One Tent, Five Dilemmas

So far, the movement has conducted itself in an intelligent, mistakes have been minimal, if any, but this is just the beginning, the hard part is still to come.

The young protesters in the tents represent new hope for the state, as well as for the older generation that has despaired of ever seeing a significant struggle to change the public agenda.

But to move the quarter-million-strong demonstration to the next stage, five dilemmas must be dealt with.

First dilemma - leadership. This is a sore point. Movements such as these are allergic to leaders and becoming institutionalized. But without leadership it would be impossible to sum things up and conduct negotiations.

Compromise proposal: a fixed delegation, part of which would be replaced every month - perhaps by raffle, as they did in ancient Athens - to report to the general assembly once every two to three days.

Second dilemma - a lot or a little? In the film "Slumdog Millionaire" about the Indian youth who contends in the television game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire," there's a moment in which the boy wins 10 million rupees and faces the choice - take the money and quit, or risk everything to answer another question and win 20 million.

That is, should the protesters make do with what they can get out of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now and stop the protest, or continue to achieve much, much more. I hope they continue.

Third dilemma - the settlers. The struggle has been hindered because the protest cannot point to the source of money to fulfill their justified demands. The statements made so far are not reliable and it is easy for the treasury professionals to contradict the numbers. It is well known the money can come from only three sources - the settlers, the ultra-Orthodox and the bloated defense budget.

The tent people are afraid to say it, for fear of being labeled "leftists." This is true. But at a certain point they will have to speak explicitly.

Fourth dilemma - an overall view. Until now they have made a list of demands, each one separately, and it looks like a menu in a restaurant. At some point they will have to incorporate all the items into one overall view. They will have to portray to themselves and the rest of the public the image of the state they want - and the picture will have to include important answers to the "political" problems, heaven forbid.

Fifth dilemma - a new force. Clearly pressure from below can achieve something, even a lot, but real change can be achieved only in the political arena. Knesset members cannot be forced to legislate laws against their views; they must simply be replaced.

This is doubly true of Netanyahu, who appears to be willing to change his worldview in an instant. Netanyahu is reminiscent of the comedien Groucho Marx, who said: "These are my principles and if you don't like them, well, I have others."

Before the next elections, the tent dwellers will have to decide if they want to take part in them and form a large new force that will change the entire political map. I very much hope they decide they do.

So far, the movement has conducted itself in an intelligent, creative manner. All its major decisions have been correct and the mistakes have been minimal, if any. (In my opinion the demand to conduct the negotiations on camera was correct. )

But this is just the beginning. The hard part is still to come.

When they launched this protest they probably did not imagine it would go as far as it has already gone. But now a historic responsibility, which comes only once every few generations, is placed on their young, inexperienced shoulders. They can change Israel fundamentally - in the words of one of their slogans: "Get our state back!"

A monumental opportunity. Let's cross our fingers.