Israels demonstrations echo the protests of ‘74 – analysis – The Jerusalem Post

Israeli police officers scuffle with demonstrators during a protest against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside Prime Minister official residence in Jerusalem on July 14, 2020 (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
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If the anger on the streets today was only originating from the Left and the opposition, that would be one thing and Netanyahu could dismiss it. But its not. Its also coming from individuals in the middle and the right, nonreligious in addition to haredim.

A country in demonstration. And that, genuinely, is what it seems like. Cinema may be closed, auditorium may be silenced, synagogues may not be permitted to fill their pews to capability, restaurants may be limited to a bare minimum of restaurants– but night after night dozens, hundreds, and in some cases countless people gather around the country in demonstration.

There is a tendency to look at 2020s summer season of discontent and compare it with the social justice demonstrations of the summer of 2011. A more apt contrast, nevertheless, would be the reservists protests that followed the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

In February of 1974, Motti Ashkenazi, a just recently released reservist captain who served at a station on the Suez Canal, saw the enormous absence of preparation and had his warnings to his superiors neglected, started a one man protest in front of the prime ministers office calling for the ouster of then defense minister Moshe Dayan for his duty in the Yom Kippur mess.

And one thing that characterized this demonstration movement was that it drew from the mainstream. Protests in Israel of the late 1960s and early 1970s were generally recognized with marginal groups outside of the mainstream attempting to change the deep-rooted status quo. Ashkenazis protest motion 47 years ago prospered due to the fact that it united people who felt that the federal government stopped working the country in a time of crisis.

Because it joined individuals who felt that the federal government failed the country in a time of crisis, Ashkenazis protest motion 47 years ago prospered. The present protests are trying to do the same thing. Netanyahu would dismiss this lightly at his own peril.

True, those screaming for Netanyahu to resign in front of his house might be connected with left-wing groups and celebrations who have actually screamed for his ouster for many years, however they are not the only ones whose anger nowadays is being voiced on the street.

Ashkenazis one-man demonstration spread, and quickly other reservists who served during the war, along with common citizens fed up with the federal governments handling of the crisis, joined the protests. The fall of Golda Meirs government in April 1974, just five months after a war-postponed election in December of 1973, has been attributed in part to this motion and the general public environment it produced.

On Monday evening there were haredi protests that turned violent in Jerusalem versus the federal governments policies, and on Saturday night some 10,000 people ended up in Tel Aviv to voice pain and aggravation at the alarming financial straits they, and hundreds of countless others, are in. There was violence after that presentation.

And in Beitar Illit, hundreds of haredim (ultra-orthodox) objected the lockdown of their neighborhood, showing versus what they think to be a heavy handed government policy against haredi communities struck hard by corona.

And one thing that defined this demonstration movement was that it drew from the mainstream. Protests in Israel of the late 1960s and early 1970s were normally recognized with limited groups outside of the mainstream trying to change the ingrained status quo.

The organizers of the rally in Tel Aviv Saturday night were sensible in not inviting political leaders; they wished to keep their protest a-political to draw in as broad a base as possible.

And that was simply one night.

Following that war, and the colossal errors that led up to it, the country was grasped by a sense that something was off-kilter, not working as it should. A comparable sense exists now, as the second wave of the coronavirus is damaging our shores. Now, as then, there is a sense that disaster could have been prevented had the leaders correctly done their jobs.

These individuals are not opposing Netanyahu the guy, as are those in front of his home holding up signs checking out “Crime Minister.” Rather, they are objecting the policies of the government that he leads which they fear is leading them to financial ruin.

Amongst those taking to the streets now to oppose Netanyahu are not the “usual suspects” who despise him, believe he is a threat to democracy and have actually been opposing against him for years. No, now you have individuals out of work who might even have actually chosen Netanyahu, but feel obliged to vent their anger at the current monetary circumstance.

A country in demonstration. Film theaters may be closed, concert halls might be silenced, synagogues might not be permitted to fill their seats to capability, restaurants might be restricted to a bare minimum of restaurants– however night after night dozens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of individuals gather around the nation in demonstration.

And that is also something characteristic of the present wave of demonstrations: the demonstrators can not be pigeonholed. Jerusalem Police chief Doron Yedid tried to do just that, dismissing the protests in front of the Prime Ministers house Tuesday night as a left-wing demonstration, however he was missing the larger image.

In Tel Aviv, a few hundred people held a demonstration marking nine-years because the last large wave of demonstrations in the country, known as the social justice