Free Speech Isn’t Free. It’s Just Very Cheap.
The government of Israel just passed a law that makes free speech illegal. Any post that the government considers to be a matter of national security or shaming a public official (yes, they mentioned them in one sentence as though they crimes on par) can not only be pulled, the government does not have to keep to normal laws of providing evidence.
That and more, if what is reported in the press approximates the truth, the government can censor our private e-mails as well.
When I first read this, I was, like most Israelis; appalled.
Then I thought about it and I saw the blessing in it. Whatever the conscious intentions of the Israeli politicians who formulated and passed the law were, this is a blessing and the answer to many, many prayers.
For a long time, I’ve seen that “free speech” is a mechanism that renders people in “democracies” ineffectual.
It is not likely that governments allowed “free speech” out of genuine caring for liberty, but, rather, the grant stemmed from their shrewd understanding of (some of) the power of speech. Those who granted free speech realized that allowing people to voice their frustrations was a good way of letting them vent pent up anger and frustrations. Notice, this was a grant on the part of governments and grants can always be recalled.
Precious little of what we read are genuinely free expressions stemming from the speakers’ own awareness. Most of it is rehash of state-sanctioned expressions of dissent. Most of the people voicing dissent are parroting celebrity “dissident” gatekeepers (no need to name names, the cognoscenti know who they are and those who don’t won’t be convinced that their idol has not only feet of clay, but is on the government payroll).
I’ve been observing for many years how speakers of state-sanctioned, cooked up in a think tank ‘free speech” vent their spleen and go right back to work the next day…and the next…and the next.
The greatest expressions of Liberty and Justice were voiced by Jews during oppressive regimes in the pre-“free speech” days – when telling the truth was punishable by death. Those people spoke in and through and for the Holy Spirit. They were called Prophets and their voices and Souls echo to this very day.
The Rabbis say that Prophecy ended in Israel toward the end of the second temple period. That’s not so much a statement of fact, as a suggestion that, once adopted and believed, becomes self-fulfilling prophecy.
This silencing of the moral Jews in the State of Israel is the surest way to revive Prophetic Speech in Israel – the form of speech with the most immediate and momentous power. From now on, when Jews witness injustice and cruelty, which has become endemic in the State of Israel, rather than blasting of a really scathing comment or posting a really coolly mocked-up meme on Facebook, they will turn inward – to their Souls – with the silent scream of anguish that raises the dead. If there is any chance that Prophecy will return to Israel, this putatively benighted, but actually very helpful, law will be the catalyst.
So, I must say to the Israeli government: Thank you for passing this law. I have long wondered what might bring about the return of Prophecy to Israel – and here you delivered it to us.