יואל חסון
Yoel Hasson
Photo: Adi Orani
Former MK Yoel Hasson attending an anti-Netanyahu protest in Jerusalem

Protests are important, but now is time to stop

Opinion: Israelis who wish to express their disappointment at the failure of our leaders to lead must shoulder their own share of the national responsibility and recognize that suspending the demonstrations in Jerusalem will benefit us all

Yoel Hasson |
Published: 09.24.20, 23:48
I don’t believe I have ever felt so pessimistic about the state of the State of Israel, which is currently in heart-wrenching condition.
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  • Under the auspices of the coronavirus pandemic, the most bloated government in Israeli history has wrought economic devastation upon millions of people.
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    יואל חסון בלפור מחאה הפגנה
    יואל חסון בלפור מחאה הפגנה
    Former MK Yoel Hasson attending an anti-Netanyahu protest in Jerusalem
    The long-struggling healthcare system has finally been exposed as the poor wretched entity it truly is, while Israel’s children will most likely finish the school year without doing any actual learning.
    And it feels that there is no leader to steer us through this chaos.
    It is impossible to knows how long it will be before we recover from the damage inflicted on us by the pandemic.
    The responsibility lies with those who were supposed to lead us through this crisis - the government and the one leading them, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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    ההפגנה בבלפור
    ההפגנה בבלפור
    An anti-Netanyahu protest in Jerusalem, the sign reads ' whose coming to the beach?'
    (Photo: AFP)
    The public watches in horror at the leadership’s lack of personal example, the strings of hasty decisions, the rampant inconsistency, and the ever-present miasma of alleged corruption hanging over Netanyahu - whose every move is stained with politicking and desire for survival.
    When you live in political and national anarchy for so long, you witness red lines crossed on a regular basis. It is no wonder then that this anarchy boiled over and tainted all of us, turning us all into anarchists railing against the health regulations.
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    Benjamin Netanyahu
    Benjamin Netanyahu
    Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: AP)
    And yet we have to stop, for we the people share in the national responsibility.
    In the absence of decent leadership - and perhaps because of it - it is time to shoulder that responsibility and say now is the time to suspend the protests against the prime minister.
    There is no doubt the tens of thousands of protesters have not caused as much infection as the government's failures or the people who held social gatherings in enclosed spaces in a fit of criminal disregard for others.
    And yet, until proven otherwise, the protests are also a threat to public health.
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    ההפגנה בבלפור
    ההפגנה בבלפור
    An anti-Netanyahu protest in Jerusalem
    (Photo: AFP)
    I have been in my fair share of protests; they are something I am most passionate about. I have no qualms about the righteousness of the protests against Netanyahu, in which I also took part.
    In the meantime, however, there are other ways to go about this, such as a terrace protest.
    All those wishing to protest the state of the country can do so at a predetermined time, waving a black flag from the comfort of their own balcony or window.
    Imagine thousands of balconies all over the country hoisting a black flag alongside the Israeli flag. It could be a far more effective protest than the ones in Jerusalem.
    We are not giving up on the future of our country, we are simply being responsible.
    Yoel Hasson is a former member of Knesset for Kadima and the Zionist Union
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