Israelis continue to protest for social justice. This past Saturday night, a demonstration took place in Tel Aviv once again opposing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government policies. Only that the protests became messy -- when a different group of demonstrators tried to take over the stage and shift the media and the public's attention to their causes, creating a type of feud between the two groups.
As it turns out, there are several camps within the protestors fighting for the general cause of social justice. And while it is natural for protest leaders to disagree on the format of the protests, the slogans, the posters, and even the content, this turn of events took the disagreement to a different level. A group claiming to represent the weaker and poorer segments of Israeli society barged the demonstration stage attacking the speakers, and accusing them of using the people's cry out for help in order to gain themselves some political power.
In addition to the well-known protest leaders that led the mass demonstrations last summer as well, the head of the newly formed "Atid" political party, Yair Lapid, spoke on Saturday night, and most likely, angered the additional group for what they perceive as politicizing the event. The rift grew stronger as the charging protesting group lashed out at the other for only fighting for the ultra-orthodox and Arab sectors of Israeli society to participate in civil service and duties, whereas they see the problem with the government's close ties to the wealthy and capitalist few.
The evening ended with a cry for alliance between all parties in order to push forward the significant issues at hand and attempt to influence the government.
"Netanyahu is probably watching from side and laughing," some of the protestors said, since according to them, this rift is only furthering everyone from attaining any one of their goals, and strengthening the Prime Minister's position.
Sivan Raviv, JN1, Israel.