Justice for All, Not Burden for All

The burden camp behaves as if it were a corporation, made completely of steel, whose watchword is profit. Its language is expedient, aggressive and unsentimental.

Saja Abu Fanni
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Saja Abu Fanni

It just arrived and already it's packing. We didn't even manage to say hello, to get to know it, to exchange addresses. Goodbye, justice - welcome, burden.

This is the situation: Two ideological camps are wrestling with each other in the public arena. On one side is the sharing-the-burden camp and on the other, the justice-for-all camp. The burden camp behaves as if it were a corporation, made completely of steel, whose watchword is profit. Its language is expedient, aggressive and unsentimental. The profit principle is blinding and if you are not a part of Steel Corporation Ltd., you are a mere parasite. The signal for the burden camp's attack was given by the father of the nation of excellence, Benjamin Netanyahu, who excluded the Arabs and Haredim from its midst.

The burden camp has already attracted to it all the VIPs - the senior army officers, tycoons and politicians - a pure mixture of capital and political power. As absurd as it sounds, the burden is the most beautiful thing that has happened to the leaders of that ideology. Almost every notable who's shown his face is reaping millions at the moment thanks to "sharing the burden." Ask these distinguished people, those who served in senior positions in the army and civil service, how they managed in those very responsible positions to set up such widespread business networks in Israel and abroad that bring in millions for them after they retire. Apparently people in these high positions undergo a crash course in "how to be a millionaire."

The burden camp distorts the character of society so that instead of engendering solidarity, it gradually becomes a society of wolves. This camp has no message other than the status quo, and it does not spend even one moment thinking about the reason why the burden gets more and more difficult every day. Meanwhile, for the first time, the expression "significant service" is being heard. And so, ladies and gentlemen, another surprise is waiting for you.

In the near future, when the "distribution of the burden" does not bring the hoped-for equality, they will say the issue is the type of service, and that those who serve with modern weapons are worth more than those who serve in kindergartens.

On the other hand, the justice camp, or, in its full version, "social justice" camp - the lovely face of which was embodied by Daphni Leef, Raja Za'atara, Stav Shaffir and Asma Aghbariyeh Zakhalka - brings the message that there is value in social solidarity, and that something good will still come of it when Arabs and Jews, secular and religious, unite in the struggle for justice that is the first component of equal citizenship for all.

The justice camp identified the sickness inherent in the tycoons' control of the country's resources, as if we were living in a feudal regime where the king distributes fiefdoms to his knights. This camp states that it is important to invest in Arab society because it is the link that will pull up the entire chain. If some 20 percent of society multiplies its productivity, society as a whole will benefit. And this "utopia" is backed up by the analyses of the most prominent economists.

The ultra-Orthodox also have a place in the justice camp. Their children must study the core subjects, they must be given incentives to take part in productivity, not in "service." Here, too, leading economists say the economic factor is the root of the problem, not the shortage of hundreds of ultra-Orthodox to run after the violent hilltop youth.

The burden camp preserves the status quo. Adel and Muna will share the burden of cleaning the floors while in the ultra-Orthodox regiment, Shlomo and Boaz will carry the burden of slicing potatoes "so that they can be as thin as matchsticks," as the comedy team Hagashashim put it.

The justice camp provides an opening to a free world where the air is not polluted with aggressiveness, discrimination and isolation. In the latest protest and in the opinion surveys, many people expressed their support for justice for Arabs and even were prepared to make concessions for it. The "suckers" whose ranks have been joined by student leader Itzik Shmuli - a kind of Netanyahu for the young - are trying to ambush this hope.