Hapoel Tel Aviv Fans Are Struggling for the Left

Attempts to characterize leftists crash against the cliffs of victim culture: the Palestinian, the foreign worker, sometimes the Mizrahi, and of course the more shrill victim culture of feminism.

Serious people, of course, don't read articles about soccer. The others will give their hearts to the fans of Hapoel Tel Aviv, the Reds, despite the cliches about "violence in sport." Alongside the committees examining alternative models of team ownership, thousands of fans are engaged in a daily struggle against the wealthy businessman who bought their club and is being assisted by a "flexible" set of rules, an apathetic public and a rotten football association.

They are fighting for a team that has a popular captain in Walid Badir of Kafr Kassem, that has an admired symbol in Salim Toama, and that has three other Arab players (I'yad Hutba, Mahmoud Abbas, and Maaran Lala. ) This is no simple matter in the racist landscape of Israel where 20 percent of the citizens are not seen outside of their "pale of settlement."

However, the important thing is that this is a struggle of self-interest, in the sense that left-wing struggles were supposed to be for the collective interest of those fighting against government and capital, not in the name of a tormented conscience, not in response to emotional blackmail, but together - Mizrahim and Ashkenazim, men and women, Arabs and Jews. If you like, the Hapoel fans are a reminder of something that was lost on the left where instead of acts of solidarity, the victim syndrome emerged: I am demonstrating for someone else, a poor person who cannot talk. I am the attorney, honorable judge, he is a mute.

Yes, the transformation of the struggle into the defense of victims is partly the result of the deterioration of human rights, but it is mainly the result of generous funding from abroad for specific targets in the human rights field - that is, for "the other" and not for the struggling self. With the help of this divisive funding, the work is tainted by co-existence with the government: You suppress, life goes on, and we protest and sigh here and there and promise that we are not building an alternative but merely speaking about suffering.

The first of May was a time for a kind of celebration of "the unity of all the organizations." There are no organizations, only groups, voluntary associations and two small parties. The state has created the right to speak "only when you are a victim." The left, as in many other avenues, and mainly out of laziness, has merely become a copy of it - a variegated picture of the dominant culture.

Does this sound painful? The disappearance of the "left-wing" man was gradual. Forty years of struggle against the occupation without a left-wing repertoire, without even one left-wing marching song. The man of the left no longer is a pioneer. Nor is he a worker. Nor is he a representative of the workers. He is not part of the working class, or the unemployed, and he doesn't even describe himself as a local auxiliary of the world's revolutionaries. Any attempt to characterize a man of the left crashes against the cliffs of the culture of the victim: the Palestinian, the foreign worker, sometimes the Mizrahi, and of course the more shrill victim culture of feminism.

A cruise through Facebook reveals one common denominator of the left: "Gevalt!" But while atrocities do conscript people to the cause, they also wear out and wear others out. What exactly can you tell the man in the street if he says, "But it's much worse in Syria?" No Facebook joke at the expense of this response can help blur the left's failure: One who builds his world on a victim's personality cannot create a revolution. At most, he can raise donations in Europe.

The election forecast is a reflection of a society without resistance. Generals will talk about war, warn us not to forget the Holocaust, because our heroism is in our weakness. And the left? Its sages will make do with parodies on Facebook while the majority will post material about atrocities.

Go learn from the Reds.