Like many commentators around the world, Yossi Sarid, former head of the Meretz party, gave his opinion on the Mohammed cartoons controversy. In an opinion peice called 'Get out of our lives, fanatics', Sarid rallied against what he saw as all religious fanatics. Of course someone of Sarid's ilk can not fail to link the violence, riots and death threats throughout the Arab world with religious Jews in this country.
Israel is a free country and Sarid has every right to criticise his fellow Israeli but what he wrote in this peice went far beyond the pale. Sarid wrote "Oh, settler, what do we have in common with you? Get up and leave, and may the devil take you." Sarid is insinuating that anyone who doesn't think as he or has nothing in common with him should leave Israel. Sarid the anti-fanatic is the worst kind of fanatic, the fanatic who can not stand an opinion that differs from his own. Sarid in these comments is more akin to the fanatacism of the rioters who would get rid of all dissenting voices from their uropia. Sarid's utopia is not religious in nature but fanatical it remains. Sarid the legislator would have Israel become an 1984-like nation with no dissent from the 'enlightened' views of himself and his cohorts. I welcome Sarid to spew any opinion he wishes, apparently Sarid refuses to allow others to do the same. Israel is a nation of extremes and diversity, that is the way it should be. The liberal left is always the first to talk of human rights and liberal values but it is always interesting that this same ideological grouping is always the first to quell dissenting speech.