Though the wave of protest, culminating in a country-wide 450,000 ‘incredibly orderly’ demonstration in Tel Aviv protest last night, has been widely portrayed as economic – the Facebook cottage cheese revolution – voices heard only on radio have expressed a desire for peace and security.
At last this has been reflected in a press report: Oz Rosenberg, Ilan Lior and Gili Cohen write in Haaretz, Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, that the group of speakers during the demonstration was impressive for its diversity:
The Haifa protest focused on the issue of discrimination against Arabs.
Shahin Nasser, representative of the Wadi Nisnas protest tent in Haifa said: “Today we are changing the rules of the game . . .
“What is happening here is true coexistence, when Arabs and Jews march together shoulder to shoulder calling for social justice and peace.”
They describe the group of young protesters who have, with exemplary organizational abilities, ‘managed to instil an element of popular democracy, managing its affairs far away from politicians and political parties,’ ending:
“We must therefore praise the protesters for the changes in perception they have already instigated and hope that they will be able to continue their efforts in the future, in the same impressive way that has characterized them to date – and bring about genuine change.”
Market pressure for change?
Civilisation 3000 has for some time been aware of the country’s richest families who hold sway. As the Financial Times’ Lex Column concluded, according to Citigroup, the 10 largest business families in Israel own about 30% of the stock market value.
The Lex article reported in August that, since the protests started, investors have sold shares in companies owned by Israel’s wealthiest tycoons, fearing that the government may call for a split-up of their conglomerates.
Israel is not the land of milk and honey for all
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] estimates that about one-quarter of Israeli families live below the poverty line. It notes the scale of economic inequality in the country: “Israel’s gini coefficient, a measure of inequality, is about one-fifth higher than the average.”
Turkey is to take Israel to the International Court of Justice
The BBC reports that Turkey has said it will challenge Israel’s blockade of Gaza at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Will social, economic and legal action combine to bring about a more civilised regime?