It doesn't really matter how many people came to last night's protest. What's important is that the protest happened, that the movement is still alive and its messages are still reverberating. What's really important is what the participants do after the protest.
These actions are fomenting change. The largest protest by the Occupy Wall Street movement drew no more than 10,000 people, yet it still has shaken the United States and the world, drawing the attention of President Barack Obama. The U.S. president expressed his admiration for it, proving that the so-called "99%" mustn't all take to the streets together in order for a smart politician to realize something is afoot.
Despite the many eulogies, not only is the Israeli protest movement not dead, its biggest days are still ahead.
It's not because the protest leaders object to the Trajtenberg report, drafted in an attempt to solve the country's social and economic ills - and which will ultimately be remembered for changing this country's path - and it's not because of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
It's because the protest is part of changing consciousness around the world. It calls for changing how economies have been run for the past several decades.
Put simply, the protest hasn't died because the conditions that birthed it haven't changed; in fact, they're expected to worsen in coming years if a steady hand doesn't steer us away from the abyss. There's a lack of steady hands in Israel and the world at large.
None of this means that it's not important to go out and protest. But one protest won't determine whether the movement lives or dies. Israelis now know that they can defeat large institutions if they only pull together. The protest will go on because the communities formed in the tent camps will keep working together. The protest will go on because the generation behind it - in Israel and around the world - is educated enough to see the flaws in the current economic method, and has the nerve not to believe the previous generation's lies.
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