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June 26, 2012 – 11:59 am120 Comments

Protest leader Daphni Leef being led away by police at a Tel Aviv rally

By Yoram Symons
So why was this night different from all the others? One simple word. Violence.

Which in so many respects, isn’t anything new at all. The Jewish people have long suffered the assaults of violence. There were the Egyptians and Babylonians and Romans and Cossacks and Nazis. And obviously, there is the violence we are reminded about at every possible opportunity, the violence of the terrorists and the Islamo-fascists and Hizbullah and the Hamas and everyone in between. We learn about this violence from kindergarten, drink from the wellspring of collective suffering at our youth movements, and repeat each year with our families at the Seder Table – in every generation  they stand upon us to destroy us.

But on this night, finally, the Jewish people had the opportunity to suffer violence perpetrated against them by their own Police Force.

It began yesterday, with what could only be described as the utterly brutal take-down of Daphni Leef. An entire coterie of riot police rushed a young girl, holding her down to the ground, kicking and smashing. The scene was like nothing I had ever seen in my life. To watch Israeli policemen assault a Jewish girl like that was a brutal wake-up call to the contemporary reality of the State that shocked even someone as cynical as me. This was no longer a nation of smiling kibbutzniks building a new country hand in hand. This was something very, very different.

And last tonight, it was on again, with over 80 protesters  arrested. Some of them kicked on the ground, or dragged away by groups of riot police. It was a scene out of some twisted and inverted Zionist nightmare. The State is now turning the awesome power of its security apparatus to silence the dissent amongst its own.

And before everyone jumps up and down and says –ha, go to Syria, or to Egypt, or to Jordan to see what it’s like when a state unleashes its security apparatus against its own citizens. Before everyone jumps up and down and points to how much more lenient and merciful the Israeli police are than any of their counterparts in the Middle East, or even the world, let’s just all step back and take a deep breath.

Yes, you are right. Israel is not as bad as Syria. And from what I hear from the Melbourne Occupy Movement, it isn’t even as bad as the State of Victoria. But this is Israel we are talking about, a country whose entire raison d’être is to protect Jewish people against physical violence.

So here is the skinny.

These protesters are, without any doubt, among the brightest, most idealistic and inspirational Jewish youth in a generation. All of them believe passionately in one thing and one thing only – to make Israel a better place for its citizens. Agree with them, or disagree with them. Call them communists or socialists or radical libertarians or any other useful moniker that can put them in a neat box and explain them away as just another bizarre curiosity of the Israeli experience.

But these kids are your kids. Had they been born in Australia they would all have joined Hashi or Habo or even Betar and Bnei Akiva. They are the kids who would have been the school captains, the AUJS leaders, the madrichim and the chanichim. Every time you see any Jewish person engaged in activity to promote the Jewish cause, just think, if that kid were born in Israel, in all likelihood, if they are especially dedicated and especially talented and especially care about the welfare of their fellow human beings – you know, all the traits we try to encourage and praise, then they would probably be part of the Israeli Social Protest movement.

The Israel that the Israeli government is so keen to advertise to its most loyal fanbase (i.e. you guys), is one of a tiny country threatened on all sides, that has to do whatever it can to survive. The Israel that the Israeli government is keen to promote to its most loyal fanbase is a hi-tech wonderland that powers innovation and makes deserts bloom.

But, unfortunately, that’s only the Israel of the Birthright tours and the shnat programs and the other various junkets and trips that people do over here. Historical sites, incredible nature, great beaches and a few superhero entrepreneurs, scientists and computer programmers.

But that Israel is not an Israel that any regular Israeli has ever really seen. Instead they experience a country where virtually all of its politicians are mired in the thick of corruption scandals, where the banks literally rape them at every single turn, where the entire middle class lives on perpetual overdraft, where housing is crushingly expensive and where hundreds of thousands (if not millions) literally cannot afford to eat. And moreover and more importantly than that – it is a country that many, many Israelis – descendants of those smiling-faced hand-holding kibbutzniks are desperate to get out of. Just pack up and leave.

This is the Israel that the Social Protest Movement is protesting.

It is protesting against a corrupt government and a crony capitalism as decrepit and as innovation-crushing as any third world junta. The Israeli Social Protest movement is trying, maybe well, maybe not, but trying, to bring the State of Israel back to the vision upon which it was founded. To be a light among nations, an exemplar society. A state that truly cared for its people, where poverty is unknown and freedom rings. Hell, they are trying to bring the State of Israel back to the vision articulated by Moses and Isaiah and Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakai.

If there has ever, in the past 64 years of statehood, been a movement that truly represents the very best of what Israelis are capable of, this is it. And their government hates them.  Or should I say, your government hates them, because they shine a light onto all of the things that the Israeli government does not want you to see. That’s right, what it doesn’t want you – its most loyal and dedicated fans – to  see. Because that just undermines everything they have been telling you.

So be a Zionist. And support Israel. The real Israel. And demand to know why the government that acts in your name is treating its best kids with the worst contempt. Because not only is this not right. It’s just not Jewish.

Yoram Symons is an oleh chadash (new immigrant to Israel) from Melbourne who is an activist in the Social Justice Movement.

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120 Comments »

  • Yoram Symons says:

    Hi there all,

    Just to clarify, I was an eye-witness to all of the events described above.

  • R B says:

    Oh, the holy innocence.

    You forgot to tell your readers in Australia that these protesters acted violently, smashing windows and ATMs, and blocking the Ayalon highway which crosses Tel Aviv from north to south.

    You forgot to tell, calling us to be Zionist, that most leaders of these protest are anti-Zionist and would be happy to see the state’s self definition as “the state of the Jewish people” being abolished.

    Also, it worths mentioning, between Moses and Ben Zakai, that during last year’s protest, one of the protest’s leaders was quoted as saying that “Being Jewish is a proversion”. He never denied that.

    True, the problems of corruption and hardship of the Israeli middle class do exist, but don’t be a useful idiot of movements who actually seek just the opposite of what you believe in.

    R B

  • R B says:

    Oops… the correct word is perversion, not proversion.

  • ben zona says:

    It is very sad that the political idealism which the pioneers brought with them to Eretz Yisroel has disappeared in so far as there are no more kibbutzim, effectively, on the old model and wanton vandalism is not in my view excusable as a political statement. However the flip side of the equation, Yoram, is that a State system has failed. People all over the world are fleeing from planned economies; they are far more corrupt than mixed economies. Perhaps israel needs some fine tuning on anti- monopoly legislation, but lets concentrate on the good points rather than provide a source of nourishment to Israel’s detractors by comparing her to the Dictatorships to be found elsewhere.

  • שרפיה ברין says:

    RB ” that most leaders of these protest are anti-Zionist and would be happy to see the state’s self definition as “the state of the Jewish people” being abolished.” – That is a lie. There is no other nicer way of saying this. What you said is simply untrue

  • Andrew Harris says:

    The social justice protests are no different to the Occupy Movement in its various guises, nor to the Arab Spring protests. When the people rise up directly against the state, incite violence with the authorities, and engage in property destruction, this is what happens. It’s unfortunate that Daphni and her co-activists are bright young Jews, but being Jews doesn’t make them special, and immune to the brute force of the police. No doubt if they had conducted themselves more peacefully, the overall effect of their protest would have been more constructive. Having said that, sometimes the only way to make your voice heard is through violence and property destruction — a la the Arab Spring — but how far are these ‘kids’ prepared to go?

    When I initially read headlines about violent protests on haaretz.com, I was hoping that they’d be about the unremitting state-endorsed racism of the deportation of African immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, from a state established to provide sanctuary to a hitherto stateless people fleeing oppression — it was precisely that issue that represented for me a savage irony of the contemporary Israeli state.

  • TheSadducee says:

    I’m not certain why the wealthy leftists who aren’t happy with the way things are don’t put their money where their mouth is and start up their own kibbutzim to provide an alternative model of living?

    Pedant that I am, I’d also like to raise the point that one cannot be literally raped by a bank. Perhaps figuratively is more appropriate?

  • Yaron says:

    Yoram,
    Not sure what the surprise is here, after all I have witnessed police attacking peaceful protests in Israel stretching back to ’95, including student protests. I just don’t ever remember it happening on the streets of Tel Aviv.

    Perhaps that is the outrage here?

    As more sectors of Israeli society suffer the ill effects of police tactics to break up demonstrations, hopefully there will be a movement crossing all sectors of society calling for a change.

  • letters in the age says:

    The same could apply to the protesters in Greece and that countrys activists have a legitimate cause!!

    They have every right to protest and is indicative of a nasty abuse of authority

    sigh

  • letters in the age says:

    Wealthy lefties withn the australian context end up as apparatchiks in politics and do a pathetic job anyway

    The labour party has proved that to us nicely thank you and will be severely reprimanded…

    lol
    ;)

  • Harry Joachim says:

    I echo Yaron’s comments – the Israeli police is well known for its thuggish behaviour. For many years it has acted with impunity in violently suppressing protests, regardless of whether those protests are peaceful or violent.

    Some years ago, a teenage nephew of mine was participating in a PEACEFUL protest during the disengagement. Rather than being physically moved on by police or warned to move, he was hit on the head with a police baton and his glasses were knocked off him and smashed.

    The Israeli Police have a lot to answer for and Israel is simply not there yet when it comes to the right of protest that is an inherent part of any democracy.

  • letters in the age says:

    The sense of self entitlement is another contributing factor that results in protesting for the sake of protesting for all its shallow glory

    I would assume that there are a few of those that fit into that category

    Bored rich kids that are anti establishment and stupid

  • letters in the age says:

    The perverse irony is like Golden Dawn there are neo nazi movements in Israel

    sad indeed

  • frosh says:

    Letters,

    Five crazy immigrant kids from the former soviet union is hardly a movement, let alone equivalent to Golden Dawn, a political party that obtained 7% of the vote in the Greek national election (May 2012), giving them 21 seats in the Greek parliament.

  • Gedalia says:

    I wonder how the protest Yoram describes compares to the experience of the residents of Ulpana Hill who agreed to give up their homes that they paid for in order to obey the Supreme Court’s decisions, because, despite the injustice, the rule of law has to be obeyed. They did this to avoid bloodshed and civil war, so that Jews do not have to fight Jews.

    They protested, but they ultimately departed peacefully. I wonder if the protestors in Tel Aviv who smash windows because they don’t like bank fees will now host a peace vigil in honour of the Ulpan Hill settlers who compromised everything they believe in for the sake of Jewish unity? Perhaps the violent leftists can now break to congregate in Rabin Square and sing songs about the wonders of the Jewish people and their land?

    Or maybe there is a double standard at work. There are those who respect the law, and those who don’t. There are those who respect the Jewish nation, and those who don’t. There is potentially a correlation between the two.

  • Levi says:

    ” But on this night, finally, the Jewish people had the opportunity to suffer violence perpetrated against them by their own Police Force…”

    Amona 2006? Gush Katif? Migron?

    ” The scene was like nothing I had ever seen in my life. To watch Israeli policemen assault a Jewish girl like that was a brutal wake-up call ”

    Glad you finally woke up.

    “Agree with them, or disagree with them. Call them communists or socialists or radical libertarians or any other useful moniker that can put them in a neat box and explain them away as just another bizarre curiosity of the Israeli experience. But these kids are your kids. Had they been born in Australia they would all have joined Hashi or Habo or even Betar and Bnei Akiva. They are the kids who would have been the school captains, the AUJS…”

    What about the kids who had their heads smashed in by the Israeli cops for protesting the expulsion of Jewish families from their homes? Are they considered kids? Do you even consider them human? Your complete and utter hypocrisy knowns no bounds.

    The Irony is this – in response to the plice brutality in Amona, Gusha Katif and Uplana you and the
    TA protesters would have spoken about the importnpance of the so called “rule of law”, respecting the police and authority etc and the need to combat “radical extremism.” In many cases the police actions and brutalities against the Jewish inhabitants of Yehuda and Shomron were instigated by leftist groups like “peace now”. Now when leftists behave like thugs and vandalize public property, all of a sudden we speak about “innocent kids” who have had their “rights” violated. Well at least none of them or their families have been thrown out of their homes, you hypocrite.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    OK, first off thanks everyone for the feedback.

    I will try to answer all questions raised as best I can and i will deal with the concerns of each commenter in a separate comment.

    So first off: RB

    RB: You write:

    Let me start by saying this. You made a number of scathing comments in regards to the protest movement in a piece I wrote on this blog just under a year ago, after the first Summer Tent City broke out.

    I took your comments very seriously. You are not the only one who is cynical of the movement. Many good, intelligent, dediacted and wonderful people view the movement with a massive degree of cynicism, including many of the activists within it. The activists are perhaps the most self-critical and the most self-aware of all of their shortcomings.

    But, having said that, over the course of the year I have been priviliged to penetrate to the very depths of the protest movement, have met its length and breadth. And I have learnt that much of what you say is not only unfounded, but usually, the opposite.

    I dont know who you are, and I dont know your experiences that have led you to these opinions, but I challenge you, go back to Israel now, and meet these people face to face, observe them in action and observe how they work, but most of all, hear why it is that they are doing what they are doing, and I dare you not to be converted.

    Now, to your points:

    “You forgot to tell your readers in Australia that these protesters acted violently, smashing windows and ATMs, and blocking the Ayalon highway which crosses Tel Aviv from north to south.”

    First of all, lets separate two very important ideas that have been confused under the single term of “violence”. There is the use of brutal force against human beings, and there is the damage of property. These are NOT the same thing. The Israeli Police used brutal force against human beings.

    Daphni Leef, a single unarmed, defenceless young female, was attacked viciously, by a coterie of hulking and imposing special riot police, rushed with extreme speed and aggression, dragged away from her friends, wrestled to the hard concrete of sidewalk and then hit, kicked, strangled and held. She emerged with bruises to her entire body and a broken hand. This activity was COMPLETELY unprovoked and was the beginning of the introduction of violence into the equation of the social protest.

    Following that, police used violent and aggresive physical coercion against literally hundreds of protesters, both on Friday and then on Saturday night. Never, and in absolutely no circumstance, did any of the protesters, from the most sedate to the most excitable (and both kinds were targetted) offer ANY physical violence in return.

    The only initiations of any physical contact with the police were when protesters hurled their bodies, with no care to injury to themselves, to block, avert or attempt to prevent policemen from literally – and this needs to be said – holding people down on the ground and kicking living shit out of them! Similar bravery in wartime would have had all of these protesters with medals.

    Now, let’s deal with the accusations of damage to physical property.

    The total damage was the smashing of three windows and the dispersal of some minor marketing collateral (leaflets, flyers and the like. There was not even damage sustained to larger marketing collateral ionstallations. There was ABSOLUTELY, and I repeat this, ABSLUTELY no damage done to an ATM.

    And that’s because despite what single hooligans may have done, or may have attempted to incite, was not in any way representative of the mood and the temperament of every other of the roughly 10,000 citizens of Tel Aviv who came, with no prior planning or organization, to express their utter outrage that a 24 year old girl could be beaten, yes beaten, for attempting to publicly express a political opinion.

    Nobody came to be violent or express violence. But they most certainly did come to express rage and outrage. As should everyone!

    And as for the three windows themselves – despite the police bringing five dedicated cameramen to the event, and despite the presence of literally a gazillion iphones, cameras and what not, there is NO footage of the windows actually being broken, not one of the 87 arrested were charged with these three only acts of property damage on the night. Wait and see where this story goes.

    And that’s an important point. NONE of the protesters arrested were charged with any physical violence. None.

    OK, next point:

    You forgot to tell, calling us to be Zionist, that most leaders of these protest are anti-Zionist and would be happy to see the state’s self definition as “the state of the Jewish people” being abolished.

    This is an absolute fallacy. Absolute fallacy. And I will tell you why. You use the word “most” and you use the word “leaders”. That’s the fallacy. Every single one of the Summer Activists is a leader. There are public faces, yes, definitely, but they are not the leaders. We are all the leaders.

    Having said that, of the roughly 500 individuals who constitute the absolute core of the movement, the roughly 40,000 people who constitute the next level circle around those activists and the various organizations, inititaives etc that they run (for that wider circle), and then the 500,000 people on top of that who support the social justice movement and its values in its entirety – well, within that group, there are a whole bunch of opinions. There are ALOT of Jews in that group!!!!!!!!!

    And there are some opinions, that are held by some of that inner circle, whose legitimate and rightful political expression is to question the validity of the notion of the Jewish identity of the State. And because they are living in Israel, born of Israel and of Israel entirely in all conventional senses of how that term can be applied, their responses are 100% legitimate responses to the reality of Zionism and therefore they are legitimmate Zionist responses. It is legitimate to argue that the highest form of nationalism would be to dissolve all boundaries of nations, and it is legitimate to both argue it and deconstruct it from the among the group of opinions that has been collectively labelled and classsed as post-Zionist.

    But I’m not here to defend post-Zionist responses.

    What I am here to say is that these post-Zionist and post-Jewish ideologies are not shared by everyone or even the majority of the activists. And in fact, since the summer, the Protest Movement is catalyzing and engineering a HUGE new connection between the secular and religious communities – and that means ALL sectors, Dati Leumi, Mitnachlim, Chareidim, the bunch! – So much so that if it continues our talk of the religious/secular divide in Israel will become anachronistic.

    To the next –

    True, the problems of corruption and hardship of the Israeli middle class do exist, but don’t be a useful idiot of movements who actually seek just the opposite of what you believe in.

    Thanks for the advice. I choose not to accept it.

  • letters in the age says:

    The far right are a sad indictment of the social disparaties in Israel and Europe

    Corruption in Greeces political class has resulted in a suicide and jail amongst its ministers

    This is a global crisis and corruption isnt just immune to Israeli politics

    You have guts Yoram

    ;)

  • Yoram Symons says:

    OK, on to Ben Zona, you big sonnofabitch!

    You wrote:

    “It is very sad that the political idealism which the pioneers brought with them to Eretz Yisroel has disappeared in so far as there are no more kibbutzim, effectively, on the old model”

    It is sad, but fear not. Some of the best minds in Economics in Israel have come in to the movement to begin thinking about how to establish urban kibbutzim, in full productive and economic seriousness.

    and wanton vandalism is not in my view excusable as a political statement

    See all my comments above to RB re wanton violence. The movement has NEVER and will NEVER engage in violence of any kind. This has been disinformation.

    However the flip side of the equation, Yoram, is that a State system has failed. People all over the world are fleeing from planned economies; they are far more corrupt than mixed economies.

    Interesting little Freudian slip of the blackberry, I believe you meant to write “Statist”, surely you don’t mean the system of States has failed….

    But the argument that the protest is arguing for a return to statism is to (a) make the mistake previously of attributing monolithic ideologies to the movement, and secondly (b) ignores the work of the vast and growing body of literature that is seriously questioning the underpinnings of the so-called free market, or mixed economy. the real intellectual grunt of the highest levels of critique of the system are going well beyond those old dichotomies of state vs market. The human society is now looking at far more advanced ideas than those.

    Perhaps israel needs some fine tuning on anti- monopoly legislation,

    Fine tuning???? How about, software upgrade.

    but lets concentrate on the good points rather than provide a source of nourishment to Israel’s detractors by comparing her to the Dictatorships to be found elsewhere.

    You’re missing the point. The movement IS Israel’s good point. It is its BEST point. And its worst, most corrupt, and most brutal elements, those awful elements of the state that can be compared to dictatorships, want to silence it.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    Next שרפיה ברין wrote:

    RB ” that most leaders of these protest are anti-Zionist and would be happy to see the state’s self definition as “the state of the Jewish people” being abolished.” – That is a lie. There is no other nicer way of saying this. What you said is simply untrue.

    Absolutely!!!!!!!

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @Andrew Harris

    The social justice protests are no different to the Occupy Movement in its various guises, nor to the Arab Spring protests.

    Wrong. But this is an article on its own. The Israeli Protest of 2011 was unique. It was entirely peaceful (unlike Arab Spring) and had mass support (90% at one stage), making completely unlike Occupy.

    When the people rise up directly against the state, incite violence with the authorities, and engage in property destruction, this is what happens.

    Read response to RB above. Fallacy.

    It’s unfortunate that Daphni and her co-activists are bright young Jews, but being Jews doesn’t make them special, and immune to the brute force of the police.

    You miss the point of my references to Judaism. It is not because Jews have any different intrinsic rights or responsibilities to any other human manifestation of consciousness. It is being within the label of “Jew” vis-a-vis that State, and

    No doubt if they had conducted themselves more peacefully, the overall effect of their protest would have been more constructive. Having said that, sometimes the only way to make your voice heard is through violence and property destruction — a la the Arab Spring — but how far are these ‘kids’ prepared to go?

    Fallacy. Refer to response to RB.

    When I initially read headlines about violent protests on haaretz.com, I was hoping that they’d be about the unremitting state-endorsed racism of the deportation of African immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, from a state established to provide sanctuary to a hitherto stateless people fleeing oppression — it was precisely that issue that represented for me a savage irony of the contemporary Israeli state.

    In complete agreement re the African migrants. Now you are beginning to understand what our movement is up against. Even violence against black people cannoot raise the people from the collective slumber. We are battling against a deep sleep of apathy, bitterness, cycnisism and resignation that has penetrated and corrupted the consciousness over here. If everyone would wake up to what’s actually going on here there would be no need for the protest movement.

  • letters in the age says:

    There is also apathy and the walking sheep analogy amongst the australian polity as well

    Sigh

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @Sadducee

    I’m not certain why the wealthy leftists who aren’t happy with the way things are don’t put their money where their mouth is and start up their own kibbutzim to provide an alternative model of living?

    That’s so beyond oversimplification it shouldn’t even be allowed. But nevertheless, I dont think you quite get what is going on over here.

    Even now, as I write this response, in Bet Haam, the Social Justice Movement’s headquarters on Rotshchild, a Russian woman in her fifties has come into the place, in tears.

    She came to Israel twenty years ago, on the first wave of the Russian Aliyah. Many of us, myself included, demonstrated on the streets to show solidarity with the Jews of russia and win them the right to make aliyah to Israel. We won that battle and this is the result.

    They are trying to remove her from her house. She is disabled, and suffers many chronic illnesses. At most she can earn 1000NIS a month and the meagre government subsidies to which she is entitled due to her conditions are not enough. Her basic expense, housing, food, a telephone and clothing, are beyond her means, let alone anything we would call luxury.

    But that’s not the heartbreaking part. the heartbreaking part is that she has a mentally disbled son, who is permanently in hospital. But the hospital cannot provide hiim with the things he needs, even food. So she takes the utter pittance of money that she has, and goes to buy food and other things for her son. Becasue she is still a mother, and her baby still needs her. No matter what.

    She comes to the protests. and she comes to the movement.

    Why?

    Because we are the last place left to go. The government does not want to know about her, no one wants to know about her. She is alone, confused and lives on the edge of breakdown. the social justice movement and all it represents are the last glimmers of hope this woman has.

    This has nothing to do with the whims of wealthy leftists. this is about a very real and severe crisis in Israel. A crisis so bad and so inexcusable that the Government will do whatever it can to stop people from talking about it publicly. ESPECIALLY to the most important political constitency in Israel. You. The Diaspora Jews.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @Yaron
    @Harry Joachim
    @Gedaliya
    @Levi

    You all raise various aspects of the same point. the perceived hypocrisy and double standard in my stance on the Social Justice Movement vis-a-vis the Settler Movement.

    Let me start by saying that YOU ARE ALL ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

    The left’s silence over the brutality directed towards the settler movement is a stain of shame and a sign that everyone collectively went to sleep and forgot what the real values of humanity and decency were.

    But let me add, and this is no small thing.

    The entire social justice movementt is going through a deep cheshbon nefesh over this very thing right now, and in light of the violence suffered by Daphni and the rest of the movement over the weekend, something unprecedented is beginning to happen.

    The so-called “extreme left” and so called “radical settlers” are meeting each other. The group that I am specifically involved with went to Sderot this week to meet with a group of Rabbis formerly of Gush Katif.

    And this incident is not isolated. Lines of communication between the factions that were told they could never get along and could never find any common ground – are finding common ground.

    These developments are so exciting there are barely words for them.

    It is things like this, more than anything else, that tells us that if there was ever a time to get to Israel. NOW IS IT! This is what’s going on in Israel right now. A whole new Israel is being born.

  • Reality Check says:

    Yoram, it’s just the old right-wing mantra of “either you’re with us or against us”. They have no idea of what democracy or freedom of expression means!

  • Yoram Symons says:

    Re-check ur own reality. It’s time for a system upgrade and all the developers are busy coding the new software.

  • Robyn B. says:

    Thanks Yoram for this eyewitness account of these troubling events. I’m glad that people in favour of a true democracy are speaking out against internal violence and injustice. I fear that if democratic values are lost, Israel will be in danger of becoming a kind of Saudi Arabia for Jews, rather than a healthy, pluralistic society representative of all Jews and inclusive of all its inhabitants.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    We all fear it. Which is why we have to ensure it doesn’t happen. Removing the brutality from the system – at all levels – is the most important activity the Jewish people have been engaged in since the establishment of Israel itself. On this the future of the entire state hinges.

    Police brutality is just the open manifestation. The one they write the news stories about. but its how the bureaucracy treats people, how the banks treat people, how big business treats people, and even, dare I say it, how people treat people.

    Violence is the bug in the system.

  • letters in the age says:

    Its a pretty shallow form of democracy

    sigh

  • Yoram Symons says:

    You sigh alot!

    Shallow? Like a kiddie-pool that one of the toddlers has crapped himself in.

  • letters in the age says:

    Lol!!!

    ;)

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @Levi

    Glad you finally woke up.

    Yup. Been doing my research. Ur abso-fucking-lutely right.
    The system is more bugged than even I thought.

    For those who dont know, watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMtltu16pGk

    Yeh this is ridiculous. They are bugging every different group with the same bullshit. And we’ve all just been blaming each other.

    We cant let them continue.

  • R B says:

    Suspects being investigated about the protest (in Hebrew):

    http://www.news1.co.il/Archive/001-D-302453-00.html

    In short – the organizers received 4 million US$ from overseas to renew the “people’s protest”. In addition, Sudanese were paid hundreds of NIS to smash windows.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    ur missing the point.
    it wasnt the protesters who paid off the sudanese
    think man think

  • TheSadducee says:

    Are you suggesting that the Israeli Govt. paid people to turn violent at the protest?

  • Yoram Symons says:

    Heavens no. What do u take me for, a conspiracy nut?

  • TheSadducee says:

    I don’t know you well enough to make that call to be honest.

    Your response to RB is so cryptic as to be incomprehensible to non-Israelis.

    So who did pay off the Sudanese?

  • Yoram Symons says:

    I cant be teaching you all to be sucking them eggs.
    but its basic math
    add up the elements
    and look at their precedents of action
    protest movement; peaceful summer tent cities
    police; brutal suppression of chareidim, brutal suppression of settlers and now brutal suppresion of the left wing (and i have no doubt that my list is way under-comprehensive)
    it seems as though the state has so many internal enemies
    who are the real israelis that these evil chareidi/settler/secular lefties are out to get?
    then, go and read any book u like on the basic MO of the internal security establishment and the various shenaniganery that they have been involved with
    so then draw up the equation
    and u will come to the obvious conclusion
    that hardcore leftwing radicals used Jewish American money to pay off poor sudanese illegals (also victims of, u guessed it) to smash windows at a bank, knowing full well that if they would be detained by the police, who were arresting everyone who evenn sneezed wrong, they’d be kicked out of the country right quick n proper. 400 sheks dont go that far in tel aviv.
    or does it?

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Yoram – interesting article but I’m having a little trouble understanding some of your comments.

    Are you serious or sardonic when you say ultra leftists paid “Sudanese illegals” to damage banks etc.

    Which leftists specifically do you mean and using what “Jewish American money” (name names?

    Has this been reported in any press? I read fairly widely and haven’t seen reports to that effect.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    Mandi
    pls re-read the comment

  • Yoram Symons says:

    This just in.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UboW4hLyHR4&feature=relmfu

    69% of Israelis support the Social Justice protests.
    Divided over who to blame for violence.
    But 69% in favour! See what I mean by a whole different thing to Occupy Wallstreet all-together. The ISraeli public doesnt wwant your money for trees or for negev development projects, it needs real social justice, not just Bnei Mitzvah Certificates.
    So how do you support the Israel that the Israeli people themselves want?
    Support the Social Justice Movement!

  • Levi says:

    For years, the Jewish citizens of Yehuda, Shomron and Gaza have been demonized and dehumanized by some of their fellow citizens and the international community. They have been subjected to derogatory Orwellian style language like “radical fundamentalists,” “right-wing extremists” etc. It”s nice to see that you, Yarom and some others have finally recognized them as human beings – real people with livelihoods and families.

    I’m a believer in Divine providence and retribution. I think most if not all people believe in this- whether they proclaim themselves to be “atheist” and sip lattes while reading a copy of the
    Haaretz/guardian or wear Chassidic garb and pray three times a day. You can call it “Karma”
    or any other fancy new age term – essentially it means the same thing.
    With is in mind, this could’t have come at a more ironic time – just as the government has enforced the order of the unelected supreme court and also succumbed to the intense lobbying of groups like “peace” now to expel Jewish residents from their homes. As soon as these Jews agreed to leave peacfully…bang…a riot occurs in Tel Aviv of all places. Social unrest, trouble and headaches for the government and police. What makes this even more interesting, is that it is very likely that the same people from “Peace” Now who incited the courts, government and police to attack and expel these Jews were part of the latest social unrest in Tel aviv and were very likely attacked by the cops.

    As John Lennon once sang -” Instant Karma’s gonna get you
    Gonna knock you right on the head
    You better get yourself together
    Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead….Better recognize your brothers
    Every one you meet”

    Very wise words from a rock star.

  • Levi says:

    First step to true real democracy in Israel is the dismantlement of the Supreme court of Israel – an unelected, self appointed oligarchy that answers to no one ( i.e. Only judges who follow the partisan political agenda of the chief justice are allowed to sit on the bench). This institution then overrides the democratically elected government on military and political decisions. Certainly a major road block to a society becoming democratic and transparent.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @Mandi

    But beyond the flippancy, one of your lines is very critical.

    Has this been reported in any press? I read fairly widely and haven’t seen reports to that effect.

    OK, and RB, pay real close attention here.

    1. You have no idea what ISNT being reported.
    2. Reading far and wide wont help you. There is no investigative journalism anymore.
    3. There are sites, like the one RB linked to and others, which he in fact linked to over a year ago. PArt of what I have been doing here is reading those rumor-sites, and then going to meet the actual people who have been mentioned and their shadowy nefarious organizations, u know like the BIG American money, and so on.
    4. These sites, which tantalise readers with great and neat conspiracies – are also, surprise surprise, full of shit. I dont want to write about this here, but I personally investigated many of the myths of the protest movement and the conspiracy theories as to how it got started. All of it shit, or rather, a single semi-fact would be taken, and then extrapolated upon to draw completely unfounded conclusions.

    So, reading doesn’t help. Being widely read is just another fallacy, as there is nothing in print that’s worth reading. (And for those who arent getting the sarcasm obviously not “nothing”, but dont overthink it here.)

    Diaspora Jews, there is only one way and one way only u can get to know what is actually happening here. You have to get here, on the ground and see for yourself. And RB, that includes you too. Things are changing at too rapid a pace for your observations, based on a previous time, to still be holding up. Even if they were once true, they are no longer.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @Levi

    You are well and truly on to it.

    I dont know enough about the Supreme Court so I wont respond to it. Am not informed enough to intelligently contribute.

    However, your remarks on karma, or in Jew-language, middah kenegged middah, is right on the money. There are signs and wonders taking place here on the streets every day. But what I said in one the previous comments, about the cheshbon neffesh of the left, is very real. There are connections being made, between groups that formerly demonised each other and blamed each other for all of their woes, that are very real, and bringing people to tears, wonder and shock on a daily basis. there is a chance now to form a real, genuine, civil society in Israel for the very first time.

    Because we are all learning that there is way more that unites us. We all need somewhere to live. We all need something to eat. We all love our children, we all hate violence being perpetrated against us. We have all felt rejected, and we have all felt hated by someone else. We all share the same genome and we all share the same planet.

    Bayom hahu yihiyeh adonai ECHAD u’shmo ECHAD
    Hashem Elokeinu Hashem ECHAD

  • Reality Check says:

    Eds: Abusive comment removed.

  • Reality Check says:

    Eds: Abusive comment removed.

  • R B says:

    Yoram,

    You don’t have to teach me about Israel, I’ve lived there for a much longer period than you did, and I know the state of mind of the people who lead this protest (no, 500 people cannot not all “leaders”). Their concern is not necessarily the hardship of the middle class, they cynically abuse it for other purposes.

    Re news1, it is not a “rumors site”. Opinions of different views are published there – some are on your side, some are not. It is easy to reject any information that chellanges your views as “rumors”.

    Reading your responses, you describe what is wrong in Israel. I agree with some of your diagnoses, disagree with others. But, can you tell us what is the solution that you and your friends want? Full control of the economy by the government? More welfare and taxes? Less taxes? Calling your readers to come to Israel and join you reuiqres such explanations.

    R B

  • R B says:

    A few more things I have to ask here.

    If life in Israel is so harsh and the distress is so deep, then why does the protest takes place only when the daytime temperatures reach 30C? Are the Israeli winter, fall and spring too cold or wet to demonstrate? In Ukraine, they protested in -20C when it was important for them.

    Also, why does the protest take place only in Tel Aviv, the (by far) wealthiest city in Israel, and even when there was protest in other places, the protesters were mainly outsiders?

    And re the heart-tearing of the Russian Olah you mentioned – this is what happens then the government has to pay for those who do not deserve it for political reasons (Haredim) or due to long-established arrangements (IDF administrative personnel who retire at 45), which are not relevant any more. Nothing is left for those who are already on need. Not to mentioned the large-scale black economy in Israel.

    R B

    R B

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @RB

    Please excuse some of the posturing. Temperatures have been hot lately, figuratively and literally.

    You raise many very important points, points with which the movement has been struggling to find answers. This requires a proper response and its coming, I just dont have the concentration left to do it tonight.

    One thing to ponder in the meantime. Just because a movement is nascent, and still forming its ideology, rather than coming to the public with a pre-prepared mission statement, isn’t that an enormous value? Imagine if Einsten said, Ive got this great idea for a theory, can you help me with it? And they said back to him, no no, first get it all together with every i dotted and t crossed and then we can talk.

    But, well, im still figuring it out. Its not there yet. It will be really big u know.

    Sure, sure, just get back to us when u have ur bullet points ready.

    Anyway, full response soon.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    RB – protests are not just in TA…. And according to some polling, something like 70% of Israelis support the protests…

    Yoram you aren’t helping a lack of information by cryptic and sarcastic comments – I have also found that when I know a lot about an issue or event the press reporting is unsatisfactory. But important facts do emerge especially now with blogging.

    +972 is probably not your cup of tea politically – it’s a mixed bag – but there are good eyewitness reports of events with photos. The reporting may not be brilliant – but I suspect it’s close enough.

    And there are very few investigative journalists anywhere. newspapers stopped paying them years ago – newspapers everywhere have become all about getting news from the wires and rehashing the news and fleshing it out with op-eds which are cheap – and worth the price.

    thats why citizen journalism matters – so the more clear and open you can be when you are close to important events, the better!

  • R B says:

    Yoram,

    Politics is not science. It is not about finding one objective truth. You cannot promise people “a major change” and expect them to support you, without telling where are you heading.

    So, I am waiting for your response.

    R B

  • TheSadducee says:

    R B

    Indeed – and he had the chutzpah to chide me for oversimplification…

    If this is representative of the movement then it is a lost cause in my humble opinion.

  • michael Burd says:

    I wonder if Israel needs the type of left wing activist immigrants like Yoram you would think they have enough of their own leftist trouble makers.
    Instead of behaving like a hooligan Yoram and giving Israel a bad image why not go into politics and try to change things like a grown up.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @Michael

    Complete non-comprehension. Are u criticizing my aliyah? Seriously? Even by your standards that’s got to be ridiculous. Only people with your vies should be making aliyah? Like c’mon, thats just silliness.

  • michael Burd says:

    Yeh Yoram the big bad Israeli Police ,like you were just minding your own business carrying out a bit of street violence , inconveniencing other Israelis … come on…

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @RB

    Here goes…

    I know the state of mind of the people who lead this protest (no, 500 people cannot not all “leaders”). Their concern is not necessarily the hardship of the middle class, they cynically abuse it for other purposes.

    Another set of total fallacies. I dont know where this image of the protesters being evil radical lefties comes from (oh yes, of course I do, the Israeli media) but this is, pardon the language, a complete and utter bunch of total shit. In fact I have rarely in any Jewish organization I have ever worked for, and I have worked with a bunch, seen people with such genuine care for people’s problems. And I;ve seen just about every incarnation of fake care that exists.

    OK, next.

    Re news1, it is not a “rumors site”. Opinions of different views are published there – some are on your side, some are not. It is easy to reject any information that chellanges your views as “rumors”.

    Just coz thhey are from “my side” doesn’t make them any less rumours. I dont really have a side in the sense that you and others have accused me of. But dont ask me on it, Im not here to defend my thoughts, maybe my actions tho..

    And this is what news1 and many others do, is that they will hear a half fact and extrapolate. For example, the rumours that Forum Rubinger in alliance with J Street brought out Stanley Greenberg to strategize the protest, and that the tent cities were his idea. So I also read that rumour and what I decided to do was find forum Rubinger and ask them myself. So that’s what I did and met with Messrs Gaon and others from Forum Rubinger.

    So this is what happened. It is true that Stanley had advised Ehud Barak. It is also true that during that time he had made the acquaintance of members of the Gaon family. And that’s about where the story ends. Forum Rubinger was begun by about 6 guys, all of whom were fed up with the system of left-wing politics in Israel, especially the Labor party and the extreme elements of the peace movement. The forum was simply to be a forum for talking. However it soon grew to about 800 people. IT was then suggested to bring Stanley Greenberg over to ISrael for a talk. So they found a donor willing to sponsor the trip (yes even the all-powerful left wing elite still look for sponsors for a plane ticket and a hotel room).

    Stanley never once mentioned tents. He said, and I quote second hand from those who were there, “Don’t write something, don’t publish something, dont put it in a journal or put up a website. Do something. Do something and your Obama will come.” That was said in about March of 2011.

    Over in a whole other corner of the protest movement were the real grassroots groups. They were thinking of different grassroots activites and one of them had the idea of placing a single tent of Rothschild Boulevard. Daphni Leef was friends with this fellow and at the time was about to get kicked out of her apartment for failing to pay rent so she offered herself to sit in the tent. She was also working on a documentary film at the time (Not for NIF so dont start on that one)and the film’s producer thought it would be an interesting experiement in Reality TV to start a Facebook page about the tent and see how many people would join. When this got underway, some of the Forum Rubinger guys began to see Daphni’s tent on their facebook feeds.

    The first people to come down to the tent were actually the mothers of the community. (btw Forum Rubinger is very analagous the the Bialik Community, they are really a community more than they are a political group). One of them, (who I met and told me the story directly) said that she saw the tent and thought, gee, they will need garbage bags, so she went and bought them garbage bags. The next one thought, wow, what will they eat? Better go get some food.

    Then one of Forum Rubinger’s founders came down, a fellow who also works in PR and Communications, and he thought (again, I am paraphrasing what he actually told me) – Stanley Greenberg said we ought to do something. This tent is a something. So, lets do more somethings. So he went and bought the next ten or twenty tents (i forget the actual number) and told Daphni to call her friends and tell them they could come join. And the rest, as they say, is history.

    Now what the rumour websites intimated was an organized conspiracy between J Street, Forum Rubinger, Stanley Geeenberg, Kadimah and of course, the CIA who were looking for a way to oust Bibi. This ridiculous linking, based on a bit of circumstantial evidence and a lot of forcing the truth, is what I mean by these sites are bullshit. And also what I mean by investigative journalism is dead. If anyone had simply done what I did, actually called the people involved in a story, met with them, talked with them and heard it from their own angle, no one would need to go and believe in such manipulated horseshit.

    Reading your responses, you describe what is wrong in Israel. I agree with some of your diagnoses, disagree with others. But, can you tell us what is the solution that you and your friends want? Full control of the economy by the government? More welfare and taxes? Less taxes? Calling your readers to come to Israel and join you reuiqres such explanations.

    LEt me describe the solution as follows. There have thus far been three major shifts in human social organization over the course of the last 50,000 years. These are the paleolithic, the neo-lithic/agricultural and the industrial. Each of these forms of social organization were made possible through advances in communication technologies.

    The original communication technology was verbal language, appearing, as the anthropologists tell us, about 50,000 years ago and leading to the cultural explosion known as the paleolithic. Then in conjunction with the rise of agriculture (circa 10,000 years ago, came writing, which became the basis for the system of culture and government for all agricultural civilizations. About 500 years ago mankind experienced the next great leap in communications technology, ie the Printing Press and from it grew the modern political system of capitalism and representational democracy.

    So, we stand in the midst of the next momumental shift in communication technology. The internet.

    The protest movement as a whole is all cognizant that technology and the introduction and integration of technological systems into all areas of life, including politics, education, economy, and so on, is going to be a key. The prtesters are not really long haired hippies. Many of them come from the hi-tech start up world. In fact, most of them.

    Now it is true that no one has yet cracked the secret of how to bring the internet into this process. No one yet has the exact answer. But trust me, they are working on it. And if I were too give the entire thing a general direction ideologically speaking, it is to leverage the powers of web-based communication to transform democracy and capitalism into a far better, fairer, just-er and whatever-er system.

    But no, no one has the “answer” yet. But all help in discovering this new form is welcome.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @Michael

    Please see all my responses above. You read too many newpapers in the english language it would seem. If you can read Hebrew go to j14.org.il for a slightly different perspective on things.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @Mandi

    I am not being cryptic just to piss you off.

    But even on an aussie blog, in English, I will not directly accuse the Israeli Police force, in conjunction with the Shabak, of acquiring assets from the illegal migrant community to be used as patsies in a general Police-Media operation to introduce the element of violence into the protest movement and thus discredit it in the Israeli press and in the Diaspora press.

    No, I will not make that accusation directly because I do not have the evidence to actually prove it, only my own impressions from being an actual eye-witness to almost all of the events described and creating my own personal impression.

    So instead I will content myself to cryptically hint at this idea because it would be utterly irresponsible to ever put it in writing directly.

  • michael Burd says:

    Yoram yeh you the victim I call it the ‘Palestinian syndrome’ playing the Victim all the time.
    There is action and reaction, you lefty extremists want to act like those idiots in the streets we see in the Arab Spring or other Idiots we see in London causing havoc and inciting trouble , hoping the Police will do their job so you can look like the poor innocent victims.
    Yoram grow up , sure there are social issues just like here and everywhere better you go into Politics , if your views are so popular become a MK and try to make a change. However taking the Police away form more important work other than babysitting a bunch of lefty anarchists is not the answer.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    Thanks for the advice Michael. And dont worry. the Knesset is well and truly within our sights. You can see the beginning of the movement’s work in this direction at oknesset.org and at http://www.hasadna.org.il.

    There are a number of other groups within the movement that are Knesset specific, but the list is too long and I dont know all of their web addresses. However the most interesting is probably Uru, which means wake up. Uru are designing collaboration infrastructures to allow citizens to contribute to the formulation of legislation through online participatory fora.

    Also, you are one of the only people criticizing the Arab Spring like that. Its a very odd point of view I think, as for the first time ever the Arab world is moving to genuine democracy as a result of the Arab Spring. And yes, the movement has also been meeting with people from the Arab Spring movements as well.

    And enough of all the ad hominems.

  • michael Burd says:

    OH the Arab Spring is providing a platform for democracy, peace and happiness in places like Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Egypt and Syria .. What ever you smoking I want some… I changed my mind Yoram better you don’t go into Politics and become a M K in Israeli Parliament… Suggest you take some lessons in Arab/ Islamic History ..

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @Micahel

    As for the big bad Israeli police, google Amona Pogrom.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @Michael

    You are mystifying! I am not sure what you read or how you form your opinions. Would be interested to see a reading list so we can get inside your mind. I used to think you were simply mad at all and any who disagreed with your views. I am now having extreme difficulty in ascertaining what your views are or how they have been formed. Feel free to enlighten me.

  • michael Burd says:

    I cannot take seriously anybody that thinks some thing good will eventually come out of the so call Arab Spring [nightmare ]

    If we take Iraq, Afghanistan as examples of how Arabs can’t get along with each other .Am I wrong ? If we see now what’s happening in Syria and Egypt and all the other places where dictators have been swapped for anarchy , sectarian violence, racism, Intolerance, instability and chaos which is not at all temporary but will go on forever.
    Look how Christians fear for their lives in all these places and you naively think something good will come out of all this. Unless you believe the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists will be good for Israel, Jews and the West.
    What is a worry that you say you would like t align your self with these Arab anarchist types.What could you possibly learn form them, to overthrow the Israeli Government ? It is apparent you and your friends would like be ‘divisive’ and bring Israel down to the level of Israel’s backward neighbors. It appears to me you would like to see an Israel Spring and all what this type of anarchy creates .
    If you seriously believe that these Arab / Islamic countries going through these violent changes will create a democracy similar to Israel [If you believe Israel is a democracy ?] you haven’t a clue about Arab/ Islamic culture and their tribal Background and about Islam{ which is not compatible with democracy that’s been proved]
    With respect I suggest it is you that should do some reading up and coming to terms with reality , you are way of the mark and are living in a dream world.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    Alright, alright, you are also gonna need a proper response, and you are also gonna have to wait for it. Dont have the time to do it now. I think you are mistaken about the Arab Spring but that’s all I have to say for now. But I have quite a number of friends in Egypt, both in Cairo and in the Sinai, and things are not as chaotic as you describe. I cant say whats going on elsewhere.

    But seriously, you are criticising the Syrian resistance for rising up against a dictator? Of course there will be violence and anarchy in such a situation. Same in Libya. There is a huge difference between the Arab Spring and the ISraeli movement. The Arabs are going up against mamash dictators. there is no other way to change their system than through violent confrontation. So criticising the Arab Spring for violence is saying that Arabs should simply accept their dictatorships.

    The young leaders of the Arab Spring are like young people everywhere, they want freedom and equality and a system of governance not enforced through the use of suppressive and oppressive violence. Why would you want to deny these people that?

    But whatever. You are entitled to believe whatever you wish but I reciprocate your feelings. I would be pretty frightened if you got in to the Knesset as well. Se we are even there.

  • michael Burd says:

    If you believe it is not a problem that Egypt is now allowing free access to Palestinians to increase their activities to kill Jews via the ‘ nOn Chaotic’ Sinai and if you believe the Young Arab anarchists will give up their hatred for Israel and Jews because of lefties like you .If you believe Israel will be able to pull down their security barrier anytime soon because all these Arabs will become peace loving neighbors and accept Israel as a Jewish state in our life time then I give up , you win….. Good Luck …

  • Yoram Symons says:

    Thanks! We do need a lot of luck. Moving fro one historical phase to another has never been an easy task, but with God’s help we will soon see a new Middle East and a new World. Thank you for the encouragement.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    ok thanks Yoram – the police in Melbourne were pretty brutal removing the Occupy Melbourne people, as were police in New York and other cities in the US in dealing with Occupy movements- hardly surprising that police in Israel would use force and play dirty.

    A big challenge for the protest movement may well lie in not letting this become about the police (outrageous and oppressive as their conduct is) but staying focused on the reasons for the protests…

  • Dan Lewis says:

    Seems like a pretty standard script for the far-left.

    “The problem only started after the Police hit us back” etc.

    RB’s comment at the top of this page shines a light on what triggered it and invariably the cameras only start rolling after the criminal behaviour when the police respond, as is their job.

  • michael Burd says:

    You are right Dan. I guess it’s not surprising there are those involved with Monash University and Jewish community events that encourage anarchy who believe it is normal when peacefully demonstrating to behave like hooligans, smash windows , intimidate and create havoc and to disrespect the Police and make them out to be the bad guys.

    I guess they are like the Palestinians who blame israel for erecting a fence to prevent them form killing Jews.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    @Mandi

    No worries Mandi, and yeh I have some friends in Occupy Melbourne and basically the Police simply bashed them all one day, completely unreported of course, so that people like Michael and Dan can remain in the ivory tower of certainty that its all just a standard left wing script.

  • Yoram Symons says:

    And for those who want to help the Social Justice Movement financially, here is a Crowd-funding intitiative started by Daphni Leef.

    http://www.give2gether.com/projects/tzedek-hevrati/

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Yoram – the press reports of police conduct in Melbourne were comprehensive – if people don’t know about it, it’s because they chose not to read. The protests were all over the place. I don’t now your friends but the general impression of the mob in Melbourne was that they didn’t have a plan or clear positions – overall pretty unimpressive and in some cases very unpleasant (think urinating in buckets in public spaces as an benchmark of the living conditions of the tent communities) but they do have the right to gather in a pubic place without being bashed at the behest of the government.

    Looks like some people involved in the protests in Israel were violent (and there is no suggestion people were hurt by protesters), but the protests involve thousands of people who clearly have strong grievances about basic quality of life issues – employment conditions (especially the extensive practice of using of 3P providers to ‘outsource’ employment arrangements and therefore remove protection and benefit for employees, even by government), access to housing, bank conduct, privatisation in education, increasing socioeconomic gaps, media ownership etc – and who were gathering peacefully.

    I’m not sure why there is such antagonism towards the protests from people who care about Israel, and one would imagine, by extension, who care about ordinary Israelis.

  • michael Burd says:

    Not surprisingly the Jewish left not only condone violent protests like the Melbourne Occupy movement they also have a common ally in the BDS movement .

    ===============================================================

    http://mike-stuchbery.com/2011/10/15/occupying-melbourne/
    OCCUPYING MELBOURNE.

    October 16, 2011 at 9:06 am
    I’d like to point out that the presence of the Max Brenner protest was due to an accidental scheduling clash. The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid picked October 15th for the next action a good month ago before the October 15th movement began, and as a result it would be a bit hard to change the date after putting a months worth of effort in beforehand. And it would make sense if you’re having a lefty event to invite more lefties at another event just a few blocks away 10 minutes before they’re due to march. While some found it frustrating, I think further context can give clarity. I think it was a smart idea to try and get as many people as possible to come because, unlike the Occupy Melbourne movement, the BDS/Max Brenner protests have incurred the wrath of the police for a good long while, so having more people at the march = less chance of arrests which would then be used to smear the Occupy Melbourne movement in the coming days. Already Andrew Bolt in his in his blog tried to smear OM via the BDS.

    Its also important to remember that the BDS movement attracts Muslims, one of the most over attacked minority in Australia. The protest was a good way to attract some of them to similar struggles they wernt aware of, and as we all know, a global movement is gonna need a lot more than just white Australian lefties.

    So, yeah, I wouldn’t expect more Max Brenner stuff brought up until the next action in a month or so. I hope Occupy Melbourne is still going long enough for that to be an issue

  • Yoram Symons says:

    Thanks for that Mandi. I have to admit that my knowledge of the Melb Occupy scene is not so comprehensive so thanks for filling me in.

    As for why Jewish people in the Diaspora are not as supportive of the protest as they could be, I think there are two issues.

    1. Alot of Jewish people dont want to ever publicly criticize Israel no matter what. I cant really argue with them on that, as its their valid position on zionism, however, as you pointed out, support for the State of Israel may not always be support for the People of Israel. They are two very different things.

    2. I think there is a cognitive dissonance. For many in the diaspora, Israel is a sort of Jewish themed Disneyland. Its a place to go for Bar Mitzvah trips, gap years and other such holidays. Its filled with snap-shot memories and so on. ie, it is not a real place at all and having the protest shown to them shatters this very fairytale notion of what Israel is. It is really no longer the smiling kibbutznik place of yesteryears romance, but rather a far more brutal and depressed place, where there is very little hope and lots of frustration for most. (and that’s card-carrying Israelis, dont get anyone started on any of the minorites and other such over there…)

    It is actually heartbreaking to me the number of Jewish people who heavily support or donate to Israeli causes but refuse to even listen to the ideas of the Protest movement, as it simply does not square with where they imagine Israel to be.

    One person actually said to me, that with 300 million enemies around us Israel cant afford things like social justice. I asked him to tell that directly to the families who cant feed their kids. I never got a response.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Michael – if you include me as part of the Jewish left, that’s pretty funny. I can assure you, no-one who really is part of the Jewish left (whatever that is) in Australia, would think of me in that way. And the Jewish left generally has been very critical of the protest movement because it is not primarily an anti occupation movement, so the fact that I think this movements is important and worthy of support places me outside the Jewish left!

    Not saying I supported Occupy Melbourne (But thanks for sending my post to your email list Michael, I trust you’ll also send my follow up comments…or is that naive of me?) – I’m saying that people have the right to protest. I think the Max Brenner boycotts (which were not front and centre for Occupy Melbourne so a bit of a red herring) were/are vile but people have the right to participate and advocate in that way – the distance imposed by the police between protesters and shops, in that case, probably got the right balance between conflicting rights – the rights of the business and its customers to have free access to the premises versus the rights of protesters to have their say.

    And Yoram yes I think your analysis is pretty accurate. Of course Israel is so much more than its current (or any ) government but there is something really nasty about Jews in the diaspora (on the left or right) holding Israelis in contempt for fighting for things that we value highly for ourselves (like protection against the worst bank practices). It’s like Israelis are to be held to some sort of idealised, higher standard where ordinary quality of life issues shouldn’t matter to people.

  • michael Burd says:

    Thanks for that Mandi no need to be embarrassed or having to justify what you do. Yes I send some stuff around on my mailing list to main stream Jews who are curious to see how the fringe left cooperate and interact with the Socialists , Pro Palestinians and other extremists.
    It certainly shows up how your worldly views are so much closer to the Arab /Palestinian and anti- American narrative than to our mainstream Jewish community.
    If only all the time you guys spend criticizing and bagging Israel and its Government was spent instead supporting and encouraging Israel but hey that would be boring.

    As the Occupy Melbourne activist Mike Stuchberry { above] points out in his blog how the BDS movement against Israel is mainly supported by the Muslim community how would it be if all Jews supported Israel in the same manner, but I guess that wouldn’t be cool .

    Most Socialist and Pro Palestinian activists I have had conversations or communicated with appreciate the sympathy and support from the Jewish left in particular Jewish Academia,[ Baker must be proud] to their cause. I guess my only wish that it would be reciprocal

  • So Michael, if you aren’t ashamed of what you emailed around, why not update your list with Mandi’s reply? Or is it only interesting to your email contacts if it’s taken out of context?

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Michael I am not ashamed at all. Why would I post publicly if I was ashamed of my opinions?

    And the first time you named me in in of your emails, I got several congratulatory emails so no problems there.

    The Occupy movements are pretty flawed but so is the way the US government treats it citizens…is that view what you are referring to when you comment on my views on the US?

  • michael Burd says:

    I guess Gaza must be the only descent place to live with a perfect Government and fantastic Human rights record..

  • Alex Fein says:

    Aren’t we lucky!

    Our community has its very own McCarthy! He’ll root out all folk involved in UnJewish activity.

    Galus readers, God forbid you should end up on one of his lists!

    They are deleted by hundreds of Jews from all over Melbourne!

    Those who suspect Mr Burd might be a bully: don’t be silly! His defence of Israel is crucial for the State’s survival.

    I assume Mr Burd spent time in the Israeli Defence Forces: his service obviously trained him in the toughness he so often exhibits in his letters to the editor in the Jewish News.

  • michael Burd says:

    Hi Alex I am surprised you would read the awful so ‘ Zionist’ Jewish News..I would have thought ‘ Green Left Weekly” would be more appropriate?

  • Alex Fein says:

    Seriously, Mr Burd: When did you serve in the Israel Defence Force?

  • letters in the age says:

    There is no right and left in Australian politics and it hasnt existed in the last ten years!!

    ;)

  • TheSadducee says:

    Alex

    And if he didn’t serve in the IDF – so what? That doesn’t mean his committment to the state is impaired or less genuine than someone who did – nu?

    Don’t waste your irritation on this sort of trivia – you are more sensible than that!

  • TheSadducee says:

    “And the first time you named me in in of your emails, I got several congratulatory emails so no problems there.”

    Why? Who is Michael Burd to have received such accolades from your peers?

  • Mandi Katz says:

    The Sadducee

    It’s a matter of sometimes being a little pleased about who doesn’t like you and what that means…

    And it means i’m in good company – for example, in 2011 Michael Burd took out an ad in the AJN criticising Naomi Hazan, then chair of the New Israel Fund. He also writes ad hominem letters to the AJN all the time about anyone whose views offend his.

    But frankly it’s also a bit of a defensive response – the truth is no-one really likes being the subject of nasty emails sent to hundreds of people – it’s unpleasant and one sided (and therefore dishonest). For example in the note Michael sent yesterday, he shared one of my posts with his own additional comment, done I think to give the impression that I support the Max Brenner protests, which is untrue and ridiculous.

    So I guess it’s about turning pretty awful behaviour into something a bit funny and a bit of a badge of honour

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Alex,

    How callous of you to not spare a thought for the poor editors of the AJN.

    Your disgracefully unempathetic behaviour shows that you have no compassion for the human rights abuse of some poor schlub having to read the 20-odd atrociously written letters-to-the-editor that Miserable Bore must excrete from his fingers every week. Worse, they get so few submissions that they prety much have to yield and publish one of them.

    Once they have decided on a diatribe to choose (do they throw dice? random draw lottery? darts board? psychic octopus?), they then have to painstakingly correct his shocking spelling and grammar, reminiscent of someone who hasn’t finished primary school.

    They must then weed out anything that might literally be defamatory (of course, still having to have the journalistic integrity to leave in his general hateful bilge that doesn’t quite fit the definition), and try to make his expression stop sounding like monkeys with typewriters.

    So spare a thought for the AJN editors, the poor bastards.

    P.S. @Michael Burd directly, as Alex has hinted at, if you love Israel so much, and if it needs so much help, why aren’t you living in Israel? What do you possibly hope to achieve tens of thousands kilometres away in one of the most geopolitically insignificant countries in the world?

  • Daniel Levy says:

    pretty*

    And also, “geopolitically-irrelevant-to-Israel countries in the world?”*

    I think we still have some pull with New Zealand, don’t we?

  • michael Burd says:

    Hi Daniel, glad you & others on this blog read my letters I know it is unfair that the AJN publishes letters that are not part of the fringe left’s doctrine, I guess the editors are concerned about the other 99% of Main stream Jews in the community.

    I guess I’m not cool I don’t have Palestinian Lobbyist’s personal Mobile numbers stored in my Iphone or have them as my Face book friends as many of the above contributors and their Monash Academia Comrades do .

    I can’t say I relate or sympathize with the Occupy Melbourne , Socialists , Get U-p, Greens or other obsessed anti-Israel ragbags like them either.

    I guess all I can say is to Mandi , Alex and fellow travelers you are judged by the friends you keep .

    If all you can do is criticize me for being too Pro- Zionist and supporting the work of such main stream organizations as ZFA, SZC, JNF, AIJAC, ECAJ, NSWJBD, AUJS, UIA{ not UIA Progressives] then I shall wear that as a badge of honour.

    If the Jewish left wish to continue being used as useful idiots [ a term used by a very prominent Melbourne Left wing Jewish Academic] for the Palestinian/Arab Lobby and their Socialist mates that is their business.. However as much as you would like to shut down debate, I will feel free to criticize

    Have a Nice day.

  • TheSadducee says:

    I have to say that I enjoy reading Michael’s stuff on here – it reaffirms my belief in the concept and values of hope and tenacity.

    I don’t necessarily agree with what he says, but I think the community is a richer place for him.

    And I don’t buy the why aren’t you in the IDF or have made aliyah points either – why? Is it impossible to be supportive of Israel without doing these things? Strikes me as a lot of shmegegge!

  • Mandi Katz says:

    The Sadduccee – I have no problem whatsoever with Michael commenting or writing to the AJN or anything else – he is perfectly entitled to express his views and doesn’t have to prove his credentials any more than anyone else does.

    It’s a shame though that he engages in negative overly personal comments rather than addressing the issues- and the business of sending emails about people, taking their words out of context, and referring to information he has gathered by stalking people’s facebook friends list – it’s not very pleasant or mature.

  • Alex Fein says:

    TheSadducee,

    I agree with you: the average Australian Zionist has every right to opine without first serving in the IDF.

    Mr Burd, however, is not your average Zionist.

    He writes vicious mass emails that more often than not misrepresent those he criticises. Mandi’s experience is a good example.

    His emails and letters are designed to intimidate and it would seem he does his best to ruin the careers of those with whom he disagrees.

    A man who is so willing to damage others out of “love” for Israel is a bit hard to take seriously when he “defends” Israel from the comfort and safety of Australia.

    TheSadducee, I encourage you to reveal your identity and to disagree with Mr Burd, and then see if you find the ensuing campaign against you quite so entertaining.

  • michael Burd says:

    Don’t get too excited now Mandi in actual fact not a day goes by when I don’t receive emails from disgruntled and pissed off students from different Universities with examples of left wing bias and Israel bashing. Most of it comes from students at Monash which is competing with La Trobe for the most anti- Zionist University in Victoria.
    These students are too intimidated by the academics and don’t wish to get on the wrong side of their lecturers and are just not interested in getting into a shit fight so its easier just to send me the stuff which i pass on to interested parties. They send me copies of email exchanges , links , Guest speaker promotions etc to do with Israel bashing.
    Not all students toe the anti- Israel, anti America party line there are some that do not accept the extremist and one sided views of the Jewish academics. Like the”Israel can do no right”’ academics at Monash ‘ Not all of the students accept the view that Jewish study department academics argue their department should not be advocates for Israel yet at the same time the department openly promotes Palestinian and Islamic lobbyists and activists including BDS promoters [ sometimes via Limmud Oz]how Hypercritical is that?
    It’s not ok for Israel to have lobby groups and AUJS supporting Israel but it’s ok for the Palestinians and Arabs to have ten times more lobbyists and have them supported by Jewish community funded Study departments. How dumb are the Financiers of these departments.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Michael – any chance you can stay focused for five minutes on one question – why did you need to send an email cutting and pasting one of my posts, taking it out of context and doctoring it with other material to give a very inaccurate impression?

  • TheSadducee says:

    Alex

    I have too many skeletons in my closet to reveal my identity publicly. :) No Persians but a few questionable Poles.

    But haven’t you found out yet that discretion is the better part of valour? (re. revealing identities publicly)

    Anyways, looking at Burd’s comments on this thread he seems to have made about 3 points – all of which are hard to debate because they are primarily his perceptions rather than objective arguments based on evidence/facts.

    I can’t approve of his pestering people, especially if he presents their comments out of context which is just not good cricket.

    But it is a rough world – if you are prepared to put yourself out there publicly then you have to expect to deal with all types of responses. Not all of them will be civil and/or pleasing and/or appropriate. Deal with it and move on.

    If you think he has misrepresented you deliberately to your public detriment then you have legal recourse to address the concern. I would encourage you to undertake it.

  • Alex Fein says:

    TheSadducee,

    One might suspect you work in politics – hence the need for anonymity and the concerted avoidance of the original issue under discussion. :)

    To remind you: considering his method and manner of argument, is it fair to inquire after Mr Burd’s IDF service or lack thereof?

    It’s nowhere near as complicated or convoluted as your last message implies.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Alex

    I enjoy the fact that we can both be a little waspish without dropping the tone considerably unlike some others.

    I still maintain that his participation in the IDF is irrelevant to his committment to Israel irrespective of his views/behaviour.

    It calls into question his sincerity by applying an authenticity test of a kind – which is classically ad hominem in intention.

    Sort of like (but not as tasteless as) questioning an individual’s committment to their community by raising questions about their extended family – nu?

  • Alex Fein says:

    TheSadducee,

    This is becoming repetitive, so for the last time:

    Mr Burd attempts to destroy the careers and reputations of those with whom he disagrees.

    In doing so, he invites questions regarding his logical and moral consistency.

    It’s just not that complicated.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Alex

    I concede that I don’t understand your reasoning on this one?

    His advocacy behaviour is not necessarily tied to his participation in the IDF – either logically or morally.

    Nor should it be.

    You (and I) may find his tactics and behaviour offensive, but if I understand you correctly, you seem to be applying a test to him to authenticate his extremism i.e. a person who is so rabidly pro-Zionist that they brook no opposition and display little scruples in dealing with perceived opposition should necessarily be in the IDF and/or make aliyah to display moral and/or logical consistency?

    Anyways, I’ll think upon it further and if we disagree, then we agree to civilly.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    actually I’m with the Sadducee on this one. MB uses nasty tactics in dealing with his political opponents, to the point of attempting to harm people’s livelihood and careers. It’s very low but that’s his prerogative …

    But when he refuses to explain his nasty and less than civil conduct, sensible people see it for what it is and I guess that’s why he has the reputation he has – because in spite of what he may think, he is considered extreme and intolerant by mainstream people as well as by radical lefties like me – :).

    But I don’t think he has to establish a right to comment any more than anyone else does, which is not at all.

    The irony is that he uses identity politics in his comments (see the virtuous proclamation about what organisations he supports to assert why he has more standing to comment, say, me or Alex) – but that doesn’t make it right.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Mandi

    The interesting thing to ponder is actually which of those organisations would openly acknowledge his support based on his activities?

  • michael Burd says:

    I appreciate all the robust interest in what I write and this really encourages me to continue to make the main stream community and their representatives aware of how the ”Israel can do no right” fringe left are assisting the pro- Palestinian lobby groups and Socialists in Australia .

    The ”Occupy Movement” and Palestine.

    The Occupy movement is an international protest movement directed primarily against economic and social inequality. The first Occupy protest to receive wide coverage was Occupy Wall Street in New York City’s Zuccotti Park, which began on September 17, 2011. It was noticed that a ”majority among the participants in the movement were pro-Palestinians”, who took to the streets holding banners that read “Occupy Wall Street Not Palestine.” The movement received support and solidarity from the BDS National Committee and the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.

    ”The protests should not be interpreted in isolation from the entire context of the issue”

    in which Americans feel sick of their government’s policies of intervening in other countries’ affairs. A group of activists gathered yesterday to discuss the movement in relation to Palestine at the Center for Political and Development Studies (CPDS), a Gaza-based think-tank center. Amin Husain, a Palestinian activist living in New York City and one of Occupy Wall Street’s organizers, talked about the main goals of the movement and the context in which it was established.

    Those who follow mass media in the United States notice that the movement went unnoticed at the very beginning. “Mass media like CNN and Fox News is controlled by people whose interests are against the goals of the movement, like Robert Murdoch”, said Husain. “They are the 1% who own wealth. We used social media and made visits to churches, mosques and synagogues to get our voices heard,” he added.

    Known for its strength and influence in decision-making circles in the US, the Zionist lobby made a major effort to put the movement down. Realizing this, Rawan Yaghi, an 18-year old English Literature student at the Islamic University of Gaza, asked about its role. “The movement was against lobbies altogether,” replied Husain.

    Husain invited the participants to make use of the movement to the serve the Palestinian cause, since a great number of its participants feel sick of their country paying apartheid Israel three billion dollars in donations a year as Americans graduate from colleges and universities with no jobs to make their living.

    “As Palestinians, we should make use of the momentum it received to serve our issue and expose Israel’s violations of human rights and occupation in the Palestinian Territories. Making use of non-violent means, which were used in the movement to protest occupation, would be useful,” he said.

    The Occupy movement, which was partially inspired by the Arab Spring, adopted non-violent methods to get its goals achieved. But many tried to pull it into violence to harm its bright image and serve their own ends.

    “It’s important to keep the movement non-violent, for many try to pull it to the circle of violence to defame its image and get it away from its goals,” said Iyad Al-tahrawi, a 22-year old Information Technology student at Al-Azhar University.

    This video link is the first in series of links, seminars and lectures held at CPDS to discuss global issues related to Palestine in the presence of Palestinians and internationals to raise Palestinians’ awareness of global issues and movements taking place in the world, with the entire region in flux.

  • Yaron says:

    Michael,
    Clearly you have data to back up your assertions that you are speaking for the mainstream.

    It is great that your research has shown that 99% agree with you. Even our neighbour Mr Assad would dream of numbers like that.

    After Monash Jewish studies published Gen08, which I’m sure you believe is a left wing extremist piece of research, showing that the Jewish community is probably in opposition to many of your views, it would be very interesting to see genuine research that would debunk such findings.

    Sadducee,
    While a person’s private life is not relevant, when someone is willing to attempt character assassination on a particular topic they should have to present their credentials on that specific topic.

    Therefore Mr Burd should reveal his credentials if he wishes to speak on behalf of the ‘majority’. If he wants his past to remain anonymous he should comment only on his own behalf.

  • michael Burd says:

    ”Monash Jewish studies Dept” HA Ha, your joking last I heard ACJC was merging with Arab/ Islamic Study Dept.

  • michael Burd says:

    YAROn
    You say…

    .showing that the Jewish community is probably in opposition to many of your views”

    Which views in particular is the Jewish community { who in the Jewish community do you refer to ?} in opposition to?

  • Yaron says:

    Michael,

    Exactly. Who comprises the Jewish community and who are you to character assassinate people who disagree with you?

    But at least you are playing fair and also destroying your own reputation with these pointless rants.

  • michael Burd says:

    1. Yaron when you have the guts to divulge your full real name then you will have credibility with me .

    2. If you all think associating , affiliating, supporting and giving credibility to such extremist anti- Zionist and in my opinion anti- Semitic extremist groups like your ‘occupy Movement’ and other Pro- Palestinian organizations like them obviously we have nothing in common.

    I couldn’t give a shit what you or your comrades think .I appreciate that the Editor of this Blog site does allow other views other than the Fringe left ‘ Israel can do no right views”.

    Have a Nice day.

  • letters in the age says:

    Mandi,

    identity politics is correct.

    Disturbing tactics should be investigated?

    Sad and pathetic

  • letters in the age says:

    Furthermore Mandi et al

    ….. some individuals seem to display the extreme migrant chip on the shoulder with an inferiority complex as well…..

    lol!!

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Michael,

    “Yaron when you have the guts to divulge your full real name then you will have credibility with me.”

    Let me translate that for you:

    Yaron when you have the “guts” to divulge your full real name then you will incur the full wrath of little Burdy’s inflammatory, illiterate, idiotic, incoherent and indefatigable letter-writing efforts. Why wouldn’t you divulge your name to him?! Who doesn’t want to be bullied by THE MAESTRO

    Well Burdy, you have my full name… COME AT ME BRO

    I guess it’s hard to character-assassinate someone who doesn’t give a shit about his “jcomm” reputation though…

    :)

    Also in your last comment you seemed pretty angry. That’s sad. Someone of your age shouldn’t be spending his retirement castle time getting all worked up over words on the internet. You should be off overseas enjoying your last few years! Get out and live a little, mikeyburd. ‘Attaboy

  • Michael Burd says:

    Hi Daniel, usually when you go to CAPITALS , is when someone is very angry, take a deep breathe don’t attack the man attack the arguments which so far none of you have, perhaps you are all embarrassed acting as useful idiots for the Israel haters.
    By the way I just returned from China a few days ago so I could attend the Concert for Irene Sendler , Irena’s Song last night put on by the Israel Embassy which was amazing. I doubt you would have enjoyed the company though far too many Zionist supporters and Zionist community leaders there,you would have cringed at the key note speaker huge Israel supporter Greg Sheridan, although you would have approved the MC another ‘Israel can do no Right’ lefty JOhn Faine.
    Dan you don’t have to worry about my retirement either I go to Thailand twice a year and China { Mission Hills] once a year with a whole lot of mates to play golf, Israel every year as well we spend a lot of time down the Peninsula at our holiday home on the Golf course.
    I recently spent ten days in Israel on a private tour with Israel’s most influential Human Rights activist Nitsana Drashan Leitner her husband Avi and her wonderful SHurat Ha Din [ Israel Law center] team . There doesn’t seem to be enough days in the year Dan , so no need to worry about how I spend my time.

    Take your blood pressure pills Dan.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Michael – you clearly have a very nice lifestyle – no doubt you worked very hard to achieve it in a country where hard work and a bit of mazel, can bring great material rewards.

    So yes, let’s bring this back to the issue at hand – if hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets last year to complain about basic quality of life issues – what is your objection to their political struggle for basic material standards that fall well short of the way you live?

    I have friends in Israel with a decent number of kids – he is a teacher, and she is an academic (not a leftie on security issues at all, so let that go) – and he has to work two jobs just to keep their heads above water because she earns a pittance and their cost of living is so high that they simply can’t manage. And on top of that they ended up home schooling their son last year because they could not get him into a decent high school in Jerusalem. And their younger children are in primary school classes with up to forty kids in a class.

    They are very supportive of the protests. What do you know that they don’t?

  • letters in the age says:

    That was some wedding in India as well that i saw in the jewish mag michael a while ago

    Events like that would keep u busy as well as grandchildren!!

    ;)

  • Daniel Levy says:

    The capitals were satirical. Anybody with half a brain could see that. Surely you aren’t so daft.

    And oof, if the culmination of my life’s work is a few trips to Thailand, China and Israel and a holiday home in peninsula, I wouldn’t be bragging about it. I mean, okay, it’s not bad, but join the other millions of people who have achieved the same level of living. What’s your point, mikey? You’re still so devoid of meaning that you try to hurt the lives of others en masse.

    Mikeyburd, I can certainly see why your life depresses you enough to have to try to assassinate the characters of prominent figures in the Jewish community. I wish you the greater success in your life that you desire.

    Who knows, maybe you’ll solve that ‘pesky arab’ problem and win a nobel peace prize. Or a visit to nuremberg.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Mandi

    Mr Burd will fight with all his powers to enable all Israelis to live in poverty without Jewish criticism of the State.

  • letters in the age says:

    Irena Sandlers concert was a milestone when two groups and embassies came together who have been antagonistic in the past

    I heard great things and lucky you were there!!

    Times are changing for the better Michael!!
    ;)

  • letters in the age says:

    It must be difficult when Israel isnt in the mainstream press as it was in the past and a lot of people must vent elsewhere…..

    Í wonder if the editors of the age have the same sentiments to those of the ajn when receiving letters from the lobby group

    Smirk

  • Mandi Katz says:

    These protests are not contrived by the left – they are the popular expression of deep frustration and despair at the lack of hope for ordinary people- http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/between-tunisia-and-israel-a-personal-tragedy-becomes-the-symbol-of-israel-s-social-struggle-1.451153

    People may also be interested in this report by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel – http://www.acri.org.il/en/2012/07/11/between-realization-and-dehydration/
    which catalogues some of the root causes of the growing gap between haves and have nots in Israel – ranging from tax policy to housing and early education policy. This is carefully evidenced and while it clearly has a political bent, its importance straddles the political spectrum.

    “The report includes testimonials from former high-ranking officials in the civil service, who describe from their experience how the “draining” process was used to diminish social services in different government bodies. The interviewees come from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Education, National Insurance Institute, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Employment Services.”

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