Protesting soaring coast of living and social inequalities..
(photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash 90)
Do we want a little anarchy? If so, let us don our red Lacoste shirts (imprinted with hammers and sickles), gather at Rabin Square and sing “The Internationale” (the anthem of the mass murderers who just wanted to make life better and more just) like the young tent-dwelling protesters did.
Let us hoarsely scream, “The people demand social justice!” and “Let the revolution destroy privatization!” and call for a return to benevolent Socialism, to the good old Mapai days when everybody except for those holding the red party card were equally poor, and solidarity reigned supreme (or so we are told).
Let us harken to the lovely young ladies, the fresh plantings of the New Israel Fund; pay attention to what terrible rage animates their mission. Let us search for meaning in their worn-out clichés, and try to forgive their inability to articulate what they really want.
Let us marvel at a young generation that repeats like parrots the stale mantras of their aging Marxist professors, who dominate social studies and humanity departments in all our universities. Let us bemoan the fact that generations of exceptionally talented young people are incapable of coming up with one fresh idea, one that is not a repetition of recycled leftist slogans.
Let us shed a tear that a young and vital generation can only become
fired up by what it negates, what it hates, what it despises; that it
cannot suggest one solution to any social problem other than let the
government pour more money into it, or let it offer us a big teat from
which to nurse because it is so hard to grow up and shape our own
Let us observe sadly the Woodstock- style celebration, the beating of
darbukas past midnight, the smoking of sweet weeds, the politicking and
the intrigues – who should dominate the stage, who will best inflame
anger and frustration, who will best silence the voices of dissent that
denote that the vociferous minority does not really represent a majority
in this revolt; that the majority is behind the less photogenic but
more serious cottage cheese revolt people, despite the fact that they
have no buddies in the media to blow their horn.
The tent-dwellers’ revolt calls for the enforcement of “the will of the
people” (like all autocrats). It refuses to rely simply on democracy, on
elections every four years.
The tent-dwellers’ screaming minority wants the masses to follow the
messages formulated by the New Israel Fund, to understand that the
struggle is not about the high cost of living and of housing, but about
the lack of “social justice” and about the occupation that is the mother
of all evil.
They want to impress on us – as the New Israel Fund keeps reiterating –
that “social justice” will not come to Israel, that our coveted
socialist state of all its citizens (that will replace the quaint notion
of a Jewish state) will not happen before we first “make peace” with
the gangs of terrorists and thieves in Ramallah known as the Palestinian
Authority. They care not if in the process we help build another
jihadist state that robs its citizens, as in Gaza, of any human right.
They care not if we help the gangsters imported by us from Tunisia to
make the local population dirt-poor and miserable. Vive la liberte! To
achieve their obsession with building another criminal Arab state, the
leaders of the tent dwellers’ protest want to topple Binyamin Netanyahu’s
What better opportunity exists to undermine it than to exploit the true
misery of hundreds of thousands of Israeli families that cannot make
ends meet? So on with the fiery demonstrations.
Hopefully they will succeed in shifting the justified rage so many
Israelis feel against their rapacious economic system, against the
bureaucrats and oligarchs that exploit them so badly, and direct it
against Netanyahu to serve their own agendas. And yes, a little chaos
like in Athens could help. They tried it at the mass demonstrations. It did not catch on yet.
Let us be clear. The people of Israel do suffer under our dysfunctional
economic system. Our politicians are the ones who put this system in
place and who keep maintaining it for their own benefit and for the
bureaucrats, the oligarchs, the monopoly unions and others with
privileged access to power. But if there was one person who made an
effort to change this, it is Netanyahu. He met, and still meets, huge
resistance from those who benefit from our rotten system. Still, he did manage, against all odds, to occasionally prevail, paying a heavy political cost.
We have now in Israel an historic opportunity for those who, like
Netanyahu, wish to make real changes but lacked the political support to
overcome the resistance of those opposing change. It is not clear yet
whether he will win the day, whether he believes that he can get a
strong enough backing to rise to the occasion. Let us pray he does.The writer is director of the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress