Living here in Barcelona for nearly 5 years, my blood pressure clearly remains more sensitive to anything going on in Israel than here. I guess that news about the metro get me much more excited than politics at any level here.
In the past year+ I have been following the roller coaster activity of former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and became a fan. I even got to see him here in Barcelona in October (covered the event here). The man himself even used my live blogging for his own coverage. Well, he was quoting me quoting him. A few other Varoufakis fans in my circles and myself were excited about it… and now there’s a new movement and a draft manifesto included here.
Brian Molko and his fellow band members at Placebo gave a great show in Israel. And today, The Editors are playing in town. The Editors were initially had a minor role in backing theThe Pixies, that cancelled in the last moment. I’m glad that The Editors came.
I attend lots of demonstrations in various issues, about two three every month. Although it’s fun meeting the (same) friends at these protests, I feel that we aren’t changing almost anything.
My friends say that going to demonstrations has become a hobby of mine. It’s my preferred pass time Cheap Airblown Inflatable Adult Castle on Saturday evenings, when most of these protests take place.
During this summer, I’ve been to a nice bunch of demonstrations: against the biometric law, against hatred of homosexuals, and the recurring theme was a struggle against the deportation of foreign workers and their children from Israel.
Most of these protests draw a crowd of no more than 300 people. When I show up and draw a few friends to these events, I feel that I make a difference in the number of attendants.
But do I really make a difference? Probably not. A small group of people who care can do little to change. Most Israelis are tired of hard struggles, and prefer news as entertainment.
TV “reality” stars mean more than having the fifth of the population under the poverty line. “Sensational” stories like the Dudu Topaz story, or the Swedish scandal take over the media for many days. These stories have nothing do with our lives, nothing relevant to other people living here, which have real problems.
I guess I should do the same – concentrate solely on my personal life, which is not that shabby. As a Jew of European descent, a man, and aÂ heterosexual, I belong to Israel’s elite. My life is easier “by design”.
TurningÂ a blindÂ eye to what’s going looks like the right choice.
Benjamin Netanyahu was appointed, as expected, to form the new government. His government will probably include the racist “Israel Beytenu” party, of the scary Avigdor Lieberman. This makes many Israelis sick and horrified. I’m already over it.
The fear of this reality drove many left wingers to vote for FM Tzipi Livni, thinking that if her Kadima party gets more seats than Netanyahu’s Likud party, then Netanyahu won’t be Prime Minister again.
Well, Kadima got more seats, only to teach those people a lesson in Israel’s parliamentary system: the head of the biggest party isn’t automatically the PM – it depends on coalition. And Netanyahu’s right wing \ religiousÂ bloc won the elections.
Anyway, he may form many different coalitions, but there’s a good chance that the racist Lieberman will have a strong position in the government, having won the third place in the elections.
This specifically scares Israeli Arabs. Lieberman wants to deny their citizenship if they don’t show loyalty to the country. Maybe they’ll take mine if I’m not loyal enough with this criticism…
I don’t believe that this fascist law will pass, but I must be prepared:
Picture made in the Obamicon.me site.
Anyway, to my main point: we aren’t alone in the world, and the world has changed. We are dependant on our main, and sometimes only ally: the US. And there’s a new guy in office there. Obama’s first month office proved that he came to work, on all fronts, and he isn’t wasting any time.
We will have to comply, at least partially, with the new administration’s policies, and they will be different from Mr. Bush. I’m sure that Obama’s will will force my country to a more moderate policy, and not an extreme right wing one.
Also in the economic front, Netanyahu is a great admirer of the neo cons, and of Margaret Thatcher. As Minister of Treasury, he already brought upon us extreme capitalistic reforms, deregulation and suffering.Â
But also here, the world has changed. Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, 5 months ago, the world began re-regulating instead of de-regulating. In a global world, he cannot push through his brutal capitalism. He’ll have to let go.
So, I’m not in despair of the upcoming Israeli government. Yihye Tov!