Social Justice Protests Continue to Make News

A sampling of media items relating to the continuing social justice protests taking place in Israel.

from TechCrunch:

Hello World: Israel is Out-Classing You in Civil Disobedience

In the four weeks since the social protests have begun in Israel, hundreds of have been killed, dozens of women have reportedly been raped, a number of children tortured, and countless districts have been looted. The authorities have imposed a complete lock-down on all cellular networks. All access to Facebook and Twitter has been blocked. Little information is going in, or out.

Except the absolute, complete opposite.

… Small potatoes aside, it’s been four weeks and zero acts of the barbaric, non-discriminatory violence we’ve seen across the middle east, and even in the UK. No shots fired. No stores looted. No form of communication has been shut down. In fact, not only have the Israeli police and army not taken any role other than safeguarding the protests themselves, they have even been applauded, literally, by hundreds of thousands for their efforts.

from The Jerusalem Post:

Estimated 70,000 attend periphery social justice protests

An estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Israelis took part in a series of demonstrations held across the country on Saturday night, as part of the social issues movement that has gripped the nation over the past month.

Unlike the previous three weeks, protest leaders decided not to hold a mass protest in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, and to instead hold demonstrations in 18 other cities.

The largest was in Haifa, with well over 20,000 participants. Other cities that took part included Netanya, Beersheba, Afula, Beit She’an, Modi’in, Dimona, Eilat, Petah Tikva, Hod Hasharon and Ramat Hasharon.

from The New Republic:

Why the Protests in Israel Are Cause for Hope

What is happening in Israel? As usual, no one expected, no one predicted, the massive uprising of Israel’s young people – joined last Saturday night by large numbers, amazing numbers, of their parents and grandparents. What started as a demand for affordable housing has turned into something much bigger. I can only watch, and cheer, and try to figure out what’s going on. Here are four “takes” on the uprising.

from Haaretz (opinion piece):

Israel’s tent protest has exhausted itself

The demonstrators would do well to fold their tents at the height of their success. In other words, now, before the suspense declines and the Palestinian issue overshadows the domestic revolt.

from (opinion piece):

Religious Israelis, wake up

After reading all the weekend newspapers, I too am familiar with the various religious arguments against joining the protest. Ranging from the arrogant self-righteousness of “you should learn from us how to live modestly” to the bogus “there’s immodesty and desecration of the Shabbat there” and the regular whining about this being a “leftist protest.” Everyone who uttered these ridiculous statements from within air-conditioned media offices simply didn’t bother to hit the streets and see for themselves.

… All the chants, signs and slogans were in favor of justice, equality, compassion and fraternity. And anyone who says these are hollow slogans and clichés apparently did not listen to the exact same words read Saturday morning in the timeless, mythical speech of Prophet Isaiah at the synagogue. These are the words that we, members of the religious community, forgot a long time ago, because our lexicon only includes Eretz Yisrael and settlements. These are the only issues that prompt us to demonstrate in recent decades.

And you know what? I came up with another reason why the religious community is scared to join this protest. It’s because we may discover that someone wrested away what used to be ours for so many years – the concern for the people of Israel, the values, the sacrifice and the dedication.

We may go out there and discover that everything we told our young people in recent years, about us having a monopoly on high-minded youth, was a crude lie. We may discover that the secular public did not go morally bankrupt, as we are accustomed to saying with more than a hint of arrogance, and that while we slept or guarded some remote outpost on a hill someone else took up the role of moral leader.

translated from Hebrew:

New Wave Poll: Israeli government not properly relating to tent protest

Results of a telephone poll carried out by New Wave for Yisrael Hayom on August 8, 2011, of a representative sample of 500 adult Jewish Israelis; published August 12, 2011:

Is the Government behaving properly in how it relates to the tent protest?

  • Yes 18.7%
  • No 65.5%
  • Don’t know 15.7%