Op-Ed: Occupy Herzl Street?
David Rubin, former Shiloh MayorThe writer is former Mayor of Shiloh, Israel and Founder and President of the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund, established after he and his three-year-old son were wounded in a terrorist shooting attack. He is the author of three books, including his new book, Peace for Peace: Israel in the New Middle East. www.DavidRubinIsrael.com
During the social protests in the summer of 2011, the demonstrators set up camp on the streets of Tel Aviv and, to a lesser extent, in Jerusalem, proclaiming the need for a new set of national priorities. They called for an increased focus on education and on the economic needs of the average Israeli family, struggling with overdraft and the difficulties of making it through the month on the relatively low Israeli salary.
The call to the streets was met with remarkable sympathy across the political spectrum, as people identified with the challenge of day to day Israeli life and the feeling of being hoodwinked and abused by the often corrupt politicians who have long seemed to pad their pockets with gold through shady dealings at voter expense. The ongoing corruption cases of Ehud Olmert are a case in point.
Whether justified or not, there has long been a feeling that we the people are struggling, while the elites are having a picnic.
In contrast to the violent, anarchic Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City and in major cities throughout the United States, the Israeli protests were peaceful by design, in order to attain broad support from the public for the publicly stated goals of the movement, and for that reason, most mainstream Israelis were willing to ignore the fact that most of the leaders were dogmatic leftists who by no means represented the average Israeli.
In a positive response to last summer’s protests, the Netanyahu government adopted various social reforms to improve the lives of the struggling middle class. In all fairness, these were indeed prudent reforms, designed to help the people, without breaking the bank, so to speak, thus enabling the economy to maintain its relatively stable condition, without drastically increasing the national debt. The amount of European nations, not to mention the good old USA, that have for many years lived way beyond their means and are now suffering for it should be a lesson for us all.
As the summer of 2012 begins, the latest social protests are off to a rip-roaring start. In recent months there has been an increase in coordination with Occupy Wall Street and other far-left and anarchist movements in Europe. The results of such ideological bonding could be seen in the recent violent protests in Tel Aviv, where the “social protesters” revealed their true colors by smashing bank windows and using “day of rage” terminology, borrowed from Occupy Wall Street and Hamas-led protests, to encourage violent demonstrations.
The masks have been removed from the faces of the leftist post-Zionist anarchists, as the illusion of Peace Now is revealed to be Rage Now, while trying to cover up a hard-left agenda that is being heavily funded internationally by George Soros and other enemies of Israel.
This should surprise nobody. Several months ago, leading activists of the Islamic Revolution in Egypt joined hands with the violent Occupy Wall Street protests, even visiting New York City to declare the similarities between the two movements. The visiting Egyptian activists proclaimed “power to the people” and fierce opposition to the forces of “repression and capitalism”. They declared, “We are marching, occupying, striking, shutting things down. And you, too, are marching, occupying, striking, shutting things down,”
This visit followed an earlier solidarity visit from unrepentant American terrorist William Ayres.
Yes, the Israeli “social protest” movement has found new allies – the American and European leftists and the Egyptian protesters, who have been revealed to be none other than the radical Muslim Brotherhood.
I suspect that this is only the beginning of this year’s loud social protests. I also suspect that the media will be leading the cheers as usual.
Hopefully, the Israel public will see through the façade and will respond appropriately, and “We won’t be fooled again.”