The recent flare up in Israel's south needs to be taken seriously - as Israel and others are doing - but let's call it what it is: an indication of the weakening power of the extremists. Hamas and its Syrian-Iranian allies thus far have been unable to sustain its plot to drag Israel into a sustained conflict in order to save Assad. Libya falls and Assad's noose continues to tighten. Israel's responses have been surgical and measured (like today's)rocket barrage.
Eventually, if handled correctly by Israel and other interested parties (meaning the Saudis, Europeans, Egypt - yes, Egypt - and the Americans, everyone who wants Assad to fall) this flare-up will die down can return to the big story of Israel's summer, the Social Justice Movement. Inspired by the popular uprisings in the Arab world, though completely different in focus and NOT calling for the fall of the government, this movement began with a simple Facebook protest over the cost of cottage cheese. It has since taken the country by storm, with the focus being affordable housing. It is felt by many, including myself, that what's happening now in Israel is something that American Jews can connect with - especially those who might have put support for Israel on their personal back burner. Read about it and judge for yourself.
These links have been provided by the New Israel Fund. See Social Justice protest catches fire.
Good intent of those in tents (16 August 2011)
Israel's version of the French Revolution: Liberty, fraternity, creativity (11 August 2011)
The Other Israelis (10 August 2011)
Liberal U.S. groups back Israel protesters (2 August 2011)
Netanyahu's time is up (1 August 2011)
The People Demand Social Justice? A Background of the Protest Movement (Fact Sheet in PDF) (1 August 2011)
The protest wave has changed the face of Israel's political map (31 July 2011)
Hysteria in overdrive (29 July 2011)
Tent City Revival (29 July 2011)
Adva's Shlomo Swirsky explores the link between Israel's settlement policies and the economic protest (29 July 2011)
Israel's Affordable Housing Protest Catches Fire (28 July 2011)
Haaretz editorial: Netanyahu, listen to the demonstrators (28 July 2011)
Jerusalem Post: Uri Savir - Israel’s Facebook generation (28 July 2011)
Washington Post: Housing protests galvanize young Israelis (26 July 2011)
Author of "Embracing Auschwitz" and "Mensch•Marks: Life Lessons of a Human Rabbi - Wisdom for Untethered Times." Winner of the Rockower Award, the highest honor in Jewish journalism and 2019 Religion News Association Award for Excellence in Commentary. Musings of a rabbi, journalist, father, husband, poodle-owner, Red Sox fan and self-proclaimed mensch, taken from essays, columns, sermons and thin air. Writes regularly in the New York Jewish Week and Times of Israel.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
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