David Enoch, professor of philosophy at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was among those protesting the Israeli government’s controversial plans to scale back the independence and power of its judiciary yesterday near Tel Aviv when he was arrested by police.He was released after a couple of hours.
In a public Facebook post about the arrest, he recounts the experience (the following has been translated from Hebrew into English by ChatGPT):
So this morning, I was arrested at a protest at the Green Village interchange. I’ve heard before, from others who aren’t accustomed to it, that it’s simply a psychological barrier that needs to be overcome. And that’s really what it was. We went down to the road to block it. The policeman tried to fight it. I made sure my hands were behind my back and didn’t resist. He pushed a little, threatened a little, but I didn’t move. So he arrested me. It wasn’t a wonderful experience, but it wasn’t terrible either. About an hour of waiting in the patrol car until another detainee was added, a little more waiting at the police station, and then release. One less psychological barrier. It wasn’t really interesting at all.
But here are a few takeaways:
- It’s really just a psychological barrier. Not really terrible.
- I’m aware that privileges are at play here too. And to be attacked by police (or by anyone) is a different story altogether. So that means, of course, who should be at the forefront of any protest.
- There are a lot of complaints against the police, and I’m sure many of them are justified. But in my case, they were really okay—being arrested didn’t seem terrible to me, the aggression of the police officer was a bit exaggerated but not terribly so. The officer who kept an eye on me in the patrol car, the officer who made sure we had water at the police station, the police officer who let Rakefet (my wife) in, and took our picture so we could calm my mom—they were all really okay. And it was clear that they didn’t want to be in this situation any more than we did. It’s worth keeping that in mind as much as possible.
Last month, over 100 philosophers signed onto a letter to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the nation’s Minister of Justice, Yariv Levin, objecting to the judicial changes.
(via Leiter Reports)
(Note: the translation has been slightly edited since originally published)