Is this the 1960′s redux? Is the West entering a political phase similar to Europe of the nineteenth-century? Again. A world of social conflict and possible political upheaval and at least fragmentation. Are we willing to look into the dark cracks those crevices are showing? Or will this all fade away by true not false hope and by a more comprehensive and not spurious political participation? Classes, like individuals leap at a glimmer of real hope….
Polemics and rhetoric are always the favorite tools of conditioning public opinion, massaging the deep lies into the pores of the citizenry. It almost Orwellian in that up becomes down, contexts become subtexts, financial considerations become associated with liberty and freedom. The London riots are raising broader concerns about our collective state of sanity and our notions of material well-being. The initial surge of anger may have been hi-jacked by the thug element, perhaps even agent provocateurs. But, the implications of civil unrest are even being felt in such moderately middle-class countries as Israel where free markets ideals, basic Thatcherism has served to cut into the social fabric and create newly impoverished classes who, realistically, have more in common with second-class Israeli arabs than the new managerial and business elite.
If they could only look beyond the existential fear. Effectively, the rebellion has centered on housing, affordable housing, but the issue is more far ranging since cutting to the chase shows the Hebrew State model not inherently different than the Egyptian model which so far has only discarded the chauffeur , the apple seller and not the vehicle or apple cart makers. Its hard to fathom that in Jerusalem 90,000 bank accounts have been seized by municipal authorities for non-payment of civic taxes. There are only three-quarters of a million inhabitants or only roughly 240,000 households. Do the math.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s decision late Wednesday night to approve construction of 1,600 apartments in the northeast Jerusalem haredi neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo infuriated the Palestinians and brought sharp condemnations from overseas. At the beginning of next week, the Interior Ministry is expecting to give the final approval to two additional projects in east Jerusalem – 2,000 housing units in Givat Hamatos and 625 units in Pisgat Ze’ev, Yishai’s spokesman Roei Lachmanovich said….Meanwhile, Jerusalem City Councilor Meir Margalit, who holds the east Jerusalem portfolio, called Yishai “a terrorist.” “To do this now, when it’s so tense, and everyone is making such a big effort ahead of September, throwing a bomb like this into the political situation really makes him a terrorist,” Margalit said….Yishai announced late on Wednesday night that he had approved the 1,600 apartments as an answer to the protests demanding more housing….He dismissed the claim that the approval for apartments across the Green Line was political.Read More:http://www.unitedjerusalem.org/index2.asp?id=1461540 a
And math is what its all about. Call it facts on the ground versus the facts of the fetus. The battle of the womb, the biological reproductive struggle has seen Arab East Jerusalem increase its total population, which now constitutes about a 36% of the total compared to 27% a decade ago. So, as part of an overall context where public resources are gamed and politically pulled,this latest effort will ostensibly pacify the housing activists and put Jewish flesh and blood, alleged DNA into the cauldron which is brewing into Macbethian proportions. The assertion that Yishai is a terrorist is not as far-fetched. Economic circumstances have always compelled the poor and religious to occupy buffer areas; cannon fodder for violence. Yes, the poor do pay more.
The prime minister, just like his predecessors, knows exactly what he should be doing. He needs no committees. What he needs is courage. Some eight years, a book called “While we were watching” by Moshe Pearl was published, recounting the story of the Israeli economy’s self-destruct mechanism. The book powerfully described the erosion of the middle class, stuck between the growing bum population and tiny nobility of the wealthy. The person who recommended the book to me at the time was then-Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Read More:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4107341,00.html
:What prevents those Tel-Aviv artists from sending their child to care centers of WIZO or Naamat, which cost half the amount? What prevents them from living not across from Rabin Square, but 10-15 km to the east (Petach Tikva) or to the south (Bat Yam)? Why should the government subsidize them if they chose to work in their profession freely?…
…I live in Bat Yam. Before that I lived in Holon’s wonderful Kiryat Ben-Gurion neighborhood for three years. I rent two-bedroom apartment – quite spacious, but very old (with all that entails,) for NIS 3200 (about $950) a month; it’s really quite a bit of money. I’m not asking the State of Israel to support me, because for a healthy man to seek such assistance sounds pathetic to me, and besides, I chose to become a journalist. Who can I blame, if this was my free choice and I knew that I won’t earn as much as the successful high-tech folks?
Don’t waste your money
My friends and I have not attended the social demonstrations, although life is hard for us too. My car cost twice as much as it would in Germany or Spain. French and British cheeses at the supermarket cost three to five times more. Housing is super expensive, and so is fuel. Beer at the bar – about four times more expensive than in Prague. Clearly, we need to make changes. Yet we do not go to demonstrations….
…Why? Because we think that Israelis have become too spoiled. All over the world economies are collapsing; Greece, Spain, Ireland and others fall apart. And here those same artists want us to follow in the path of those failing economies. They want to live in the center of Tel Aviv, they want to shop in the store under their apartment and not in the cheaper supermarket far away, they want to sit in their coffee shops and bars – and that everything will be good. They have long forgotten the meaning of modesty, and what’s worse, they have long forgotten the meaning of responsibility. They want the state to care for them; they do not take responsibility for their fate. Like in the Queen’s beautiful song, they want everything – and they want it now. Read More:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4107706,00.html
Jeff Jetton: Alright, cool. Let’s talk for a moment about Egypt and the current state of affairs in the Middle East in general. Tunisia, Egypt, seemingly a domino effect taking place in the middle east. North Africa and now Wisconsin. What’s next? What do you think the implications are for the U.S. internationally?
Noam Chomsky: I think it’s pretty serious. There’s kind of a hidden point which isn’t being brought out, and that is that it is inconceivable that the U.S. would permit democracy in the Middle East, and for a very simple reason. Just take a look at polls of Arab public opinion. They exist. You can’t find them in the press, but they exist from prestigious polling agencies. Released by major institutions. And what they show is that if there was democracy in the Middle East, the entire U.S. program for domination of the Middle East would be down the tube. I mean, Arab public opinion does not regard Iran as a hostile entity. In fact it’s so supportive of Iran that a majority would think the place would be better off if Iran had nuclear weapons. The main enemies are the United States and Isreal, in the 80, 90 percent range. You look at popular figures, the most popular figure is the prime minister of Turkey, Erdogan, and then it goes down the list. You get Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, you don’t get Obama, or in fact any western leader. The public doesn’t want the whole imperial project. So if you had democracy, it would be all over.
Jeff Jetton: So you don’t think the United States will let democracy flourish?
Noam Chomsky: They don’t want democracy here, why would they want it in the Middle East? In fact, what’s going on in — you mentioned Wisconsin and that’s quite appropriate. The last thirty years have been a major assault against democracy here, and the governor of Wisconsin is trying to carry it forward. Finally there’s some resistance, but plainly elites here don’t want democracy. And why should they? Democracy is always harmful to elite interests. Almost by definition. In the Middle East it’s dramatic because of the attitudes of the population. Read More:http://chomsky.info/interviews/20110309.htm