The Rogatka, a trendy Tel Aviv bar named for the Russian word describing the slingshots made famous in the first Intifada, refuses to seat soldiers in uniform. Whatever one’s political views are, this strikes me as a case of shooting the messenger because one doesn’t like the message – never a good move.
Calling itself an “anarchist collective” the bar has a policy of not buying produce grown in Jewish settlements and they also ban weapons of any kind on the premises. Good or bad, those decisions do not strike me as the same as refusing service to young men and women in uniform, especially as they may not have the option to be out of uniform when they want to get a bite to eat.
I am just barely old enough to know that Americans vented their anger about the Viet Nam war on returning veterans and lived to regret that behavior.
Is it/will it be any different in Israel? How often do we take out our frustrations, including legitimate ones, in illegitimate ways?
How often do any of us shoot the messenger because it’s simply easier than addressing the real source of what bothers us? I wonder if before the owners of the bar simply made a policy to ban that which they did not want to see, they constructively engaged those who upset them, what would happen….I wonder if we all did that, what would happen.