I know this has been going around all day but it still seemed like an essential reblog for archival purposes. Here’s my question: Cam’ron or not, are there any other alliterative SUVs than the Range Rover? It’s like all of the reasoning skills were knocked out of the skulls of these smart people as soon as Trebek said the word “rapper.”
Since the Tunisian revolution spread to the rest of the Arab countries, speculators have been making guesses at when it would reach Israel (that is to say, Palestine). But very few predicted that the movement would first spread to middle-class Jewish Israelis first.
Though the Israeli economy remains strong and has weathered the economic downturn well, cost of living is high, and an incipient housing bubble has made it quite difficult for middle class Israelis to own property. That being said, though the housing crisis prompted the present protests, they are in fact the culmination of frustration with regressive neoliberal policies enacted since the 1990s. Finally, there is the distinct feeling that Israeli government over the past twenty years has fallen increasingly under the sway of a few small interest groups, namely, big business and the military.
Many Westerners can relate. Berlusconi’s Italy, Cameron’s Britain, Obama’s America, all of these countries have seen dramatic growth (and, perhaps more scary, fusion) of state and corporate power. It’s manifested itself differently in different countries: Berlusconi’s hold over the Italian media, Cameron’s scary response to the recent riots*, or Obama’s kowtowing to Tea Partiers/Banks/Literally Everyone.
However Israel is a different society from that that exists in America, Britain, or Italy. External pressure as well as kibbutzism has encouraged a sense of community and egalitarianism that doesn’t exist in America. In this context, the divisive neoliberal policies are just that much more offensive.
Nevertheless, with Israel added to the list of nations experiencing an “Arab Spring”, a threshold has been crossed. It was toed during Spain’s days of student protests but ultimately did not develop into a society-wide phenomenon there, as it has in Israel. Can these protests make the jump across the Mediterranean?
*I believe the British riots are not part of the phenomenon I’m describing