A good year to come?
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Ronen Bash
Raanan Shaked
Photo: Ronen Bash
Israel’s good year
Op-ed: Past year’s social protest ended era of social isolation, alienation in Israel
Yes, it’s that time of the year again. The festive, beautiful time where each one of us lifts a heavy stone, and then hurls it with all our force at the departing year, while muttering: Get out of here, you ugly year, go away with all the damage you’ve done; go away and never come back, and take the garbage with you on the way out.


Then we take a deep breath, flash our good old smile, dress in white, step out, and open the gate to a new year that still does not know us. We welcome it, embrace it warmly, stroke her head and say: You good, good year. You’ll be kind to us, right? And the new year waggles its tail and licks our face. Until the first bite comes.


However, something has changed this past year. We won’t be kicking this past year out. No. We shall shake its hand politely and pack a sandwich for it, for the road. The departing year may have not been the best one (the best one is still ahead of us! Far, far ahead of us!), yet it did not abuse us at least.


The summer was less warm and disturbing, the winter was more merciful, and more importantly, the social protest ended the era of social isolation and alienation in Israel. And that’s quite a bit, because at the end of this current year we no longer feel so alone. We know that we have someone to talk to and work with: Ourselves.


We matter

This is more than enough for declaring that the departing year was a “good year”, or at the very least, a year we didn’t want to exchange at the store. Still, we should keep in mind that this year started with the giant Carmel fire, the worst blaze in the state’s history, and that it also included diplomatic isolation forced upon us by Lieberman, Netanyahu and Ayalon.


However, in short, it was the year where the social gaps between my Israel, your Israel, and his Israel were minimized, while the gap between our Israel and the Israel of our leaders, tycoons, and decision-makers grew larger. We stood up, while they continued to sit in their chairs. We sought to put out fires, while they did not prepare for them at all or poured oil on them. We know what we deserve, while they know what we don’t.


Upon the new year’s arrival, let’s wish for the pie to be divided into shares that are a little more equal, a little more humane, and mostly, for a change, a little more satisfying. In the past year we realized that we must change; in the coming year there is no reason not to make this change. Because we matter.



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