It’s getting hard to keep up with the news. First we had the oral sex campaign on Sunday, then the Tel Aviv municipality anti-intermarriage project on Tuesday. Now comes a double whammy: A private member’s bill by a (shock, horror) Kadima MK, proposing anyone under 22 applying for university will have to prove legal grounds to avoid conscrtiption; and a government resolution already being prepared for implementation by the Education ministry, stipulating all college and university students will be forced to take courses on Zionist thought as part of their degree.
What MK Julia Shamalova-Berkovich doesn’t say about her bill (and what makes me suspect this is just a cheap point-scoring exercise on her part, rather than a serious move), is that 99% of those not joining the military actually do have legal grounds: Palestinian Israelis don’t get called up in the first place, religiously observant girls can (still) state they find military service inconsistent with their faith, and those suffering from depression (pretty much anyone politically aware will qualify these days) can get discharged with relative ease, so as not to add to the IDF’s crazy suicide statistics. Quite apart from the above, we the incandescent Shministim, the young conscientious objectors.
As for the indoctrination course, all I can say is that students get all the fun these days. No longer will campus activists feel slightly stupid as they picket the college lawns, calling on daydreaming students to “wake up”; the state ideology is coming to campus openly, exposed to criticism, disruption, protests and all the mockery enforced dogma usually incurs. It’ll take about one or two sensible students per classroom to turn the course into weekly, if not daily, protest actions. Something along the lines of Mario Savio in 1964, perhaps:
If this is a firm, and if the Board of Regents are the Board of Directors, and if President Kerr in fact is the manager, then I tell you something — the faculty are a bunch of employees and we’re the raw material! But we’re a bunch of raw materials that don’t mean to have any process upon us. Don’t mean to be made into any product! Don’t mean to end up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We’re human beings!
And that brings me to the second mode of civil disobedience: There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus — and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it — that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!