In recent years, many have depicted the Israeli public as politically apathetic, as dormant.
And in some way that was correct. Much to our chagrin and concern, Israelis have not been turning out in droves to
protest the Occupation and its woes. But the public protest of the past ten weeks in Israel proves that political
indifference does not characterize current Israeli society.
For the past ten weeks, large segments of the Israeli public have protested in the streets
against the anti-democratic policies of Benjamin Netanyahu’s extremist, ultra-nationalist government. For ten
weeks, both on Saturday night and on weekdays, hundreds of thousands have turned out to protest, often clashing
with police forces. Members of Netanyahu’s cabinet assumed that the protest would subside just as it had erupted,
but the opposite happened.
On recent Saturday nights, in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem Haifa and other towns, the overall number of
demonstrators reached 400,000 or 500,000. If the same proportion of Americans took to the street to demonstrate,
there would be almost 18 million people protesting in US cities. According to some estimates, 20% of Israelis have
participated in some act of protest against their government’s legislative coup in the past three months. This
coming Saturday, protest action is planned in 170 sites across Israel.