From asylum seekers demanding their wages to protests against the Gaza blackout to raising awareness over disappeared Yemenite babies, this summer’s protests give us every reason to stay optimistic about this place.
It’s hot outside. The Israeli summer often brings with it a new wave of social and political protests, and yet it looks like summer 2017 will be a special one.
Since the social justice protest of 2011 — and its successors in the following years — there has been a sense that Israeli citizens have lost faith in their ability to influence, change, protest, and get results. Meanwhile, the strengthening of the Right, the delegitimization of the Left and Israel’s leaders attempt to smear any protest as an act of subversion have had an immeasurable impact. The terrible war in summer 2014, which left thousands dead, resulted to the smallest number of anti-war demonstrators than in any previous war. Those who did come out to protest were met with the brutal violence of the thuggish right wing.
We also saw the rise of large protest movements: housing struggles, demonstrations against Netanyahu’s gas deal, the protest by Ethiopian-Israelis against police violence, and more. But for the most part, every movement stood by itself, for itself. Not so this summer.
The struggles that have erupted over the last three weeks are impressive and extraordinary. Yes, the fact that people have reasons to march in the streets is infuriating in its own right, and sheds a light on the worrying behavior of this government. But things that would have previously passed by the wayside are now energizing and enraging people, pushing them to protest, and even connect between struggles.
What follows is a rundown of only a small portion of the important protests from the past month:
Yemenite children affair: The mainstream media mostly ignored the powerful demonstration that took place in Jerusalem this week, where over 2,000 people came to break a silence of almost 60 years. Those outlets that did cover the protest did the bare minimum. But look at the photos, read Orly Noy’s report, and understand what kind of incredible thing took place here last week, which included solidarity from both the Left and the Right.
Gender violence: The continuing terror against women brought out hundreds into the streets. Whether they were Bedouin women protesting in the south, women in Ramle and Lod, or the demonstrations that took place across Israel last week, it is clear that the police and government’s failure to provide...Read More