Saturday, July 30, 2011

Social Economic and Political Rights are for ALL

It is no longer a one-shot deal, a one-time deal, an event that is happening on one street.
The social-economic revolution is happening here, in Israel, from the north to the south, from the west to the east.

The tents on Rotschild, in the heart of Tel Aviv, have expanded to Kiriyat Shmona, Haifa, Hod Hasharon, Jerusalem, Kiriyat Melachi, Beer Sheva, Sderot, and to so many more cities and towns. When you drive around the country, you do not know where to look first, so many tents and protests...

Thousands and thousands of people, the older and the younger, grandparents, parents and children, have taken to the streets to demand a social system that makes it possible to live one's life without continued fear of economic collapse. That supports and diginifies one's work. That does not privatize every last bit of land and every social or educational service.

Even the social giants have joined in - the Histadrut, WIZO and Na'amat. The streets are filled with doctors, educators, social workers, psychologists, academics, artists, writers, musicians, students, farmers, ordinary people...

This is a revolution being led by the educated, secular, middle class. It's okay; if they had not started it, then perhaps it would never have begun, nor reached the dimensions that it has reached so far, and the dimensions that it will surely reach as more and more sectors and regions join in.


Our country is not only comprised of educated middle class secular Jews.

News flash: We have Palestinians - Muslims, Christians and Druze. We have Bedouins in unrecognized villages with no roads, electricity, running water, sanitation, no educational institutions. We have Ethiopians and shelter-seekers, and many, many poor people who cannot afford to come to these demonstrations since they need to work at their almost-no-pay jobs in order to buy their next meal, if they are lucky enough to have a job.

We have Palestinians locked up in the Gaza Strip and Palestinians behind the Separation Wall and checkpoints in the West Bank who are desparately trying to gain recognition for their own state, that they will be able to run democratically, free from Occupation. We have Palestinians in East Jerusalem and Old City neighborhoods who are at the mercy of aggressive settlers overtaking their homes, backed by the Israeli police, army and justice system.


Do not get me wrong: I am in favor of this revolution taking place in our land.

The message is clear:
People deserve to live lives of dignity - to have fair pay, fair chances to secure decent housing, quality free education for their children, clean water, affordable electricity, parks to play in, public transporation, a clean living environment.

But not only the educated secular middle class of Jews. ALL PEOPLE.

It is time to make outreach to these socially excluded peoples and ask them to join in this revolution, that should first and foremost work towards a social system that does not ignore their basic needs.

It is time to say, all of the money that goes to the settlements, to the military, to exacerbating the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has caused a great sickness in this land.

As we take to our streets in this amazing social-economic revolution cascading through our country, it is also time to remember our neighbors in Gaza also deserve rights. It is time to remember that we are all just regular ordinary people who know that continuing to support the very, very wealthy, the settlers, and the military machine is a ticket to death, not life.

And we all want life. We all deserve life.

The message is simple.

No comments:

Post a Comment