You Can Be Crushed

Posting this article does not mean that INN condones the author's actions. However, we felt his subsequent experiences should be shared with readers.

Pinchas Baram,

OpEds לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7

When I approached the May 23 Rally for a United Jerusalem I could not help but notice the dominant voice, drowning out all other sounds and voices, was that of a short bald male, white, in his 30's, in a long white Moslem-style tunic. True, there were several hundred Jews on the steps of  Congregation Kehillat Israel listening to Jewish and Christian speakers, but this individual, on the opposite side of the street, surrounded by PLO flags and Israel
I doubt if such high-volume gutter speech in a counter-demonstration would have been tolerated if it were directed at Blacks or gays, or Moslems.
is a terrorist state signs, was definitely  the main player to any outside observer.


He was literally bellowing  vituperations non-stop against Jews and Israel.  While the litany was familiar to me from following on the internet the rantings of jihadis (the Green) and the hard Left  (the Red), there was a certain novelty in seeing it up close, in front of a local synagogue no less.
Not thinking of consequences, I went right up to him and spat in his face, in disgust and in confrontation, ready and psyched for a fight. But I miscalculated. First, I didn’t realize that spitting is by itself considered assault and battery. I thought if you hit someone that’s assault. I think I wasted an opportunity and should have punched him hard in the jaw right away instead of spitting.


Second, I didn't realize how strict and rough the cops in soft, liberal Brookline could be. I thought that they might push me aside and say get out of here.  Instead, they grabbed me, twisted my arm, handcuffed my arms behind my back, pushed me in the backseat of a cruiser (hot, windows shut), then into a pitchblack paddy wagon, and soon into an isolated basement cell at the police station for about 3 hours, incommunicado.


They were apparently on high-alert, saw anything as potential troublemaking and reacted with zero-tolerance. But the fact is, as I later learned,  it was contrary to state statute and therefore illegal for them to stand by lamely and  allow this rotten little Hamas supporter (later identified as a Michael Williams, of Cambridge) to scream non-stop and disrupt a rally, shouting ugly anti-Jewish hate speech, in front of a Jewish house of worship no less. 


I doubt if such high-volume gutter speech in a counter-demonstration would have been tolerated if it were  directed at Blacks or gays, or Moslems.


Even though my deed and arrest were very sudden and few took notice, it's interesting that Williams, the victim of my wrath so to speak, paused in his diatribe and smirked directly at me sitting in the cruiser before the paddy wagon took me away.  He knew that the cops and the doctrine of free speech, even if twisted  and abused by Islamist haters of democracy like himself, were on his side. 


Later, in jail, I thought maybe I should have yelled, Jews, Help! and create a commotion-- but given the timid nature of most Jews, when honor is involved and a physical confrontation is in the offing,  my call for help would probably have fallen on deaf ears. I thought too of Jews like Gilad Shalit and Jonathan Pollard, worthier men than I, who have been imprisoned so long, confined like animals in a cage, and dying a lonely, slow death.  Freedom!-- how precious it is.  But there has been no bold Jewish army in Israel or bold Jewish political action committee in the U.S.  to come to their rescue... 


The David Project, a non-mainstream, pro-Israel advocacy group based in Boston  and which I admire, likes to quote the famous maxim of Edmund Burke, the 18th century conservative, who said,  All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to be passive and do nothing.

Brave words, and they sound great in a speech-- but look where they got me! My cynical counter-maxim is, If the police and the law are against you, you will be crushed.


In any event, I have since my release on bail received a good number of supportive calls and emails, praising me for standing up alone and publicly spitting on Jew hatred.  For Jew hatred is a reality which is a growing phenomenon;  conceivably it could become a perfect storm combining, as said at the outset, the Jew hatred of the Islamic jihadis and the Jew hatred of the Western hard Left.


Ironically, what will help that come about is our fetishistic reverence of free speech no- matter- what.  This allows free (and toxic )speech to trump older taboos which did not permit anti-semitism in the public square.  Add to this mix the simplistic position of law enforcement bodies, like the Brookline police, which protects, and thus allows, and emboldens, haters of Jews and Israel to speak out-- and swiftly arrests and manhandles anyone who physically confronts the haters.


True, there were others who told me I was foolish and wasting my time with such anti-semitic dogs.  Let them bark, nothing will come of it, they said.  Or hoped.


I now have to face the prospect of spending time and money in a sequence of court appearances. Who knows how this will turn out? Nonetheless, I believe HaShem is with me, I shall not fear.  And I also take my cues from the game of football and from Rabbi Hillel: The best defense is offense.  If not now,when?   Where there are no men, endeavor to be a man.