BY RON JAGER—
As summer approaches here in Israel, the leaders of last years social protest movement have begun to get their supporters out en masse once again on Saturday nights and attempt to rejuvenate their supporter’s passion and demonstrate. The fact that Israel has weathered the economic crisis of the past 4 years better than almost all of the Western World, or that real estate levels have never been historically higher, or the fact that Israel has almost no unemployment has no relevancy to the leaders of Israel’s social protest movement this year. Protest they must.
Last summer, a spontaneous consumer campaign had moved the major food conglomerates to reduce the price of dairy products. Chairwoman Zehavit Cohen of Tnuva, a leading dairy in Israel stated then; “Today all manufacturers and chains in Israel are beginning a new era in their relationship with consumers. “We understand that cottage cheese symbolizes the public struggle and the public’s frustration over the cost of living and the rising food prices,”
However, the struggle over cottage cheese symbolized much more. It is well known here in Israel that the Leftist Elite is top heavy with corporate officers of company’s that were established by the Histadrut Union( the largest workers organization in Israel) and labor party officials having control over much of many of the leading industrial and financial corporations in Israel. One would think that conglomerates established by the “workers party” would look out for the interest of the working class, but this was not to be. The standing “gentleman’s agreement” that has quietly existed between the Leftist Elite, the heads of Israeli conglomerates, and of course the Histradrut unions have since the 1993 Oslo Agreements supported political initiatives that have made our lives in Israel an ongoing struggle, always forcing the Israeli public to deal with on-going terror, missile attacks, and two major wars resulting in the North and South of Israel being exposed to the daily threat of rocket attacks forcing over one million Israeli’s to be constantly pre-occupied with their own daily physical survival.
How can the average citizen in Israel be expected to be concerned with the petty issue of the price of cottage cheese when missiles and rockets are raining down on our heads. How can the average consumer keep tab of how rich the heads of conglomerates become by charging the Israeli consumer so much more for comparable products sold elsewhere in the world. Only today, after 19 years since the Oslo Agreement, can we begin to understand the convergence of interests by the Liberal Left, and Histadrut run corporations and their support of failing political “peace” agreements that have made our lives at times seemingly unbearable. They the leaders of corporate Israel can simply charge whatever they want. No one on a national level is really concerned with the cost of our standard of living; we are to busy being distracted by the latest terror attack, too busy rejoicing in being alive despite the latest “peace” initiative.
The Elitist Left in conjunction with the liberal media has succeeded in promoting political agreements despite them being damaging to the interests of the State of Israel. The Oslo Agreement in 1993, and the Disengagement from the Gaza Strip and destruction of Gush Katif in 2005 enabled the wealthy owners of corporate Israel to become even richer and in response they gave tacit support for political initiatives executed by the Left. The general public was forced to pay twice, once by paying for an outrageously spirally increase in our standard of living symbolized by the cottage cheese campaign, and secondly for peace agreements that have killed and wounded thousands of Israeli’s since 1993 when the Oslo agreement was implemented. The cottage cheese campaign has exposed to the general public that not only is the price of cheese exorbitant, but more so, that the price of peace is even more exorbitant and unjustified for the Israeli consumer.
However, this summer the social protest movement has taken an interesting twist exposing for all to see the hidden agenda of the social protect movement as demonstrated this past Saturday night in which hundreds hit the streets of Tel-Aviv to mark 45 years of “occupation” of the Palestinian Arab territories (known otherwise as Judea and Samaria). The claimed that social justice cannot be achieved as long as “millions of Palestinians are being oppressed”. Among the groups that took parts in the event were, the Coalition of Women for Peace, Yesh Gvul, Hadash and Balad, all extreme anti-Israel political organizations that promote a one-state solution premised on the destruction of Israel. Daphni Ganeni, a leader of the social protect movement from last year stated that she is taking part in the protest “because I oppose the occupation and the funding of the settlements.” She said that social justice is impossible “when my money is being used to fund settlements. It’s a joke blaming Strauss and Tnuva (Israeli dairy companies) when hundreds of apartments are being funded to compensate the settlers.”
Now it’s all clear, the price of cottage cheese is not a corporate decision; the high cost of living in Israel is not a result of paying double for comparable products elsewhere in the Western World, the reason that a sub-compact in Israel costs double that what it costs in Detroit according to the leaders of the social protect movement is because of apartments being constructed in Bet El and Shiloh. That’s like claiming that Obama is unable to get the national level of unemployment down below 8.2 % because Californian state voters turned down Democratic Governor Jerry Brown’s bill to add an extra $1 tax on cigarettes.
In the same manner that the “occupy” movement in America was created to distract voters attention from the failures of the Obama administration, the social protect movement in Israel was created to distract the public’s attention from the successes of the Netanyahu government. In both cases, the Liberal Left has nothing really to sell to the public outside of lies, and false accusations, anything to distract the public from the truth.
The writer, a 25-year veteran of the I.D.F., served as a field mental health officer. Prior to retiring in 2005, served as the Commander of the Central Psychiatric Military Clinic for Reserve Soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty, he provides consultancy services to NGO’s implementing Psycho trauma and Psycho.