Mark LeVine writes:
Somewhere in the afternoon of this past Saturday, while hundreds of thousands of Israelis celebrated their renewed civic spirit and sense of national solidarity through their participation in the rapidly escalating protests against high housing prices and social inequality, a car approached the Shavei Shomron checkpoint north of Nablus. Inside were Rami Hwayel and several other cast members of a new production of “Waiting for Godot”. The play, which is being directed by famed Israeli auteur Udi Aloni is in rehearsals in Ramallah, but the cast was heading home to Jenin, to their home base at the Jenin Freedom Theatre.
When they reached the checkpoint, soldiers demanded to see their ID cards, after which, without warning, they pulled Hwayel out of the car, blindfolded him and threw him in an army vehicle to be taken away. As of Sunday no one had been told why he was detained. The military has slapped a gag order on all reporting about his detention inside Israel, and he can be held without charge or even access to a lawyer for up to a month. He is the third member of the Freedom Theatre to be detained in the last few weeks, all without official explanation or due process. According to an Israeli attorney who’s met with them, at least one of the captives has been “treated inhumanely”.
These two events – one “history-making”, the other all too mundane – point to the long journey Israelis will have to traverse before their increasingly massive protests against sky high housing prices and other social injustices becomes the revolution many already believe it to be.