Daphni Leef
Photo: Yaron Brener
'Tent city'
Photo: Ben Kelmer

Avoid dishonest protest

Op-ed: Religious staying away from housing protest because it’s led by radicals, anarchists

So why didn’t I arrive at the anarchist tent city on Rothschild Boulevard and why will I be refraining from doing so? Because on the way there I heard protest leader Daphni Leef moving from one radio station to the next and presenting an unclear, spoiled and blatantly irresponsible protest. She’s unable to say what she wants, and she will therefore never be satisfied. Her colleague at the anarchist tent leadership, Stav Shafir, also didn’t make me feel like traveling to the Tel Aviv boulevard.


Indeed, it’s not sin to be a leftist. These days one even needs public courage to admit that one still believes the Palestinians. However, taking authentic distress and turning it into a manipulative protest that exploits those who are overwhelmed by the burden in order to promote radical political agendas is a terrible sin.


Imagine that a year ago the Yesha Council would have loaded people without housing on vans to protest at Jerusalem’s Zion Square against the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria. Would such move enjoy a fraction of the media coverage enjoyed by the tent boulevard on Rothschild? The answer is clear, and I am not here to argue over the media’s leftist tendencies.


I mentioned it just to illustrate that not every protest that expresses real distress deserves automatic support. One is allowed and should ask who is getting on the bandwagon here and who is the manipulator? Where does the truth end and where do the lies start?


Indeed, there is distress among the middle class, which works hard for a living yet is still unable to make ends meet. The piggish capitalism demonstrated by the tycoons, who suddenly turned into skilled storytellers, is outrageous and requires brave, painful handling by the government. Yet nonetheless, my religious friends and I are not heading to the media tents on Rothschild.


Why? Because we are in favor of resolving the problem but object to burning down the house; because we are in favor of affordable housing, but against toppling the Netanyahu government; because we are in favor of cutting fuel prices but against the “I deserve it” revolution; because we are in favor of minimizing socioeconomic gaps but against the stench of hatred for settlers and haredim that emanates from Rothschild Boulevard.


If you put politics aside, the “occupation” and hatred for the haredim, and instead take responsibility for the public coffers and not only for your private wallet – I’ll be happy to have coffee with you on Rothschild Boulevard.


The writer is a strategy and media advisor and the Yesha Council’s former speaker



פרסום ראשון: 08.01.11, 23:31
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