Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Freedom of speech in 'New' Europe

What do you think of someone who carries a banner of the Israeli flag on which the Star of David is replaced by a Nazi swastika? Many people (myself included) will think it's going over the top- that in spite of Israel's blatant aggression against Lebanon and the inhabitants of Gaza, it' s inaccurate to compare the country to Nazi Germany. Some on the other hand may think that the analogy is at least partly justified. They will point out to the way prominent Zionists were quick to label Slobodan Milosevic's Yugoslavia 'fascist' - even though it was multi-party democracy with a thriving privately owned media. And the self-same Zionists- like US Defense Secretary Wiliam Cohen accused Belgrade of embarking on a World War Two style 'genocide' against Kosovan Albanians- even though no credible evidence existed to back up the charge.
But regardless of our opinions on the Israel/Nazi Germany analogy-should those making it be arrested?
In Britain, posters comparing George Bush and Ariel Sharon to Hitler are a common sight on anti-war marches. And Zionists themselves regularly refer to Hezbollah as 'Fascists' and denounce the Iranian President as 'The New Hitler'. Yet ,when two members of a Communist Youth organisation carried a banner of an Israeli flag on which the Star of David was replaced by a Nazi swastika at an anti-war rally in Budapest at the weekend they were promptly arrested.
Had protesters been arrested at a rally in Belarus, Bolivia or Venezuela for carrying banners the authorities disapproved of- you can be sure the Harry's Placers, Samizdatas and Eustonistas would have been up all night posting on such an appalling infringement of free speech. But three days after the arrests in Hungary, a country in which a party called the ' Free Democrats' (SZDSZ) participate in the government, there is not a word from our crusaders for freedom and democracy. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
http://www.budapestsun.com/full_story.asp?ArticleId={DCA0293C7D1041728330CD87FFC50ECD}&From=News

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