lost everything, the day they took everything, the house, his trucks, the money, my parents’ house, he has been going downhill."

Last March, he urged friends to organize and protest. Israel betrayed him and most others. Their only recourse is fighting back.

During summer 2011 protests, he participated regularly. Haifa activists got to know him. One friend said "(h)e was always trying to turn over one stone and then another to see if he could move ahead somehow."

He spent days looking for work. He fought for his rights and lost. A fellow activist said he self-immolated in protest. "It's terrible when a person has to" die to explain his plight to others.

On July 15, hundreds of Israelis rallied near Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence on his behalf. Police confronted them violently. Increasingly Jews face treatment Arabs have known for decades.

Haifa and Tel Aviv protests also erupted. They rallied under the slogan "We're all Moshe Silman - The Blood is on The Government's Hands."

Activists carried signs saying "The Poor Won't Have Anything to Eat, and They'll Eat the Rich." Another read "Desperation Burns - Who's Next?" One more targeted Netanyahu saying "Bibi, you burned us too."

One rally organizer said she tried to help Silman. She asked for his forgiveness for not being able to do more. "He deserved more than the country" gave him, she added.

On July 19, Dina Kraft's Haaretz article headlined "A man has set himself on fire!" saying:

"Israel's social protest movement has renewed the unity of purpose and collective ethos that has largely disappeared from the country – and Moshe Silman's tragic act of self-immolation, that I witnessed, may re-charge it even more."

Whether she's right remains to be seen. Protest movements lose energy. The fullness of time alone will tell if this one has legs.

Perhaps Silman lit a fuse to set Israel ablaze. It sure as hell needs it. So does America and most European countries.

Much depends on committed leaders able to sustain struggle for change. It seldom happens and never easily or quickly. Either people take it upon themselves to fight for their rights, or they'll end up with fewer than now en route to losing everything.

Western societies and Israel are corrupt, decaying, and concerned only about wealth, power and privilege. Middle income households are disappearing. So are high-paying full-time jobs, social benefits, and the ability to survive in dignity.

Government resources go for militarism, imperial wars, banker bailouts, other corporate handouts, and tax cuts for super-rich elites.

Unless people fight back they're lost. Powerful insiders plan transforming Western nations and Israel into a lower level of hell Dante forgot. It's a corporatist's dream.

Taking from the poor and most others for the rich and well-connected is policy. So is replacing high-pay/good benefit jobs with sub-minimal neoserfdom subsistence.

Eroding democratic values are on the chopping block for elimination. Privatizing everything is planned. Criminals in high places run everything. Police state justice is policy.

Exploitation is legislated. People are used like production inputs. When no longer needed, they're discarded like yesterday's garbage.

At issue is eat or be eaten. Either slay this beast or be consumed by it. There's no in-between.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy