The cancellation of the major demonstration last Saturday (the 19th since the beginning of the Judicial reform) presented an unexpected opportunity for civil organizations, and segments of society which are normally quite marginalized, not only in Kaplan but in the public arena.
That was the reason why it was important for me to attend the demonstration, and to stand in solidarity with activists who deal with the reality of occupation on a daily basis and try to tell us that there is no democracy with occupation, and with the women whose public standing has begun to deteriorate even before January 4th, due to ongoing devaluation, a drastic decrease in their representation in key positions and decision-making positions in the current government, and in their gradual but consistent exclusion from the public sphere.
So last Saturday, it was almost a rerun of the first grassroots demonstration on January 8th. At the time we heard that behind the scenes there had been conflicts and difficult arguments between the organizers from the different factions who participated in the protest. But those who were there didn’t notice and didn’t care. What most of us saw was an exciting march of different civil organizations, led by public leaders with various signs and flags (yes, we did see a few Palestinian flags) of all the organizations that came to protest against the attempt to make Israel a dictatorship.
I read in the newspaper that last week there was heightened tension between activists from the ideological left and the protest organizers. But again, this time too, it wasn’t noticeable on Kaplan, and I don’t think it really mattered to those who were there. We did not come to protest because we are part of the ideological left. Instead, like every week we were there with the Israeli flags out of concern for the fate of our country and a sincere desire to make sure it remains democratic. In addition, last Saturday we came to protest against the reality of another unnecessary war, against the attempt to politicize the tensed security situation, and against the fact that the government is trying to silence us with unsophisticated, almost cheap manipulations. The canceled demonstration was an important evening in Kaplan because it turned our attention to significant problems which are not discussed enough. For me it was an opportunity to give my little grandson, who was there with me, a lesson in Civics.