Sunday, August 7, 2011

It Depends on WHO is Protesting

I remember marching through the streets in protest of the Oslo Accords. Hundreds of thousands of Jews filled the streets of midtown. No one sat home. That was long ago, long before Gush Katif, even before we originally "took to the hills."
Those were amazing days, filled with an air that our protests could actually stop the government from giving away its G-d given land. Hundreds of thousands in every demonstration and yet, the media diminished their numbers and their importance. Even today’s Israeli President Shimon Peres called protestors, “propellers”.

I remember the demonstrations for Jonathan Pollard. He was the Gilad Shalit cause of a decade ago. People flooded the streets calling for Jonathan's release, while the protest was footnoted someone on page 6 of the news.

I remember the demonstrations two years ago against the freezing of building in Judea and Samaria. That truthfully is the cause of the housing crisis today. If thousands of young people were able to move to Yesha, where they were born and raised, there would be more housing for all.

While reading about the latest “social justice” demonstrations, I read, “In Jerusalem, more than 20,000 people marched in a mass of humanity…” Wow, a mass of humanity. They never said that when we had 400,000 people protesting outside the Knesset 18 years ago. continued, “Downtown was effectively shut down as crowds of people surged toward the city center from all directions.” That really sounded like a successful demonstration. Right wing rallies have been larger, but largely ignored.
But I guess the media pushes the agenda it approves of.
So, everyone knows about the tent people, but no one cares about the caravan folks who have been oppressed for the past two decades.
The tent city protests continue with more and more Israelis objecting to the skyscraping costs of food, clothing and shelter in Israel, as well as everything else from gas and water to all other utilities.
Indeed this is a movement that should move all Israelis. I surely know that when I go to the supermarket and pay more and more each week, I want to scream and shout.
Last week a group of Torah-observant young people gave out blessings to every tent and joined in the call for social justice and an affordable life in Israel.
According to Israel National News, their prayer, ”Blessing of the Tent” , read: "In these tents, there shall be no division. In this dwelling, all of the People of Israel are invited. Every man, woman and child is invited to participate in this protest. This place carries a blessing of love and peace. How goodly art thou, protest tents of Jacob, the temporary dwelling places of Israel."
It sounded great – all of Israel united where they were united for the first time at the doors of their tents. But then INN continued, “several extreme left-wing groups tried to expel them from the rallies, often threatening them and setting their tents on fire.” Yes, here we stand at the door of Tisha B’Av and we witness once again the baseless hatred of Jews for their brothers. This is called "sinat chinam" in Hebrew, and it is one of the reasons for the destruction of the Second Temple.
Every moment of baseless hatred is a moment of destruction. Whether it is at the doors of the protest tents or at the doors of any neighborhood in Israel, it is time for Jews to embrace one another, respect each other’s sensibilities, go out of their way to show they care for what is important for their fellow, and try to show their Jewish heart and love for another Jew.
May we soon be able to recite Psalm 133:1 with all our heart. “Hinei matov umanaim shevet achim gam yachad.” Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!

1 comment:

  1. Nicely said, my friend. May we finally take these words into our hearts. (Sigh.) It's about time.