Israel’s social protesters are not just naive sushi eaters

07.08.2011                      07.Aw-Elul, 5771


Israel's social protesters are not just naive sushi eaters

The young people who composed the protesters' list of demands understand economic and social policy, and social action; they champion demand-side economics, the basis of the welfare state.

The size of the protest on Saturday night clearly made a mockery of the slanderous statements about "Ashkenazi leftists eating sushi and smoking nargilas." You know these statements are false if you heard Yuval Seri, a teacher of physics and philosophy from Jerusalem's Katamon neighborhood; an Orthodox man who will soon attend a course for company commanders in the IDF reserves; the Israeli Arab author Oudeh Basharat; Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein, a founder of the liberal Orthodox group Tzohar; and Rabbi Benny Lau, founder of the Beit Morasha social justice institute.
To head off concerns that some of these young people's demands might be accepted, the neoliberal economic experts have rushed to explain that these people don't know what they're demanding. For years, the neoliberals have said the public is pleased with the current order. Suddenly, in three steamy weeks, it turns out that 90 percent of the public, including of course many Likud voters, support the motto "the people demand social justice."…