Friday, December 18, 2009

Why I Don't Demonstrate

I used to. There isn't a demonstration connected to Eretz Israel that some representive of our family hasn't participated it, at least since our return in 1992. The reason I personally no longer participate stems from two separate reasons.

The first is self evident. It is a waste of time. Over two hundred and fifty thousand people crowded around the Israeli Kenesset building on the eve of the vote in favour of the Oslo Accords, all we got was a derisive mark by the Prime Minister at that time that we don't "move him" (Read ther fact that 250,000 citizens out of a population of 5 million left home late at night to camp outside the israeli Parliament building doesn't give him a hard on!) At best, demonstrations are escape values to let off pressure, let people feel they are doing something, when in reality there is absolutely no connection between the Israeli electorate and the elected in Israel once the ballots have been dropped in the box.

That leads into my second reason, why this particular set of demonstrations against the "Building Freeze" doesn't earn my involvement. Instead of attacking the real issue, the fundemental flaw in the Israeli political system that makes Oslo's and arbitrary negation of a citizen's rights something politicans can decide to do for whatever spurious reasons they want to provide, the organizers are attacking the decision as if it a sectorial issue of lack of building permits for one particular population.

Tzippi Hutiel said it best when she participated in the Press Conference on Saturday Night. The issue we should be protesting is the bankruptcy of the Israeli Democratic process! The bankruptcy of the Likud party as part of that system. Any system that permits the leading political parties to get elected on one very clear and articulated platform and yet consistently turns around and does exactly the opposite, is at best bankrupt, at worst corrupt to the core.

I have no doubt that when the day will come and some assute (and brave) person raises the banner of the need for a Renewal of Democracy in the Israeli political system, they will receive support from every segment of the Israeli electorate. The Left (and some of the leadership of the Right) like to talk about the chissim between the political ideaologies within Israel, but from where I sit, very close to the ground and far from positions of influence and power, the real chissim is between Israeli's leadership and the people they pretend to represent. The bitterness and dissolutionment grows greater year after year. The percentage of the general public that has faith in the Justice system, in the political establishment and in the Israeli government's ability to meet the needs of the people plumets from one poll to the next.

So, when someone holds a demonstration to demand a dramatic change to the Israeli electoral system which promises to make elected officals accountable to the people who elected them, let me know, I'll be the first to show up. Until then, stop wasting my time and confusing the issue with sectorial irrelivancies. Until the system is changed, you'll run from one brush fire to the next without ever having solved anything. It's a shame because in my opinion we can't waste too much more time.