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Natan Dvir | Israel

Defeated, 2006

Defeated,
2006
Color photograph
105 / 70 cm

Courtesy of the artist

Taken Down, 2005
Color photograph
105 / 70 cm

Courtesy of the artist

“…Freedom of expression is designed to protect precisely those expressions that are “extreme”, offensive and even marginal. It is designed to allow a man to protest against a policy being implemented before his eyes, and which is regarded in his eyes as unlawful, catastrophic or immoral. It is the right of members of the minority to raise a final outcry, discordant and offensive, in the hope that they will thereby succeed in inducing the majority to reconsider its decisions a moment before launching out on a path of no return.

Precisely at times of crisis and conflict, blanket suppression of protest does not merely fail to ward off the danger of the occurrence of acts of violence; on the contrary, it is liable to intensify it.

There may indeed be those who, alongside farreaching acts of protest, would also hatch plots to resort to violent actions. Nevertheless, the answer to the apprehension of such has to focus upon foiling their plots, not upon sweeping actions against every demonstrator or each protest, howsoever brash.

An action directed at preventing violations of the law has to be taken alongside strict observation of the principle of freedom of expression. Indeed, at this time it may be that “the rule of law faces its test”.

But the rule of law also includes the existence of democracy and human rights. Placing the stress, both declarative and operational, upon efficient implementation of government decisions and prevention of violations of the law, without laying equal stress upon the freedom of expression of those opposed to the evacuation, and of the evacuees themselves, is liable to lead to their demonization and unnecessary harm to their dignity and freedoms …’