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J14 calls for General Strike on November 1. Will anyone listen?

Posters and stickers—calling for a general strike (or, more literally, a people’s strike) and sponsored by J14—have popped up all over Tel Aviv in the past week or so. But with Gilad Schalit’s release capturing the country’s attention, will anyone heed the call?

The poster above includes a picture of the Knesset and reads, “They’re not working for you; people’s strike 1/11/11.” The small print at the bottom says “three months, nine rallies, thousands of tents, a million citizens, and they still don’t get it—the people demand social justice!”

Catchy. But, right now, Israelis are likely to feel that the government has been working for them by bringing Gilad Schalit home.

To give you an idea of how seriously people are taking the J14 movement nowadays, I’d like to share this sticker with you. I noticed it at Tel Aviv Museum’s street art exhibition. (It wasn’t exactly part of the exhibition—it was on the back of a door in the ladies’ loo).

It’s by Sened, one of the artists included in the exhibition. It is “social justice” tweaked to read “social trunk.” As in an elephant’s trunk, as in jibberish. As in: this whole J14 thing is nonsense.

November 1 could prove Sened correct.

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    1. So far, nearly 4,000 people have indicated they will participate (according to J14’s Facebook page). While that’s not a national strike, it shouldn’t be dismissed as insignificant. –––––– The emotional response to Gilad Shalit’s release, and our focus upon it, will eventually fade. What will not fade are the economic conditions which led to 450,000 marching across Israel on Sept. 3. Will J14 make further popular impacts? That remains to be seen.

      Reply to Comment
    2. ophira gamliel

      Well, many of us are asking – why did they have to send him there on the first place (or all the other soldiers)? We feel sorry that the J14 movement does not voice such questions. they are afraid to lose the support of rightists. but it is coming too, boiling under the surface… And we are all waiting for October 29. We’re gonna be flooding the streets again.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Henry Weinstein

      So the author goes to the Tel Aviv Museum ladies’ loo to escape Gilad one-Bibi show and sneers noticing on the back door a ‘social justice’ tweaked-sticker by Sened.
      Then she writes a Glenn Beck-like post saying J14 call for general strike on November 1 is rubbish.
      Will the author explain why she thinks J14 call for general strike on November 1 is not worth to be listen?
      Does she thinks J14 call must be broadcast by the official media and Fox News to be taken seriously?
      Does she belongs to the 1%?

      Reply to Comment
    4. Mitchell Cohen

      Presumably this called for strike includes teachers….Considering the middle class (the bulk of the J14 protesters) have to work, who will watch our children while we (at least those of us not working for governmental institutions) still have to work or fund us the money we won’t be getting paid from work because we have to stay home and watch our kids?

      Reply to Comment
    5. mya guarnieri

      hi henry, i like the content of your comment, (though your snide tone is a bit of a put off).

      no, i am not part of the 1 percent, i grew up poor (qualifying for free lunch at school poor) and, today, i’m a struggling writer. as far as your bit about the mainstream media and FOX news, if you had any familiarity with my work, you would know that i am not a member of the MSM and that my articles reflect a radical left perspective.

      second, i intended the sticker as a way to illuminate a sentiment i have heard voiced among my israeli friends–honestly, i don’t know many people, leftists included, that are taking j14 seriously anymore for a number of reasons, many of which have been discussed on 972.

      on thursday evening, i was at their attempted protest on rothschild. a few hundred people turned up, maximum.

      i think i also made it clear in my article that with gilad shalit out of captivity, many israelis are distracted or (temporarily) ecstatic.

      thanks for your comment.


      Reply to Comment
    6. mya guarnieri

      mitchell: i assume that you’re right… that the general strike is intended to include the middle class. i don’t think it will be successful because, yes, there is the issue of missing a day’s worth of wages and, also, some people i’ve talked to have mentioned the fear that they’d get fired. and, as the middle class is struggling here, no one can really afford to take a day off or get fired. i suppose it’s a catch-22… if there was enough popular support for the strike, it could change the reality of low wages, etc. but because reality is what it is, no one wants to lose their low wages.

      what i think could make an impact is a rent strike. imagine if, say, 40,000 people in the greater tel aviv area refused to pay their rent until the government came up with some sort of a solution to the rent prices? that could make a real impact, i think. first, if i’m not mistaken, there’s a law against eviction based on non-payment of rent. so the state would have a hell of a time getting people out. 2nd, if it were so many people, i can’t imagine that the police could handle it massive evictions of those kind. would the state try to bring in the army–pulling resources away from the occupation to deal with this? doubtful.

      tens of thousands of organized non-paying renters could put some serious pressure on the government, i think.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Henry Weinstein

      To Mya
      Oh, I didn’t intended to be sarcastic, being very amused to put on stage how and where you found your inspiration!
      And after all your own tone was rather condescending, very Radical Left Chic!
      Much more interesting politically is your idea to promote a rent strike; I mean, it could make a real impact just to promote this idea and launch a debate about it.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Borg

      will anyone strike on nov 1? not anyone who has a job. If I were you, I would take down that poster and keep it as a collectors item. An archive might pay you some good money for it in the future

      Reply to Comment
    9. mya guarnieri

      hi henry,

      yeah, i’m with you on the rent strike… but i always wonder about the line between journalism and activism. then again, i’m not just a journalist 24/7. i’m a person who lives here and shares concerns about rent and cost of living and consolidation of wealth and so on and so forth. on the other hand, these issues don’t exist in a vacuum and though i was enthusiastic about j14 in the very beginning, i was quickly turned off by it leaders inability or unwillingness to place these issues within the broader geo-political context: namely, the occupation, palestinian refugees, and social justice for all of those in israel/palestine–not just jewish israelis.

      back to my reservations about journalism and activism… to argue against myself…i’m not sure there is such a thing as objective journalism. (studies on eyewitness testimony and what’s known in psychology as the confirmation bias provide some interesting strikes against the idea of objectivity). so, couldn’t it be argued that all acts of writing, journalism included, are a form of activism?

      Reply to Comment