No matter what they managed to get you to swallow, the real goal is not the message, but the bad taste that remains. The public struggle against reform or the "public protest" it has become is not intended to make you accept some political position – but to make you angry.
Imagine for a second that this article is about education policy, in which I argue that the education budget is too low—a fairly popular opinion that is easy to convince. Many of you will agree with me. Perhaps I will present new arguments that will further strengthen your opinion. In any case, I will be able to score political points.
Next week I'll write a column arguing that the education budget is too high. Although this is not a very popular opinion, it has quite a few supporters. More than NIS 84 billion is being swallowed up by the education system, and if I present the system's many failures, I may succeed in convincing some of you, and perhaps reinforce the positions of those who thought so in the first place. Here, too, I will be able to score political points.
Even if I make the opposite arguments week after week, few will say that I am a hypocrite, and therefore, as long as I argue and criticize, I am able to gain political power. What I won't be able to claim is that the education budget is correct, and that NIS 84,826,229,000 is budgeted correctly. As long as I criticize, exert pressure, change my position, get down personal lines and mock, my place in politics is assured.
Cynicism, sarcasm, ridicule, changing positions once a week and going down personal tracks are skills that keep friends away, but they are essential tools of revolutionary politicians. These tools were well articulated in the early 70s by Saul Alinsky, who became the most important and influential political theorist of the American far left for 50 years. His book "13 Rules for Radicals" is a must-read for those trying to understand the protests of 2023.
The protest "began" as if to oppose legal reforms, even though it has its roots in organizations such as Cryme Ministry and Blue and White Future (a generic two-state NGO that operates the Brothers in Arms brand).
At first, they tried to sell us that the high-tech companies would take the money out of Israel – preferably into Silicon Valley Bank, whose representative in Israel was one of the leaders of the protest. The bank collapsed a few weeks into the campaign. Then they said that there would be mass refusal in the IDF, that fitness would be impaired and that planes would stop flying – that didn't happen either. Apart from a few pockets of trolling in a few elitist units, nothing has changed in the IDF.
The people who have been blocking roads and making citizens' lives miserable for months are the ones who claimed that a symbolic partition during religious worship is "taking over space." All this - while they appear abroad and say that reform may prevent them from feeling safe when dropping bombs on children
When that didn't work, they switched to talking about the draft law, as if the most important thing in opposing the legal reform was the recruitment and arming of 10,000 Haredim a year. The same ultra-Orthodox who two weeks later would claim to be missionaries and should be banned from all forms of public worship.
The people who have been blocking roads and making citizens' lives miserable for months are the ones who claimed that a symbolic partition during religious worship is "taking over space." All this - while they appear abroad and say that the reform may prevent them from feeling safe when dropping bombs on children.
Those who try to understand the protest may think that they are in favor of our brave soldiers, that they are both war criminals and combatants and conscientious objectors, that their only desire is to recruit the ultra-Orthodox missionaries and media and provide them with weapons, and that Bibi is a warmonger and a dictator elected by a majority and who promotes political moves. Reform? Unrelated.
Alinsky's laws require that the subject of protest be changed every week. They require self-contradiction to increase public confusion. Real attention to the real problems does not interest them. The hypocrisy of their leaders is not a character trait or a "tactical mistake," but a tool to throw citizens off balance.
These leaders have no plan, no ideology, and no goals other than changing the election results. If you are an opponent of reform or an opponent of government, you deserve better leaders.
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