Empty chairs and empty tables

The social justice activists seem determined to make bigger and bigger asses of themselves every week.

As the weekend drew to a close, some 10,000 (police estimate) or 35,000 (organizers’ estimate) or 50,000 (Times of Israel estimate) people gathered at the plaza of the Tel Aviv Museum to take part in a rally calling for universal draft.

Both the march to the museum and the demonstration itself were organized and peaceful. If Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz had a less warm reception than he’d hoped for (a small group shouted at him to “go home”), there were no reports of any altercations or other violence.

The event made a clear and unequivocal demand that every Israeli citizen serve military or national service at age 18. Agree or disagree, but at least the goal is defined and comprehensible – draft everyone!

Compare this to the whining for “social justice.” It’s impossible to argue with a request – much less grant it – if it’s not specific. When will these self-styled revolutionaries wake up to the fact that “social justice” means different things to different people? For some, social justice is a reversion to an old-fashioned welfare state. For others, it’s about tax relief and deregulation. You can’t take to the streets if no one understands what you want.

The social justice movement has turned into a parody of itself, completely lacking in any kind of coherent vision or intellectual accountability.

Not only do the protesters feel entitled to hold unauthorized demonstrations and block streets willy-nilly (not exactly a tactic that wins hearts and minds), they apparently see nothing ridiculous in stopping their march whenever they pass a bank to shout slogans denigrating wealth and power.

Of course, banks are closed on Saturdays.

It’s too bad that the social justice march chose to scream at off-duty financial institutions rather than sharing the burden and taking part in a demonstration that took a firm stance on a crucial societal issue. Their thousand or so voices would have been welcome at the Tel Aviv Museum plaza, but they preferred to yell at empty banks.

About the Author
Noga Martin has worked for The Jerusalem Post, Jpost.com, and Ynetnews and is now an editor at a publishing company. She lives in south Tel Aviv and has been blogging for the Times of Israel on a myriad of topics since July 2012.