The people aren't stupid. Even if last year's social protest didn't stop the plague of inequality, it proved that a crowd isn't a mob, but a group of people with both collective and individual intelligence. Such critical, rebellious intelligence doesn't get lost. Nor have people lost the understanding that the mechanisms of power and profit are reproducing themselves at the expense of and in opposition to the general public.
The people aren't stupid. But the corporation executives, the bank owners and managers, their proteges in Knessets and cabinets, in party central committees and research institutes, are much stronger, not to mention more experienced and cunning. A year is a very short time, and there's no reason to declare that the protest has gone bankrupt and bury the tents. We will yet enjoy a resumption of the protest, and also some of its fruits.
During and after the protest, this thinking crowd also discovered a great thirst for knowledge, and proved that it knows how to obtain this knowledge - through statistics, studies and analyses that explained their gut feelings very well. The decline of public medical care isn't a decree from heaven; the difficulty of getting an apartment doesn't stem from personal incompetence; and someone is profiting from your labor and your low salary.
Something else also became clear during the social protest: Despite their desire to do so, the forces of order and discipline could not allow themselves to suppress it brutally. After all, in the end, this is a democracy for Jews. Criticizing, demonstrating and organizing don't cost us our lives. And for the vast majority of us, they also don't cost us our jobs or our freedom.
Wonderful things can be done with such intelligence, such knowledge of how to obtain information and such freedom to oppose. Therefore, it's only logical to expect the protest not only to return, but to improve. And therefore, every one of us is an active participant in the democ-tatoric, oppressive regime that is being developed between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea: Ashkenazim and Mizrahim, old and young, women and men, city dwellers and moshavniks, religious and secular, settlers and residents of Mitzpeh Hila, Kiryat Shmona and Ramat Aviv.
Perhaps there is a difference in what each group receives in exchange for its participation. Here too, we have the elite and the underdogs. But all of us are senior executives of this Jewish corporation that owes its capital and its well-being to the ongoing, cunning, arrogant, supremacist exploitation and abasement of the other people and their intellectual, material and emotional resources.
Familiarity with a plethora of information sources and geographic proximity to the scenes of the crime deprives us of the excuse "we didn't know." People are living without running water, or without water fit to drink. Do a google search and you'll find the websites of Adalah, UNRWA and B'Tselem. The green line has two sides, and on both sides there are ways to ensure the supply of water to Jews and deny it to Palestinians. Even Satan never came up with discrimination more nauseating than this.
The civil rights that we enjoy won't allow us to say what citizens of Turkey and Belarus rightly can, or what citizens of East Germany and Rhodesia once could: We cannot take action because we are afraid for our children and our jobs, fear our neighbors and torture. The future of Israeli students and lecturers is assured even if they besiege the Defense Ministry and the defense minister's house to demand that Firing Zone 918 in the south Hebron Hills be outlawed. And after that, even if they strike against a long list of other discriminatory practices.
The people of Israel proved last year that they are not devoid of knowledge or of the recognition of injustice. Therefore, every single member of this thinking crowd bears direct responsibility for the disasters that will befall this place; for an accumulation of injustices will eventually explode.
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