Day 226 of the War: Kaplan and the Activists

I always stand xlose to the stage so i can take pictures and listen to the speakers
I always stand xlose to the stage so i can take pictures and listen to the speakers

Last night was yet another Saturday night in Kaplan. As usual, I walked all the way down Kaplan Street toward the Plaza of Democracy at the intersection with Begin Highway. This spot was named by Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai last year during our mass protests against the Judicial Overhaul. I always try to arrive on time so I can find a spot in the front row facing the stage. I need to watch the speakers up close; otherwise, it is too easy for my thoughts to wander. Besides, standing in the front I really feel part of the weekly ritual. It’s hard to come up with new messages week after week, especially as the hostages are still in Gaza and Netanyahu is still leading our country toward the abyss.

But last night was a little different because we heard a speech from Yair Lapid, the head of the opposition in the Knesset. Lapid did not come to Kaplan as a politician, nor did he speak as one. Rather, he arrived as a deeply concerned citizen who came to show his admiration for the Kaplan activists. It was clear that he felt honored to speak to the activists protesting in Kaplan. He started his speech by acknowledging our desperation and the feeling that our protests don’t make a difference. He said, “I know that feeling of despair and I would like to remind you that you have already replaced a government, halted the judicial overhaul, and stopped the attempt to get rid of the defense minister. You can do that again. The government regards us as mere subjects, but the ‘friers’ (again the Yiddish/Hebrew word  for suckers) had enough. We are done being friers.”  Lapid called on Gantz and Eizenkot to leave the government and concluded by saying, “Hope will win the day as we all stand here together. The protest means that together we will triumph.”

Minutes before the program started, a woman on the stage asked if there was a doctor in the crowd. Within seconds, two doctors and a nurse, who was fully equipped for emergencies, stepped in. Shortly after, two more doctors arrived. It was really crowded and it probably took a while to cross the intersection to get to the stage. Later on, when Lapid spoke about the protest and said, “Together we will triumph,” I thought that there are many good people in Kaplan and in many more locations all over the country every Saturday night. He was right, there are many people, who can save our country ,in the crowd.

About the Author
I hold a PhD in English Literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, specializing in writing about issues related to women, literature, culture, and society. Having lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994), I bring a diverse perspective to my work. As a widow, in March 2016, I initiated a support and growth-oriented Facebook group for widows named "Widows Move On." The group has now grown to over 2000 members, providing a valuable space for mutual support and understanding.
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