Israel/Palestine social protests

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Tojiah
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Sep 16 2011 12:07

I've been getting the impression that it is carrying on, it's just that now the media has lost interest (because it's getting more serious socio-economically). Some tents are still being occupied, in Rothschild as well as elsewhere. If I stumble on a new source in English I'll post it. Those are good articles, by the way.

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Sep 17 2011 14:40

Update: A note to readers on +972’s outage

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To our readers:
On Thursday, we experienced a problem with our hosting company that caused our site to go down. We’ve had momentary issues like these before, and hoped this one too would be resolved quickly. Yet what we initially hoped was a small glitch was a larger one. The hosting set up that worked for us over a year ago when we first launched the site, no longer matches our growing needs.
In order to fix this, we needed to switch to a new hosting company, and set up again with much better technical apparatus. This move took us a couple of days, while we worked around the clock to get the website back up. During this time, there was not much else we could do but wait. This was extremely frustrating for us, as we know it was for many of you.
Thank you for bearing with us while we were down, and for expressing your support for us to get back online quickly. We want to assure all of you that +972 Magazine is safe and sound. You’ll find all of our content still here, unharmed.
We are very proud that our readership has grown considerably since we launched +972 Magazine a year ago, and we have all of you to thank for that. We have renewed infrastructure to make sure we can support our growing audience, so that we can keep providing independent reporting and commentary, and you can keep reading and debating with us.
While the final configurations of the hosting move are completing, you may continue to experience some light bugs while browsing +972 Magazine. These will be sorted out in the new couple of days. Our domain name and all link addresses inside our site, will also go back to normal.
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No talk of hacking, so perhaps it was really just the rise in volume for their website.

Mark.
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Sep 19 2011 21:01

http://twitter.com/#!/Elizrael

Quote:
Police just evicted the Levinsky tent city (poor Tel Aviv neighborhood). Activists were attacked with tasers, 10 were arrested.

Marching with hundreds of Jews and Arabs in Tel Aviv against the plan to dispossess thousands of Bedouins in the Negev.

We left from the Rothschild tent city and will march to the military and government complex (haKirya) in downtown Tel Aviv.

Arabs and Jews now chanting in solidarity with the demolished Levinsky tent city.

500-700 protesters are now chanting "the conclusions of the (Prawer) committee: racism and discrimination"

We're chanting: "no, no the Prawer report shall not pass". The report's implementation would lead to dispossession of 30,000 Bedouins.

We're in front of the gov complex (HaKirya). Many of the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity ppl are here, leftists, and Bedouins from the Negev

Under the Prawer plan, Bedouins will be forbidden from living beyond Road 40, despite the fact that they own lands there.

This line isn't arbitrary, the land beyond Road 40 is much more fertile. Imagine Jews were forbidden from living in certain areas.

All the photos I took during today's protest against the dispossession of Bedouins in the Negev http://bit.ly/ooJx7q

Video from the beginning of the protest. We chant: "Jews and Arabs against land theft" http://youtu.be/RxhEO9KQNkA

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Sep 21 2011 10:34

http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/09/21/israels-protestors-eject-racists

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Oct 17 2011 09:46

Yacov Ben Efrat: Social protest leaders are losing their way

Mark.
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Oct 29 2011 11:41
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Social justice activists and leaders of the J14 summer protest staged flash mobs in various points around Tel Aviv this week, in an attempt to reenergize the public ahead of a planned demonstration on Saturday night. The activists brought the flash mobs to the Ichilov Hospital, two banks on Rothschild Blvd and a supermarket.

http://972mag.com/j14-social-justice-activists-stage-flash-mobs-around-tel-aviv/26399/

follow link for videos

Mark.
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Oct 29 2011 22:01

Photos fromTel Aviv demo

Daily Kos: Tens of thousands flooded Israel's streets demanding economic justice

Haaretz: Tens of thousands amass for Tel Aviv social protest

Ynet: Over 20,000 demand social justice in Tel Aviv rally

Mark.
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Oct 30 2011 10:57
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Tojiah
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Nov 16 2011 05:49

Have you heard about the medical residents attempting to resign only to be repeatedly forced back to work under court order? Well, more and more of them are simply not showing up to work, while doctors are tendering their resignations, in solidarity. As far as I understand this is not supported by the Israeli Medical Association, which signed an embarrassing contract with the Ministry of Finance a few months ago.

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Jun 23 2012 23:09

+972: Attempts to revive J14 protests

Quote:

An attempt on Friday at reestablishing last summer’s protest was met with a heavy hand by the police. Daphni Leef, who set up the tent that sparked last year’s movement and whose call brought out hundreds on Friday, was violently detained in a sign of a shift in the protester-police dynamic...

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Jun 25 2012 22:21

Global Voices: 'Violent protests across Tel Aviv'
(though the actual events sound less dramatic than the title of the article)

+972: Thousands block highway, attack banks in J14 protest

Haggai Matar wrote:

All throughout the winter, Israelis wondered if the summer of protests would make a comeback this year, and some warned that the second time around would not be as “polite.” Last night (Saturday) thousands took to the streets of Tel Aviv and proved that the struggle for social justice has not ended – and that things might be heating up this summer.

It all started on Friday afternoon, as police and municipal inspectors stopped some 500 activists from setting up a new encampment on Rothschild Boulevard, arresting protest organizer Daphni Leef and 10 others. The attack on the peaceful protest prompted an outcry on social networks, warnings of a “danger to democracy,” and calls for a demonstration Saturday night in order to “protect democracy” and to remind politicians of the movements’ unanswered demands for fair housing, education, healthcare, and other social benefits.

Some 2,000 people showed up on Rothschild at around 10 p.m. on Saturday, many of them arriving directly from a demonstration against homophobia that had taken place not far from there. Clashes with police started immediately as protestors started to move out of the boulevard, with police forbidding any kind of march. However, the masses were greater and angrier, and swarmed through the police blockade.

Over the coming four hours, the demonstration doubled in size, simultaneously blocking several main streets in Tel Aviv, including its central Ayalon highway. Demonstrators chanted slogans against the government and capitalism, against the banks and the Tel Aviv municipality that had given the order to take down the tents the day before, and in demand of social justice. At the center of Ibn Gabirol demonstrators broke several bank windows – something totally uncommon and foreign to local protests in Israel – and also besieged the municipality building.

The police was not prepared for the masses and the energy, and failed repeatedly in its attempts to open roads, eventually simply settling for protecting banks and the municipality from even worse attacks. As the hours went by, police started becoming more aggressive, eventually starting to make arrests and beat people. More than 80 were arrested by the end of the night – again, something almost unheard of in demonstrations in Tel Aviv.

At around 2 a.m., the crowd started to disperse, tired from ongoing confrontations. News of the vibrant demonstration was and still is the leading story in all the media and social networks.

There’s no telling where things will go from here, with activists calling for more demonstrations in days to come, and a no-confidence vote against Tel Aviv Mayor, Ron Huldai, planned by the municipal opposition in tomorrow’s city council session. My own estimate is that things that happened last night are just the beginning, as what I witnessed in the streets is people who have lost their sense of fear. “Arrest one – a thousand more will come” was a popular slogan all through the night. If people last year sat in groups in the encampments and learned what they want and why they want it – last night was their first chance to learn firsthand how to get it while on the streets. After this, it is doubtful people will return to quiet rallies of the kind we saw last year.

Edit: ainfos adds that

Quote:
Among the many red flags and a lonely Israeli flag few RedNblack were seen too. Anarchists were mainly in the pink-black feed of the one hour earlier Queeraction demonstration.
Mark.
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Jun 26 2012 09:35

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+972: Amidst hostile media and police violence, J14 finds new voice

Noam Sheizaf wrote:

It was a different J14 protest than the ones we saw last year: less organized, and more emotional and confrontational. On Saturday night, thousands of Israelis assembled at Habima Square, and then marched on to block some of Tel Aviv’s main roads: Ibn Gavirol Street, Begin Road, and even the Ayalon highway, that crosses the city from north to south. A couple of banks had their windows smashed; 89 protesters were arrested.

Police later exaggerated reports of violence by protesters, perhaps in an effort to justify the unprecededent number of arrests. Unlike in previous cases, protesters detained by police weren’t let go after a few hours, but rather were held for the night. Yesterday (Sunday), the police asked the court to extend the remands of 14 protesters on charges of assault on cops and even stone-throwing. Yet despite numerous videos taken at the protest – including by the police – there was no evidence whatsoever of such assaults, and not a single law enforcement officer was hurt (not the case for the protesters). On Sunday, various clips of police officers beating protesters emerged (like this one, be sure to check out the last few seconds). Later, a judge released all the protesters.

There is no denying that something has changed in the J14 movement. Last year’s consensus-building atmosphere was gone, replaced by a surprising level of bitterness and anger. Many protesters spoke of the need to take the political battle to the streets, now that even the government’s mild promises from last year weren’t fulfilled, and especially due to the lack of Knesset opposition. Prime Minister Netanyahu now has a coalition of 94 members of Knesset behind him, leaving a fragmented 26-MK strong opposition, which doesn’t even meet the threshold for the assembling of a special debate (which requires 40 members). Netanyahu may have secured the near future by cancelling the elections he wanted to announce, but he reignited the protest against his government.

Another interesting development is the change in the way the media treats the protest. Last year, proxies to the prime minister spoke of “media conspiracy” against him, due to what seemed like the mainstream media’s favorable treatment of J14. Things couldn’t be more different today. J14 was blamed for the economic slowdown Israel is experiencing, which sent the media market into a deep crisis. As a result – and perhaps, out of growing dislike of the protesters themselves – the media tone has changed to one that ranges between ignoring the protest and bashing it.

This is no conspiracy theory. I have heard in person from at least two employees of a couple of the largest media organizations in Israel that they were instructed not to promote news item about the protest, unless something “really exceptional” happens. The managing director of Channel 10 even said as much in public, when he ordered his employees not to “create a social protest.” The effect of the new guidelines was visible last Saturday – until the protesters blocked the city’s main highway and the bank windows were smashed, only Haaretz featured the report of the protest as its top story.

Furthermore, in the days following the demonstration and the arrests, the Israeli tabloids highlighted “the violence” of the protesters. In Yedioth, the reporter at the protest, Danny Spector, wrote today that the protesters “destroyed shops” – something that even the police didn’t say. Just as it happens so often in the West Bank, the papers didn’t bother to fact check claims of stone-throwing by protesters on cops. I was at the demo for several hours, mostly close to the area of confrontations, and all I saw were a couple of water bottles which were sprayed – not even thrown – towards the cops. Considering the Tel Aviv heat that night, I wouldn’t have mind being sprayed myself.

J14 is now the protest of the outsiders. With no backing from the media or major political parties, it is no longer the summer festival people claimed it was in the past. Some questions – like the debate on the need to discuss the other urgent political issues, and most notably the occupation – still haunt the movement. Yet there is renewed energy in the streets, at least in Tel Aviv.

The torrent of grassroots initiatives – generally launched on Facebook – that was the trademark of last year’s protest, is visible again. One emerging idea is a boycott of the “Tel Aviv White Night” – a culture festival organized by the municipality, which is due to take place on Thursday night. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai played a major part in reigniting the protest when he ordered city employees to make sure not a single tent is placed on Rothschild Boulevard. So far, several art galleries have decided not to extend their opening hours into the night as planned, and other events were canceled as well. If the initiative gains momentum, it could mark one of the rare moments in which the Tel Aviv cultural scene – the well-known “bubble” – comes close to taking a political stand against its immediate business interests. This is J14 at its best – a movement that can politicize people and institutions that normally benefit from the status quo and usually are only too happy to help preserve it.

After two large yet uninspiring demonstrations this spring, activism seems once more like a viable route for political change in Israel. Much will depend on the form the protest takes from now on, and on the response of the authorities. It will be hard to predict or even control the events, since the J14 movement is more fragmented than ever, with last year’s leaders split into at least four or five camps. It’s clear that more confrontations with the police will lead to a smaller, more radical protest and would make a larger political shift more difficult, at least in the short run. And there are events that could dominate the national agenda regardless of what protesters do or don’t – a war with Iran, for example. Yet for the first time since the September 2011, the largest protest movement Israel has seen in decades seems very much alive.

Admins: could this thread be given a new title? maybe 'Israeli social justice protests, updates and discussion' or whatever else seems appropriate.

Mark.
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Jun 26 2012 09:46

The previous Real News video on J14

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+972: ‘The future is in the unity of Arab, migrant and Jewish workers’

Quote:

Tuesday, June 5 2012
The following speech was written for Tel Aviv’s most recent social justice protest this past Saturday. While the speech was ultimately not read aloud, it has been translated for +972 with permission from the author, Wafa Tiara.

Good evening to all protesters,

My name is Wafa Tiara from Kufr Qara, and I am an activist in the Workers Advice Center (WAC-Ma’an). I have come with my friends and colleagues, farmers, construction workers, truck drivers, contract workers in the Antiquities Authority and educational institutions, Palestinians who work in settlements, college lecturers, young people, Jews and Arabs – in order to say to this government loud and clear: We are the voice of this protest, and we demand change!

There are those who claim that we are unclear, that we demand “all sorts of things.” We demand direct employment, not through contractors. We demand pensions. We demand a fair wage, not just minimum wage. We demand job security. We demand education for our children. We demand respect for labor laws. We demand an end to being poor workers. Is that not clear enough?

We are poor workers, and it’s not our fault. We are workers and we are poor because of this government. We are poor because the government wants to keep us poor. Alongside us, 150,000 migrant laborers are licensed to work – Thai workers in agriculture, Chinese workers in construction and Filipinos in nursing. They are modern slaves. Eli Yishai calls for the deportation of the Sudanese because he claims they bring disease. But the same Eli Yishai is also the one to import hundreds of thousands of migrant workers. And do you know why he doesn’t say that they, too, bring disease? Because they pay tens of thousands of dollars to manpower agencies who bring them here to work. And I say: It’s not the sick migrants, but Israeli society that is sick!

The disease is privatization, the disease is tax benefits to the rich, the disease is the link between capital and government, the disease is the massive profits the tycoons earn at our expense, the disease is racism, the disease is occupation, the disease is the refusal to make peace and become a normal society. It is those who refuse peace and equality who are sick, not the migrants!

They scare us with Iran, with Greece and with Sudan. They want us to be afraid, to give up and be quiet. To this we respond loud and clear: We are not afraid!

And we don’t believe them!

And we will continue to demonstrate until we regain our dignity, a fair job and a future for our children. We are the people, and we demand social justice! We are Greece, Sudan, Cairo and Damascus! We are all victims of piggish capitalism, and we are united in our desire to change the system. This is the Spring of Nations; this is the spring of workers, in Ramallah, Cairo, Tunis, Greece and Damascus. All over the world, “the people demand social justice,” and we, from here, express our deep solidarity with them – especially with the Syrian people being massacred by Assad’s criminal regime. The people have woken up, the workers have woken up and we here woke up – and we aren’t going back to sleep!

The future is in our hands, in the unity of Jewish, Arab and migrant workers:

No to racism! Yes to equality!

No to war! Yes to peace!

No to exploitation! Yes and yes to social justice!

Wafa Tiara is a resident of Kufr Qara and mother of four. She has been an agricultural worker and trade union activist in WAC-Maan since 2005. Since 2008, she has coordinated WAC’s work in Israel’s triangle region, where she helps Arab women find decent jobs in agriculture, and leads social and cultural activities.

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Jun 26 2012 13:23

On May Day this year there was an anarchist presence on the march in Tel Aviv organised an anarchist communist group called Ahdut ("Unity") - they have a blog (in Hebrew), and also a youtube channel. Does anyone know if they've been involved in these protests, and regardless, what they (or AAtW) have to say about them?

Mark.
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Jun 26 2012 20:01

@jonthom - The Ilan against the wall blog has a report on the weekend's protests so I take it that AAtW was involved.

Ilan adds that

Quote:

MEDIA: In wake of raucous rally, vast majority of Israelis - 69 percent - support renewal of social protest.

Sixty percent of those polled said last years protest has brought no change; 16 percent said the situation worsened, while 15 percent said it improved.

The poll, conducted under the supervision of statistics professor and pollster Camil Fuchs, found that 27 percent of the 508 respondents, all of them Jewish, said the police were the only ones at fault in Saturday's rally.

The poll found that most of the respondents (61 percent) oppose the smashing of bank windows that was part of the weekend demonstration. But, nearly a quarter (23 percent) said they agreed with the statement "It's too bad, but sometimes there's no choice and it happens."

A smaller minority (9 percent) fully supported the property damage "as part of the protest."

Though the Jewish demographic group that expressed the highest level of support for the protest is secular Israelis (79 percent), a majority of ultra-Orthodox (57 percent) and Orthodox (53 percent) Israelis also expressed their support.

A rally was held on Monday in front of Tel Aviv city hall and disrupted the meeting of the city council. The demonstrators plan to return on Tuesday to protest the violence on the part of police officers and municipal inspectors during the weekend rally. No violent incidents were reported during Monday's rally

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Jun 26 2012 22:02

The recent pogroms against immigrants, fuelled by some unbelievably racist speeches in the Knesset ('these intruders don't understand that Israel is for the White Man....they should be put in camps...they bring disease and crime....etc etc')were deeply depressing but these demos are a sign that there is still a possibility of resistance against capital in Israel

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Jun 26 2012 22:59

@Alf - Talking about pogroms here's a piece from +972 from a few weeks back:

Yuval Ben-Ami wrote:

Danielle, a social studies coordinator in a high school in the north, told her students that large scale demonstrations are expected to take place on Saturday evening in Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv. The students responded enthusiastically: “Great! Let’s demonstrate against those Sudanese people, let’s boot them out of here!”

Danielle needed two sentences to explain to her students that the demonstration is not directed against asylum seekers – it is an attempt to reignite the struggle to correct Israel’s warped economy. After a 40-minute conversation, the students understood that the issue of African asylum seekers is more complicated than they previously thought. They also gathered that there’s no point marching blindly in the footsteps of those politicians who are good at inciting while not coming up with any feasible solution to anyone’s problems.

The manner in which the students ignored issues directly related to their own future, focusing instead on booting out Africans, is no coincidence. It is a testimony to the success of the distractive sleights of hand used by Netanyahu and his cohorts to divert attention from what we learned last summer. Like a great magician, Netanyahu has focused on creating illusions...

Reports on the deportation of refugees from South Sudan:
http://972mag.com/tag/south-sudan/

I'd compare all this to the government crackdown on immigrants and rise of Golden Dawn in Greece.

And, rather depressingly, from another +972 article

Noam Sheizaf wrote:

This is not the first time that the Palestinian leadership in Israel refuses to take part in opposing measures taken against the African asylum seekers. In many ways, the Africans are indeed “the other’s others” here. Though I never heard from Palestinian MKs the kind of angry and often racist rhetoric right-wing Knesset members use on this issue, it’s clear that the Arab leaders are reluctant to stand in solidarity with the asylum seekers, as much of the Israeli left sometimes tries to do. In January, when the Knesset voted in favor of the infamous infiltration bill – making it possible to detain illegal aliens, including minors, for three years or more – not a single Palestinian MK joined Labor and Meretz in opposition to the bill.

Mark.
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Jul 1 2012 22:48

+972: Thousands march in Tel Aviv; J14 protesters block J'lem light rail

Quote:

Around 10,000 protesters marched in Tel Aviv yesterday (Saturday) in demand of social justice. This was the largest J14 protest this summer thus far, but it was a far cry from the size of similar rallies last year. Hundreds gathered in several other Israeli cities, including Haifa, Jerusalem and Afula. On the other hand, demonstrations last year also started out the same size after the first tent was erected on 14 July, and grew by the week – reaching half a million only in September.

In Jerusalem, protesters blocked the route of the light rail. As part of an agreement between the city and the private company that runs the rail, demonstrations are not allowed near the route of the train, including in central squares which had been used for protests for decades.

In Tel Aviv, protesters marched from Habima Square to the museum square. Several hundred people split from the main rally, in protest against the organizers of the rally, who were more affiliated with the Labor (Avoda) party and much less so with the Mizrakhi neighborhoods and periphery, and marched through central Tel Aviv roads, swelling in size throughout the night. The police, which was criticized for the use of force against protesters last week, kept its distance and allowed the march to continue, but heavy police forces were present in the streets, including, for the first time, an unrecognizable armored vehicle, which appeared to serve as a mobile communications and photography base for police.

The protest in Tel Aviv included a block of protesters carrying signs against the occupation, the most common of them being “Democracy for all, from the sea to the Jordan.”

petey
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Jul 1 2012 23:38
Alf wrote:
some unbelievably racist speeches in the Knesset ('these intruders don't understand that Israel is for the White Man....they should be put in camps...they bring disease and crime....etc etc')

holy fuck

Mark.
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Jul 2 2012 11:52

Monthly Review: Interview with Matan Kaminer on J14 and the Israeli left

Mark.
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Jul 4 2012 10:04

From Ilan against the wall

Ilan wrote:

Occupy movement

In addition to various local activities a "Black Night" competition to the municipality Thursday White Night project was initiated. Many arts actions were canceled in the official project in protest of municipality initiated harassment of the Occupy Friday the previous week.

The first Black Night event was kicked off by a group of activists in south Tel Aviv's Shapira neighborhood. Unlike the protest against police brutality last weekend, these activists protested the city's ignoring the neighborhood during White Night.

D. S., one of the organizers, said: "Yesterday we got a call from the Levinsky police station. When we came there they said no way would we get a permit [for the party]. They said if we held it with no permit, we would be officially charged. They said they couldn't let us do it because the protest guys will come, the anarchists."

"The social protest movement is planning to follow up Thursday's dissident "Black Night" events with another march in Tel Aviv on Saturday night against government economic policy. Scores of artists, musicians and other performers last night joined in a boycott of the municipality's annual White Night in a continuation of the protests over police violence against social justice demonstrators."

Tel Aviv

After the previous Saturday night demo of four thousands in protest of Friday attack of activists it was refreshing to have three time more in this Saturday. about 1000 Protesters split from the main crowd and marched on an unauthorized route to the state offices building and then marched along the main road up to the city square.

State forces which were caught red handed on lot of video clips both on the previous Friday and Saturday got strict orders to let both the demos march as they wish.

The state plans for two austerity measures were declared null by the prime minister...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMbGmfNtTMA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz3S5OK-sPo

Mark.
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Jul 8 2012 10:59

From +972

Solidarity vs. militarism: The Zionist contract and the struggle to define J14

Haggai Matar wrote:

Two parallel demonstrations took place on Saturday night in the fair city of Tel Aviv: one calling for equal duties, the other for equal rights, and both defining themselves as part of J14. Why the split, and where is it going?

Itzik Shmuli, leader of the national student union, did not join any of the recent weeks’ J14 demonstrations for social justice. This aspiring politician, dubbed by media last year as the “responsible adult” in the movement, even went to the trouble of telling off demonstrators after a few bank windows were shattered during a vibrant demonstration two weeks ago, and chose not to partake even in the more moderate of the two demonstrations that took place in Tel Aviv last Saturday.

Last night, however, he chose to return to the streets, alongside several other more mainstream J14 activists, ex-military men, several ministers and MKs, and a group of right wing groups such as Im Tirzu. The cause, dubbed by some a “natural part of J14,” was to fight for the mandatory military enlistment of all citizens, ultra-Orthodox and Arabs alike. Tens of thousands rallied at the museum square in central Tel Aviv and demanded that the government force Israelis to “share the burden equally,” and to take away social benefits from those who don’t.

As speakers were going on and off the stage, about 1,000 other J14 protestors marched the streets of Tel Aviv, blocking main roads, attaching anti-foreclosure posters to banks, and setting fire to government bills and reports printed on cardboard.

As opposed to the main rally at the museum, this demonstration was organized within about 24 hours, and got none of the media support that the rally did. (Three of the big national papers – Yedioth Ahronoth, Ma’ariv and Israel Hayom – showed clear sympathy for the pro-draft rally in their Friday editions, and the two former published calls to join it.)

Also in contrast to the rally, this demonstration was about equal rights, not equal duties. Slogans chanted were aimed at capitalism, the banks and the government, and at parts also at the army and entire Israeli security apparatus – especially as demonstrators passed by the Ministry of Defense. The military “Racoon” surveillance vehicle made a second appearance and photographed everyone at the demonstration. Dozens of undercover police were spotted in the demonstration, but unlike two weeks ago – police allowed the uncoordinated march, and no arrests were made.

The breakdown of the Zionist contract

So why two demonstrations? Why the split in J14? One has to look into the history of Zionism and the State to understand this one. The founding social contract of Zionism was based on the notion that all Jews must stick together, especially in combat against Arabs but also otherwise against a hostile world, and in exchange they would enjoy the benefits of a welfare state. Of course this was never actually the case, as men and women were never equal in the army and thus neither in civilian life, and Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews were also treated differently, the latter being constantly discriminated against – but the hegemonic ethos survived. That is, until the 1980s.

When the neo-liberal economy started taking hold of Israel, the Zionist contact started to lose ground. Privatization and cuts in health, housing, education and healthcare took their toll on society; the army started losing its near-sacred status; upper-class individuals realized they no longer needed the army to maintain their position in the economy; and the lower classes could afford less and less to lose two to three years of paid work. By no coincidence, this period between 1990 and 2010 was also when the number of ultra-Orthodox Jews avoiding the draft took an immense leap upwards.

The entire J14 movement, I believe, is a late repercussion of neo-liberalism’s breaking of the Zionist contract. Stemming from the middle class disappointment at having kept its side of the deal only for the state to neglect its part, people took to the streets. What they found in the streets, however, was much more complex. Uniting for the first time in local mainstream history with the periphery of Mizrahi Jews and with some Palestinians with Israeli citizenship – many in the Ashkenazi middle class suddenly realized that the old contract wasn’t as good for many as it had been for them.

This is were the friction comes in: while some have responded to this discovery by taking a step back, stating they only wish to reclaim the old “welfare state” and prove their loyalty to the patria with outspoken militarism, others take a step forward, reject the ancient contract, and take from it only the notion of solidarity – which is now finally being enhanced and widened to include all citizens.

It is no coincidence that the government and most of the media is treating the former J14ers, who find it easier to unite with right-wing groups like they did yesterday, with respect. The latter, comprised of left wingers who try to expand solidarity even further to include Palestinians in the occupied territories as well, are branded as “anarchists” or “criminals,” tailed by a military vehicle, harrassed by police – with the media either ignoring or criticizing them.

Yet this is all, I wish to argue, a blessed part of J14. It is a struggle within the struggle, a fight for a new sort of discourse, and an ongoing process in which people on the streets and on the social networks are constantly learning and redefining themselves. It is the most basic and necessary thing in a democracy and it is something that was impossible to imagine in Israeli society of old – until the first tent sprung up on July 14, 2011. It is unclear where it is all going, but it is fascinating.

Mark.
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Jul 8 2012 21:34

Noam Sheizaf writing in +972

Anarchists: The most important activists on the Jewish Israeli left

Also from +972

From Spain, with love: M-15 activists write to their J14 friends

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Jul 14 2012 20:16

News reporters on Twitter are saying a protester tried to self-immolate with gasoline at the end of the J14 march.

He apparently gave out a leaflet just before saying that he was crushed with debt and couldn't afford bills and food.

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Jul 14 2012 20:19

English article here:

http://972mag.com/breaking-man-sets-himself-on-fire-at-the-end-of-tel-aviv-march/50970/

Translation of the letter:

Quote:
The State of Israel has stolen from me and robbed me, left me with nothing
and the Tel Aviv District Court blocked me from getting justice. — registrar at the Tel Aviv District court, broke the law, disrupted legal proceedings, out of condescension.
It won’t even assist me with my rental fees
Two committees from the Ministry of Housing have rejected me, despite the fact that I have undergone a stroke and was granted 100% work disability
Ask the manager of Amidar, in Hafia, on Hanevi’im Street.
I blame the State of Israel
I blame Bibi Netanyahu
and [Minister of Finance] Yuval Steinitz
both scum
for the humiliation that disenfranchised citizens go through day in and day out, that take from the poor and give to the rich, and to public servants
those that serve the State of Israel
The National Health Insurance, especially —, the manager of their operations, and the manager of their claims department, —, on Lincoln Street in Tel Aviv, who illegally seized my work equipment for my truck.
The Haifa National Insurance Institute branch, who took abused me for a year until I was granted disability
That I pay NIS 2300 per month in Health Insurance taxes and even more for my medicine
I have no money for medicine or rent. I can’t make the money after I have paid my millions in taxes I did the army, and until age 46 I did reserve duty
I will not be homeless, this is why i am protesting
Against all the injustices done to me by the State, me and others like me.
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Jul 16 2012 11:44

+972: Group of J14 activists to refuse their military reserve duty

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Jul 21 2012 11:16
Auto wrote:

News reporters on Twitter are saying a protester tried to self-immolate with gasoline at the end of the J14 march.

He apparently gave out a leaflet just before saying that he was crushed with debt and couldn't afford bills and food.

Moshe Silman died on Thursday

http://972mag.com/silmans-flames-should-not-die-with-memorial-candles/51520/

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Jul 22 2012 16:48

Disabled IDF veteran sets himself on fire in Yehud

Quote:
An Israeli man set himself on fire in the central Israeli city of Yehud on Sunday, and was evacuated to Tel Hashomer hospital in serious condition.

The incident comes two days after the death of Moshe Silman, an Israeli man who set himself on fire during a mass social protest last week.

The man was a 45-year-old disabled Israel Defense Forces veteran. He reportedly brought a canister of gasoline to a bus stop in Yehud and set himself alight, when passers-by saw what was happening and put out the fire. The man sustained burns over 80 percent of his body.

Rescue services arrived at the scene, and evacuated the man to Tel Hashomer Hospital.

Mahmoud Gdir, an eyewitness, said that he was in his car across from the bus station when he saw the man.

"I saw a man pouring a bottle on his body, and immediately I understood that it was gasoline and not water," he said. "I stopped and ran to him. I saw him holding a lighter, and I pleaded with him not to do it, but he did. I ran to my car to get a small fire extinguisher. It lasted about 2-10 seconds."

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Jul 29 2012 10:17
jonthom wrote:
On May Day this year there was an anarchist presence on the march in Tel Aviv organised an anarchist communist group called Ahdut ("Unity") - they have a blog (in Hebrew), and also a youtube channel.

In front of the Spanish embassy in Tel Aviv

machine translation of their blog

http://www.facebook.com/pages/אחדות-Единство-Unity-الوحدة/274324392592753

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Jul 31 2012 23:30

Beyond Compromise, a new Palestinian site, looks as if it may be worth following. One of the editors identifies as an anarchist. Report here.

A Palestinian view of anti-Zionist Jewish activists

Maath Musleh wrote:

If an activist was sentenced to time in prison, he or she will need support, mainly for the ‘canteen’ money. In many cases, prisoners who come from a different social class are completely ignored by us. The group of Jewish activists, mainly anarchists, who hold Israeli citizenship sponsor many of those ignored prisoners. They regularly raise funds to provide money for the prisoners’ ‘canteen’ allocation in prison. This group of activists takes part in the weekly protests organized by the PSCC. As it is clear that relations with so-called “liberal Zionists” is unacceptable, Palestinians have not reached a clear consensus on the relations with the anti-Zionist Jews. Some Palestinians claim that the Jewish activists who carry Israeli citizenship should exclusively work within their community. What is their community? Is it the Israeli community? If so, are you including 1.5 million Palestinians holding Israeli citizenship to your definition? If not, does your definition exclusively include Jews? Are we advocating sending back the Jews to the Tel Aviv Ghetto? Let us remember that a lot of these anti-Zionist Jewish activists built their anti-Zionist views when they left that ghetto.

The Israeli government pressured the PLO to change their definition of a Palestinian during the Oslo Accords. PLO defined the Palestinian as every person lived in Palestine prior to UN-Partition-plan in 1947 and their descendants. That included all the Jews living in historic Palestine. The Jews who lived in Palestine prior to November 1947 held Palestinian citizenship. We are also forgetting that some Jews are now in Israeli prisons for their role in the Palestinian armed resistance. Examples of Jewish participation in the Palestinian struggle against Zionism are unlimited. Even Fateh Revolutionary Council has a Jewish member, Uri Davis. Although the majority of the Jewish activists do not define themselves as Israelis, it is time for them to make a clear definition. Who are they? Are they Palestinian Jews? This should be cleared up amongst them, and that will be the key to help Palestinians come to a consensus on that matter.

Some arguments against the participation of the anti-Zionist Jews are that they are privileged. Many of the non-Jewish Palestinians are also privileged. I am privileged. It is correct that Jews who hold Israeli citizenship have a lot more privileges. They can take advantage of the apartheid laws practiced by the State of Israel. Nonetheless, these activists constantly give up a lot of their privileges. I have personally witnessed the brutality of the Israeli Occupation Forces militants against the anti-Zionist Jews. The only thing stopping the state of Israel from declaring the anti-Zionists as non-Israelis is that they will be contradicting their own rhetoric. They will be pulling the trigger that will blow their rhetoric that “Israel is the home of all the Jews.” This will be the start of the end.

Some Palestinians argue that the participation of those anti-Zionist Jewish activists beautify the face of the State of Israel. How is that true? Those activists publicly advocate for Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) in every forum. They advocate for the dismantling of the State of Israel. How is this beautifying the face of Israel? If anything, they are doing exactly the opposite. They are exposing the ugly face of the Zionist state. Those anti-Zionist Jews participate in the Palestinian resistance because it is also their struggle against the Zionist state. We cannot ask them to stay in the ghetto. It is worth noting that they have a clear understanding of all these sensitivities. They never try to dictate the agendas of these protests. They have always taken all criticisms and attacks targeted to their participation with open heart. But let us remember, they are human beings, with feelings and dreams. They are hanging in the middle and they deserve to be accepted somewhere. They will certainly not be accepted in the Zionist community; however, to be accepted in the Palestinian struggle completely they should make a clear definition of who they are.