Aryeh Eisenberg

Sorry protesters, this ain’t gonna work

Does disrupting traffic and causing thousands of citizens to lose time, money, and patience actually solve anything?
Protesters against plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to overhaul the judicial system in Tel Aviv, July 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
Protestors along the streets of Modi'in

I want to start this post with something that may seem radical, especially these days. I want to put politics aside just for a moment. There are two sides to this dispute. Some are in favor of judicial overhaul and some are against it, but let’s leave that discussion for another time.

In recent weeks, the protests, which began as civil demonstrations have become disruptive, out of control and even dangerous. Roads have been closed, travel has been compromised, and we have started to see an effect on the country’s economy as a result. More concerning are the effects that these protests have on all of us, on both sides of the aforementioned political debate.

Last week, during the Tuesday protests, a family visiting from the US saw their touring plans go out the window. That same day, emergency response times by police and paramedics were both a lot slower than usual in many areas. This placed people with no connection to the protests, again on both sides of the debate, in physical danger. Let’s talk about traffic in general. Protests add to the already difficult morning commutes. For one of my friends who travels daily from Modi’in to Jerusalem, the morning commute took two hours. Is this really the way we want to live? This is certainly not the Israel that I know.

Our own Jewish history is full of debates and differences of opinion. In almost all cases, we have figured out how to resolve those internal arguments. In this case, though, we have resorted to measures that are really hurting all of us, regardless of our political positions. This is not the way that Israel, the chosen nation, should be acting. We have a situation where one side is not getting what they want and, in response, is causing harm to everyone else. Does this sound like a rational response? After all of the protesting and carrying on, has anything actually changed? Has the government reversed its decision?  Like it or not, the answer here is a big no.

The current government has not changed its policy and furthermore has indicated that it has no plans to do so. Does disrupting traffic and causing thousands of Israeli citizens to lose time, money, and patience actually solve anything? Sorry protestors, but this ain’t gonna work. As I plodded through local traffic this morning (thank you protestors) my sympathy and support went down every time I looked at the clock to see how late I was going to be for my appointment. It is time for everyone to grow up. Go back to work, get on with your lives, and think about other ways where you can actually bring about meaningful changes.

Israel is a democracy, and as we have done many times before and hopefully will do many times in the future, we choose our government leaders. Let’s remember that a majority of Israelis voted for the current government. If we do not like the direction in which the government is going, we have serious and meaningful options available for bringing changes. Blocking ambulances and hurting Israel’s already fragile economy is simply not the answer.

We have entered the summer months. This is Israel’s opportunity to welcome tourists and for our families to enjoy some needed time off down in Eilat or even out of the country. Let’s channel our frustrations to an appropriate outlet that doesn’t disrupt all of our lives. I am not minimizing the opposition to the government’s current plan. There are major issues that need to be addressed and solved. The response though is not working and is causing more harm than good. It is time to try a different approach.

About the Author
Aryeh Eisenberg is the CEO and General Manager of Edu-Together, an online education technology provider for schools and individuals. Based in Israel, Edu-Together works with students all over the world.
Related Topics
Related Posts