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Tel Aviv riot Photo: Yaron Brener
Tel Aviv riot Photo: Yaron Brener
 
Protesters broke into banks Photo: Yaron Brener
Protesters broke into banks Photo: Yaron Brener
 
 

Israel, say no to anarchy

Op-ed: Reckless abandon we saw in Saturday night’s protest in Tel Aviv unjustified and dangerous

Yoaz Hendel
Published: 06.24.12, 11:28 / Israel Opinion

Protest is an important part of modern democracy and a means for conveying messages to decision-makers. In Israel, significant decisions have already been made in the past against the backdrop of protest: Committees have been established, senior figures have resigned, and wars have been halted.

 

Anarchy, on the other hand, is a threat to democracy. History teaches us that reckless abandon, regardless of its motives, does not lead to a better reality. Indeed, Saturday night’s reckless abandon, regardless of the circumstances that preceded it, belongs to the second, dangerous part of the equation.

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Some of the organizer’s of Israel’s social protest are angry now, and possibly despaired. The summer has arrived yet the people demand to stay at home with their air-conditioners. Only small numbers of people hit the streets in the recent events organized by protest inheritors. Only few showed interest.

 

And if that was not enough, Tel Aviv City Hall officials decided that they will not be hosting yet another Woodstock in the city’s Rothschild Boulevard. Even the media did not go out of its way to cover the intentions to re-launch the social justice protest in Tel Aviv.

 

The above is enough to justify the grim feelings of protestors, yet it is very far from constituting a permit for reckless rioting.

 

Protests that are not granted a permit can end with violence. There is nothing new about that, in Israel as well. Those who cared about democracy during the days of the Gaza disengagement would have discovered much more difficult sights.

 

Authorities are not the ones to blame for the failure of the protest; rather, reality is at fault. We have seen protests that were much more justified than the protest of last summer yet nobody covered them. These protests did not enjoy the support of celebrities or municipal backing. In all of these protests it was clear that anarchy is a red line. There is no reason for this attitude to change now.

 

 

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