Some settlers to stone back?

Israeli pot activists try to stone the Gush:

Settlers Urged to Smoke Pot During Gaza Evacuation
Gush Katif, Gaza Strip ( — June 27) – Activists of all stripes are flocking to the Gaza Strip, some to lobby for pet causes, while others dig in to resist the Israeli government’s disengagement plan.

In a sideshow outside an abandoned hotel in Gush Katif on Sunday, activists from the Green Leaf Party urged Jewish settlers to use cannabis during the evacuation of the Gaza Strip, scheduled to begin in August.

The Green Leaf Party, which won 1.2 percent of the vote in the last national elections (not enough for admittance to the Knesset) is promoting the legalization of marijuana.

Members of the Green Leaf Party said in a statement that they were visiting the settlements in Gaza to “present a proposal to reduce violence and friction” during the disengagement.

Their proposal was based on the claim that “medicinal use of prohibited drugs is common to fight severe pain and lethal threats.” Morphine is a derivative of heroine; atropine (a nerve gas antidote) comes from an illegal, toxic hallucinogenic and cannabis is safer than aspirin, they argued.

“It is therefore our strong belief that the legal adviser to the government…should issue a temporary order and instruct the police not to enforce the prohibition of personal consumption of cannabis among the settlers during the disagreement period in order to help avert violent behavior among adults,” party chairman Boaz Wachtel said in a statement handed out at the site.

Wachtel said that the use of cannabis is high among settlers aged 18-30. But there was no way of confirming his comments.

One man living at the hotel screamed at activists that the settlers aren’t drug addicts and didn’t want to be aligned with marijuana smokers.

He shoved a Green Leaf activist who had a marijuana leaf insignia on his T-shirt. Police broke up the shoving match before it could escalate.

Later, the cannabis activists blocked the road in Gush Katif as a “reprisal” for being kicked out of the hotel area.

“We blocked the traffic for a number of minutes so they would feel [what it is like],” said Wachtel later in a telephone interview in regards to the anti-disengagement activity of blocking roads as a form of civil disobedience.

Seriously, those settler dudes could stand to mellow out a touch. Uhhh, not necessarily stoned, but….docile…

  1. What was he smoking when he dreamt this one up?
    The really weird thing is that Boaz Wachtel is a former Israeli intelligence agent who, in addition to his pro-pot activism, is pushing a hubristic solution to the Middle East water crisis which he dubs the “Peace Canal“—a massive water diversion project that would redirect the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates in eastern Turkey to the Jordan River for use by Israel and (assuming peace can be brokered) Syria, Jordan and some Palestinian entity. He envisions the Canal running down the border of Syria and Israel, giving both countries a stake in peace (hence the hippy-dippy name). However, he doesn’t say which border he means, given that Damascus does not accept Israel’s unilateral annexation of the Golan Heights. And since the plan was drawn up back when big bad Saddam was in power, the diversion neatly sidesteps Iraq—which is already deprived of Tigris-Euphrates waters by Turkish diversions for irrigation mega-projects (as recently discussed on this blog).

    But at least Israeli stoners will have enough water for their bongs.

    1. Bongs bamboozle Justice Ministry
      Ha’ertz, June 27
      By Yuval Yoaz

      The State Prosecutor’s Office stood perplexed and at a loss during the trial of R.M., accused about three years ago of possessing devices used to commit drug offenses. R.M. was caught with a “bong,” which is used for smoking drugs, but since it was a new bong and contained no residue of drugs, the prosecution had difficulty convincing the judge it was a device intended for use with drugs.

      “It’s just a vase,” claimed the defense attorney, and the judge ruled that since there was no proof that the accused did not intend to use the device for ornamental purposes, the court had no option but to dismiss the charges.

      Yesterday the Justice Ministry initiated an attempt to correct this situation. A “memorandum for an amendment to the dangerous drugs ordinances,” distributed yesterday by the ministry’s legislation department, is actually a proposal for a “Bong Law.”


      In effect, the law reduces the penalty for possession of “devices used for preparing a dangerous drug or its consumption,” from 20 years in prison (when the devices are not for personal use) to five years. This is because 20 years is excessive, considering that possession of such devices is “secondary” to the real drug offenses – consumption, possession, dealing and pushing drugs.

      Still, the drafters of the bill had difficulty defining a bong. In the wording of the law itself the Justice Ministry refrained from an exact definition, writing only “a smoking device called a bong.”

      “The bong is a smoking device used mainly for smoking dangerous drugs,” state the explanatory notes to the proposal. “The term bong is well known in street jargon; it has been suggested not to define the term beyond classifying it as a smoking device, as it is a device that can assume or divest itself of its form in order to fulfill its function – the smoking of dangerous drugs. For this reason there is also no point in defining it graphically, as one detail or another of its design can easily be altered in an effort to outwit the law.”

      In this issue Israeli lawmakers seek to follow in the footsteps of their American counterparts, who also refrained from an exact definition in their federal criminal laws, and made do with the term “bong.” Still, there is one publication that does contain a description of this device, the “Cops and Robbers Lexicon,” published eight years ago, which was used by the Justice Ministry in drafting the bill.

      “It is a kind of hookah, a large pipe,” explains the edifying lexicon. “In the past, drug users were forced to improvise bongs from small shampoo bottles into which they inserted rubber hoses, and to conceal them from the police. Now, however, there is no need for this – stores, kiosks and snack stands openly sell nicely designed bongs. Bongs are available in all shapes and sizes, and the police do not prevent their sale.”

      Not everyone agrees that the planned legislation will help. “Devices for smoking drugs are defined according to what is known as the `use test,'” explains retired Judge Shlomo Shoham, who up until a few years ago gave a course in drugs and the law at Tel Aviv University. “A device is intended for using drugs if the police catch you using it for smoking drugs. Otherwise, you can claim it is just an innocent cola bottle. So are they going to forbid me from bringing cola bottles to Israel?

      “Apart from that,” continued Shoham, “criminal law has until now failed miserably at handling soft drugs, and bongs are used mainly for hashish and marijuana. The idea behind the new law is to make it easier for the prosecution and the police, minimizing the evidence they will have to bring against suspects.

      “That is similar to if the police have difficulty catching a burglar, they try to catch him for possession of burglary tools. But a judge cannot convict a man for wandering around with a screwdriver at 2 A.M. That is contempt for the justice system. The police are making a joke of the job. Once, when I was a judge, someone caught using drugs personally would go to jail for two months. Today they don’t even open a file on him.”

    2. Wachtel replies

      Dear Bill Weinberg

      I read with great interest your article based on the recent story in the Gaza strip. Just to make few corrections – I am not a former intelligence officer but my title in the military attach’e office in the Israeli Embassy in Washington was assistant to the army attaché, a job I got while being an MA student at the U of MD

      Secondly – please make a correction since the peace canal plan calls for diversion from the Ceyhan and Seyhan rivers and not from the Euphrates and tigris.

      I am attaching an abstract on the subject. And by the way – I don’t want everyone to get stoned, nut I want that those who smoke will not be punished for it.

      All the best

      Boaz Wachtel

      See also WW4 REPORT #67