Tel Aviv has been dealing with the recent opening of the vegan Rogatka Bar, an establishment in which one can drink green beer and schmooze with left-wing activists. Founded by the self-proclaimed "anarchist collective" that has run other alternative Tel Aviv hot spots, the bar bans Israel Defense Forces soldiers in uniform, the carrying of weapons, and products made in West Bank settlements.
It’s nothing personal, but ideological," [soldiers] were told by Rogatka employees. "Your uniforms symbolize genocide and violence, and the violence that the IDF perpetrates is the reason for ongoing violence." […]
The restaurant-bar’s policies have begun to elicit a backlash both online and in the Knesset… MK Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi) told the Post on Tuesday that while he was not mulling any formal moves against the bar, "a society that is embarrassed by its soldiers is not a normal society…
This is a symptom of the new Left in this country, as opposed to the old Left of the Labor party. The new left is anti-Zionist, they are against the Jewish state, and while they are a small group, they’re very aggressive."
One of the bar’s founders, Adi Vinter, justified Rogatka’s practices:
We can’t hold views against discrimination and oppression, while at the same time support the infrastructure that exploits human beings and other animals. We wanted to show it’s possible and even worthwhile to live differently."
"Rogatka" means slingshot in Russian and refers to the slingshots used by Palestinian youth in the first Intifada.
David Kenner is the Middle East editor for Foreign Policy.| Passport |