Israel's New Protest Movement: Suicide by Fire
Moshe Silman and six others turn to self-immolation
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2012 4:30 PM CDT
An Israeli man protests Israeli economic policies as others, not seen, block a highway in Tel Aviv on Sunday, July 15, 2012. The sign in Hebrew reads: "Bibi you burned me too."   (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

(Newser) – Israel is searching for answers after seven people tried to end it all—and make a shocking public statement—with suicide by fire. The first was Moshe Silman, who killed himself with lighter fluid and a match at a rally for the first anniversary of Israel's Occupy movement on July 14. Among the six who followed, all have lived, but one is clinging to life. Their common themes: economic desperation and a hatred of government red tape, reports Global Post.

"It’s a wave, nothing more than a wave," said a police spokesman. But a prominent Israeli journalist has written an op-ed that takes it more seriously: "This is a last call to the despaired who intend to commit suicide: For God’s sake, stop! Stop it!" writes Eitan Haber at YNet News. A doctor at one of Israel's suicide hotlines—which are swamped these days—says he senses "the desire to create an effect. ... It’s a psychological and sociological tempest."

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Jul 30, 2012 2:25 PM CDT
Jul 30, 2012 5:49 AM CDT
The only thing worse than dying by self-immolation is surviving. Imagine waking up in intensive care with every nerve ending screaming. Your lips, nose, ears, hair, fingers, genitals and eyelids are gone. Your lungs are scorched so that every assisted, smoke-tasting breath you take is a new discovery in pain. That has gotta suck... : ( As they lie there praying for death, I wonder how many survivors decide that maybe dousing themselves with a flammable liquid then lighting a match wasn't such a hot shit idea after all... I think I'll just stick to protesting and carrying a sign.
Jul 30, 2012 3:04 AM CDT
It worked for Czechoslovakia. Are we too dumbed down as a society to understand the term "self-immolation"? It's true that if you don't use it, you lose it....your vocabulary, that is.