A new political species has arrived in Israel, the celebrity-politician, and this is bad news. It doesn't say much about them but it says a lot about us.
Gideon Levy is a Haaretz columnist and a member of the newspaper's editorial board.
Levy joined Haaretz in 1982, and spent four years as the newspaper's deputy editor. He is the author of the weekly Twilight Zone feature, which covers the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza over the last 25 years, as well as the writer of political editorials for the newspaper.
Levy was the recipient of the Euro-Med Journalist Prize for 2008; the Leipzig Freedom Prize in 2001; the Israeli Journalists’ Union Prize in 1997; and The Association of Human Rights in Israel Award for 1996.
His new book, The Punishment of Gaza, has just been published by Verso Publishing House in London and New York.
Instead of encouraging our young to volunteer and help society, we send them to the Border Police; it be better were they to stay at home.
Relations with Turkey, Israel's last refuge in the region, should not be placed in the treacherous hands of a small group of arrogant, domineering Israeli politicians.
Instead of encouraging moderation, whether genuine or imaginary, whether strategic or tactical, Israel is rushing to nip it in the bud.
The ultra-Orthodox are not the only enemies of enlightenment and freedom around, and it's doubtful they're the most dangerous. But they're a convenient and easy punching bag.
The new world will eventually tell Israel: Stay in the occupied territories, but give all its residents equal rights and justice. What will Israel say then? Interference in its internal affairs? Foreign intervention? You've got to be kidding.
We have to fight against Haredi attempts at domination, but the battle has to be proportionate, and it must include every injustice, according to its gravity.
Years of rioting against Palestinians, uprooting of trees, vandalism, arson, destruction, dispossession, theft, rocks and axes didn't cause a ripple, but one rock to the head of a deputy brigade commander made all the difference.
Now of all times, when the status of Israel's rich has been undermined and the dangers await not only them, but also the country's image, it's hard to understand their failure to act.
Mustafa Tamimi was one of the leaders of the struggle; less than a year ago he was arrested with three of his brothers, one of whom, Oudai, was sentenced to nine months in prison.