TEL AVIV—“Very ‘dangerous’ are the people who practice this, look at them,” joked Israeli actress Sarit Vino Elad, pointing at the group of people with their eyes closed and gently moving their hands to the sound of tranquil Chinese music. They are practitioners of the spiritual practice Falun Gong, which has being persecuted in China for nine years.
“Whoever does this in China, will be caught at the instant and [sentenced] to death”, said Vino Elad. “If someone from the West would like to pay a lot of money for a cornea, retina, heart, lungs, spleen, or whatever, they can comfortably harvest it, without having to kill a few more bodies.” She was referring to reports of the Chinese Communist Party routinely harvesting innocent Falun Gong practitioners for their organs.
“In my opinion, we have kept silent long enough,” said Vino Elad at a rally marking nine years since the beginning of the persecution against the Falun Gong in China. It was held on Sunday in front of the Chinese Embassy in Tel Aviv. Falun Gong is a spiritual practice based on the universal principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Since the beginning of the persecution, instances of torture, rape, and murder of practitioners have been widely reported.
“If anyone in 1945 would not have said ‘no more,’ you and I would not be standing and chatting here at this bus station,” said Vino Elad.
Vino Elad said that when she first heard of the persecution, she didn’t realize its significance. “I consider the Chinese to be very wise and spiritual, so how can this be true?” She gradually saw evidence of what is taking place in China. “I find it inconceivable. The frustration is that I don’t know what to do except for coming here and supporting, because even if you want to talk about it in the press or on television, no one will make a major headline of it.”
She connected the lack of media presence at the rally to business interests. “We will not hurt China because then we will get hurt,” she explained the rationale of widespread media silence. She believes that China has a strong grip on the Western world.
“All the industrial manufacturing begins there,” she said. “All that we wear, everything we use, electrical instruments, anything we want or don’t want has gone through China.”
“Their manpower is very cheap because they grab someone and decide that he will work to death, and they also don’t even have to pay him,” she claimed.
She encouraged consumers to boycott Chinese goods and stop purchasing products made in China, but she also explains why that is impossible. “I look at [the] products and say that there is no choice. I must buy it. There are no toys for children, no cloths, no food … that isn’t made there.”
Vina Elad urged the world to boycott the Olympics, and cites Steven Spielberg, who resigned from his role as artistic consultant to the Olympic Games, as an example.
“From the moment China was chosen as the 2008 Olympics site, horrors have doubled and tripled,” she said. “They cleaned the streets of the cities from people that are ‘unrepresentative’ to China. Where do people think they have sent them to?”
“It begins with what they have done in Tibet, seeing that no one does anything about it, and then they took the freedom to do whatever they want. That’s how they caused the genocide in Darfur, and that’s how they slaughter their own people—anyone who does not align with the Communist Party. It is not only Falun Dafa that they persecute. It is also various human rights activists, environmentalists, and journalists…”
Vino Elad expressed her grievance over Israeli President Shimon Peres’s future visit to China to “decorate their event,” she said.
“Why this hypocrisy? Especially us, who are still licking our wounds, who feel deeply hurt and want to die each time someone denies the Holocaust. How can this be?”