Le­git­i­mate protest

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

AS WE watch 200,000 peo­ple march through Tel Aviv and gangs of thugs run riot in Bri­tish cities, there will be some who are tempted to make some sort of con­nec­tion. Events have that ef­fect on other­wise sen­si­ble peo­ple. The plain truth, how­ever, is that the two are po­lar op­po­sites and the idea of any lessons to be drawn by com­par­ing the two is sim­ply id­i­otic. The Bri­tish yobs are crim­i­nals who should be pun­ished, and are held in con­tempt by all de­cent peo­ple. The Is­raeli marchers are ex­cer­cis­ing their demo­cratic right to protest in pur­suit of a po­lit­i­cal agenda. They are con­cerned with the soar­ing cost of liv­ing, es­pe­cially house and food prices. And they are a model of how to protest: peace­ful and ar­tic­u­late. The young Is­raeli pro­test­ers — who rep­re­sent vir­tu­ally ev­ery sec­tion of so­ci­ety — are an ex­pres­sion of a dis­quiet and anger, ex­tend­ing well be­yond those out on the streets, that a nation founded on the idea of equal­ity is now so riven. Their de­mands will not go away, what­ever hap­pens in the short term to the pro­tes­tors. And the po­lit­i­cal con­se­quences of that will be felt in many dif­fer­ent ways.

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