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Sunday, August 14, 2011

How Israel is out-classing the world in civil disobedience (TechCrunch)

From TechCrunch:
In the four weeks since the social protests have begun in Israel, hundreds of have been killed, dozens of women have reportedly been raped, a number of children tortured, and countless districts have been looted. The authorities have imposed a complete lock-down on all cellular networks. All access to Facebook and Twitter has been blocked. Little information is going in, or out.

Except the absolute, complete opposite.

The social protests in Israel began 4 weeks ago with a national outcry over the rising price of basics such as cottage cheese. They then snowballed into a full-blown national movement by way of a simple act by a then unknown young woman. The act? Striking a tent in Tel-Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard in protest of high apartment rental costs.

A single tent became the heart and soul of the movement whose main gripe is that the middle-class is bearing the brunt of an imbalanced budgetary spend. “The People Demand Social Justice” is the key chant.

The protests are local, scattered all across Israel, drawing hundreds to hundreds of thousands. Big name musicians volunteer to headline these protests. Barricades and PA systems, all donated. People talk about the movement at every cafe, over every lunch, at every business meeting, at every family dinner.

it’s been four weeks and zero acts of the barbaric, non-discriminatory violence we’ve seen across the middle east, and even in the UK. No shots fired. No stores looted. No form of communication has been shut down. In fact, not only have the Israeli police and army not taken any role other than safeguarding the protests themselves, they have even been applauded, literally, by hundreds of thousands for their efforts.

While in neighboring countries regimes are slaughtering the opposition, in Israel we have complete free speech to criticize our politicians and leaders. As I’m typing this, on the TV is Israel’s version of SNL doing a parody skit of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mishandling of the situation (they have him wearing a red t-shirt with Che Guevara on it).
(h/t Menachem)