It is illegal in Israel to publicly proclaim that less than six million Jews died in the Nazi Holocaust. According to Wikipedia, the Israeli law reads, in part:
Prohibition of Denial of Holocaust 2. A person who, in writing or by word of mouth, publishes any statement denying or diminishing the proportions of acts committed in the period of the Nazi regime, which are crimes against the Jewish people or crimes against humanity, with intent to defend the perpetrators of those acts or to express sympathy or identification with them, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of five years.
Of course Israel is not alone in upholding such thought crimes, but this “outpost of the free world” should strive for higher standards when it comes to freedom. A case last year, pitting a rabbi against anti-racism laws in Israel, is reminiscent of some of the attacks against Christians in European countries.
If you publicly disregard the custom of remaining silent during the one-minute commemoration of fallen Israeli soldiers (accompanied by a loud siren), you will find yourself accosted by an angry public and the law will not be on your side. I can speak from personal experience on this matter.
But now it appears that any offensive statement, if posted publicly (such as on Facebook), can lead to detention and interrogation. An Israeli basketball player, Ido Kozikaro, learned this the hard way:
Ido Kozikaro, Gilboa/Galil’s center, was interrogated under caution by Afula police on Monday because of an off-color post on his Facebook page.
“There’s nothing like starting the holiday with matza dipped in the blood of Christian and Muslim children,” the post read in Hebrew on the basketball player’s page…
Kozikaro was making a joke based on the blood libels that have been made against Jews over the centuries. A member of the Gilboa regional council filed the complaint.
With laws such as these, the traditional feminist saying, “that’s not funny”, takes on new meaning. Admittedly, I don’t think it’s funny either – but I’ll simply hold my laughter; I won’t go running to the authorities.