“This is a protest against what Israel has become, in the name of what it once was. It is an effort by the youngest Israelis to recapture an older, more egalitarian, more idealistic, country that their parents lost.”
Michael Walzer is a contributing editor for The New Republic, professor emeritus of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study, and a board member of Americans for Peace Now.
What is happening in Israel? As usual, no one expected, no one predicted, the massive uprising of Israel’s young people–joined last Saturday night by large numbers, amazing numbers, of their parents and grandparents. What started as a demand for affordable housing has turned into something much bigger. I can only watch, and cheer, and try to figure out what’s going on. Here are four “takes” on the uprising.
This is a rebellion of the mainstream against the privileged sectors–most importantly, though few will say it, against the settlers and the ultra-orthodox. Proportional representation makes it possible for relatively small groups of bloc voters to achieve disproportionate power, and these two groups, as key participants in (mostly) rightwing coalitions, have won benefits available to no one else. As one Haaretz columnist wrote, Netanyahu is a socialist in the occupied territories, where a fully developed welfare state exists, though only for the settlers.