Daphni Leef
Photo: Yaron Brener

In love with the protests

Op-ed: Social protest organizers seem more interested in demonstrating than in solution

Student leader Itzik Shmuli predicted last night that each and every one of the participants in Saturday night’s protest will always remember with pride where he was on September 3rd, 2011.


Well, as one who did not take part in the protest, I would like to note (while bowing my head) that I set in front of the television and was overcome by jealousy: Not because of the impressive number of protestors, but rather, because of the huge media support.


Hundreds of thousands of people hit the streets without the organizers having to spend even one shekel in public relations. Everything was given to them for free, on a grand scale, with great love and without any cynicism. Even the pretentious slogan referring to a “million-man march” did not draw the usual journalistic ridicule.


At the end of the day, only one-third of the prediction materialized, but there’s no reason to be petty here. The masses showed up. The problem is that there is no way to tell how many came to protest and how many came only to take part in this media festival or to see popular singer Eyal Golan perform.


Based on the roars in the square, the people want social justice. Yet according to radio station Reshet Bet’s poll from last Thursday, the people will still be voting for the same coalition that runs the country at this time.


Hence, we may conclude that the people want their social justice within the existing government framework. I’m guessing that the people, as opposed to protest leader Daphni Leef, also want the Trachtenberg Committee.


Only a handful of radicals suspect that Trachtenberg is yet another Netanyahu trick. This is a ridiculous suspicion. The prime minister already understands that despite the protest’s blatant political backdrop, it contains genuine distress that must not be ignored.


There is also no reason to ignore it. Rightist voters share most of the protest’s logical objectives: Fewer tax concessions to the rich and more oxygen to the middle class and to Israel’s poor. They will celebrate when Trachtenberg announces the end of the piggish capitalism era in Israel.


The question is whether Daphni Leef would be celebrating as well. Two months after the Rothschild Boulevard adventure got underway, it appears that its founding fathers have fallen in love with the protest. They don’t want a solution; they want demonstrations.



פרסום ראשון: 09.04.11, 21:15
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