The 2011 “social justice” protests in Israel over the price of apartments in overcrowded Tel Aviv and various other commodities captured global attention in a slow news cycle. Supposedly begun as a grass roots movement, the protest organizers had ties to established left-wing groups.
And now Hadash, one of Israel’s Jewish-Arab Communist backed parties, is taking credit for the protests.
The social-protest movement was the secret strategic project of Hadash (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality). What was previously denied is denied no longer: Khenin’s comrades were behind the almost-revolution that shook the country: They were the thinkers and organizers and responsible adults behind Daphni Leef and Stav Shafir and the tens of thousands they ostensibly led.
But because communists are serious people, they never cashed in, never spilled the beans to the media and never reaped political capital from the subversive mass movement they spearheaded.
Serious is code for professional. The people who actually plan things and then put up some front groups to take credit for it.
But Israeli Communists are as incapable of keeping their mouths shut, as the rest of the political establishment, and so they waited a whole year or so before spilling the beans to Haaretz, the media organ of the defunct left.
Dov (Khenin) and Sharon (Shahaf) and Alon (Green) tell me about how they did what they did so that the people, whom the government is against, would rise up against it.
Many years ago, Khenin and I belonged to an ephemeral student movement that fought for a just society. We were right. We saw the faults of sweeping privatization and the dangers of a polarized class society in which 1 percent gets rich and 99 percent are trampled.
There are no further details beyond that, but the overlap in timing between the Tel Aviv protests and Occupy Wall Street suggest that there was a larger program that had been worked out by the left, covertly, and put into motion in different countries. Some of that program was carried through, much of it was not.
Khenin and Haaretz suggest that everything was controlled behind the scenes. That much we know is true. Does Hadash really get all the credit or is it just trying to grab credit to escape its ongoing irrelevance? There’s no way to know.