The Only Thing That Works

At this stage, it’s become obvious that marches and demonstrations don’t work, or, if they do work, the result is the awareness of the protesters, not the actions, such as they are, of the governing coalition, and this means that it’s time to think of one final step, the thing that does work or did, historically, in other countries and other times. Why is no one mentioning a strike? Am I the only one who has this strange idea that a strike by workers in the private sector combined with one by teachers and/or transportation workers, is the only thing that can stop the impending reform from transforming Israel into something we don’t want it to be?

I live in the US, and therefore anyone telling me to shut up and mind my own business will be absolutely justified, but watching the events unfold from a distance has the advantage of seeing things that might not be visible closeup. If my words are rendered less effective by my not living there, I hope someone else – someone who is there – will say it. While I admire the courage and the sheer energy of the protestors, it’s painfully clear that something else has to be done to stop the government from undermining the power of the court, and that thing, that something else, the only thing that can stop them in their tracks, is a strike. There is not much time left, as the coalition is pushing the reasonableness bill, and every day matters. The main thing is to act and to act fast.

If hundreds of thousands could participate in protest marches despite plenty of obstacles, which include (but are not limited to) extreme heat, I have no doubt the same hundreds of thousands can participate in a strike – one day, two days, three, for as long as it takes to defeat the plans of the coalition and make it shelve the judicial reform. True, some people might lose their jobs, which is not something I wish on anyone, but if a CEO is on the side of the strikers, it will not happen. The whole nation can follow the example of the reserve officers refusing to show up for reserve duty.

Really, it’s the only thing to do at this point; everything else has been tried, There’s no other way. C’mon, guys and gals, do it! Behatslah’a!

About the Author
Nina Kossman, born in Moscow, is a bilingual poet, memoirist, playwright, translator of Russian poetry, and artist. She lives in New York where she edits EastWest Literary Forum, a bilingual literary magazine in English and Russian.
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