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Kobi Arieli: Talking about demonstrations makes me deeply sad | Israel today


The last week destroyed my old dream of a substantive discussion between the two sides of the political barrier • Why? The answer is in the bridges

The demonstration, it is commonly thought, is the lifeblood of democracy.

This is true to a large extent, and not due to the symbolic dimension of the matter.

After all, there is no stronger expression of freedom of expression than, well, freedom of expression itself.

The ability to gather and shout is the thing itself, and apart from the fact that it carries a certain statement, it is also a kind of democratic celebration.

A tweet on Twitter does not compare to the gathering of people on a cold day at a street corner and a great shout that goes from the end of the world to the end.

So far all is well and good.

So why does the talk about taking to the streets and demonstrations being organized and climbing bridges in a timed manner make me deeply sad, and even afraid?

The elections have just taken place and their results have been announced.

Moments after the elections, there were so many flashes of state intentions on the part of the losing side - the main of which was acceptance and reconciliation with the results and functioning as a decent opposition fighting for its principles - that it seemed for a moment as if the bitter pain of the past few years had faded away and from now on it would return to fighting as before.

A good debate about the things themselves, about ideology, about the face of Israel and about real questions like whether there should be negotiations with representatives of Hamas, and how much daycare centers should be funded for working mothers.

This dream was so real and tangible that I personally took active actions to realize it.

There is no room to expand here, but good old-fashioned conversational initiatives have filled my time for the past month and a half.

It was clear that this is where everything is going, that there is a mature and real internalization on the left side of the election results and that it is time to examine how to live with this result, a task that is incidentally shared by both sides, especially the winner.

But the last week tattooed that dream a little.

The thought that the masses will take to the streets not to express an opposing opinion but to damage the legitimacy of the opinion that won and the legitimacy of the people who hold it, and to basically announce that the election results are unacceptable and to do it in the extreme and unprecedented way in which it was done in the Balfour demonstrations - this thought succeeds in discouraging me.

It proves that there are factors that really continue not to understand what a democratic decision is and the fact that there are results (that express reality) that are not fun to live with, but it is entirely possible to create a formula that will allow this with effort.

And in the midst of all these sad thoughts, I happen to sit somewhere and drink beer with one wise man whom I greatly admire, and he tells about his foreign passport and I say to him: "But what do you need it for?"

And he says, simply: "Are you really asking that? It's for the day when two men knock on my door and tell me, come, accompany us please."

And I'm already starting to laugh and wonder how much beer he drank and see that he didn't drink at all and he means it with abysmal seriousness, and my sadness and frustration rise to the sky.

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2022-12-08

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