A hail of stones is not a demo

In response to the editorial, “Free the demonstrators” (Dec. 8)

The editorial demands “Free the demonstrators” and reminds us all of the importance of the freedom to demonstrate. However, this is a narrow-minded view of reality. The right to demonstrate must be weighed against the public’s interest in the maintenance of law and order; that interest was infringed upon by the demonstrations, some of which were not coordinated in advance with the police. If I could have added a photograph to my written reaction, it would have been the one showing a highway in the Negev “paved” with thousands of stones, each of which was bigger than a fist.

Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak was not thinking of such demonstrations when [in the 1980s] he came out with his verdict [“that the freedom to demonstrate is one of Israel’s fundamental human rights”]. The editorial explains to us that one of those persons detained “will end up being jailed for at least two weeks, just because he took part in a demonstration.” I am sure that every reader will understand that the real offense of which that person is suspected was omitted.

Granted, the state must not suppress freedom of expression. However, the state must not knuckle under when demonstrations are exploited for the purpose of carrying out violent acts.

Gal Marom
Haifa

The terror of Facebook

Recently, we have heard of a number of cases in which a child has tried to commit suicide because of severe harassment on Facebook. Regrettably, we have also read of children who have actually taken their own life [because of such harassment]. How many cases must occur before we can hear the alarm bells ringing?

Undoubtedly, a grave social problem is developing here and, if we do not stop it now, it will only grow worse. Am I the only one who is frightened by this prospect?

Sabina Russocha
Petah Tikva

Failure to honor Mandela

In response to Gideon Levy, “Mandela is not yet free” (Dec. 8)

One does not need the “right to eulogize Mandela,” Mr. Levy. One need only dig deep into our common humanity. I am sorry you used Nelson Mandela’s death as a vehicle for your own politics. Your words do not do honor to this man, who was a giant of compassion and forgiveness. Whether we agreed with all his politics or not, may his memory serve as a blessing.

Bakol Ruben Gellar
Jerusalem