The social protests in Tel Aviv allowed the left to return to its roots as class warriors. Among other things it was a test bed for Occupy Wall Street, which adopted a similar strategy of mobilizing bored students to camp out in public in urban areas and shout slogans about the rich and the government. But if the Tel Aviv campouts made thematic sense as a protest against housing issues, the same tactic adopted by Occupy Wall Street made no particular sense as the movement had not actually managed to coherently focus on housing. But the Tel Aviv protests helped create a conceptual bridge between the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street.
While the social protests are still going in Israel, and Daphne Leef is still desperately trying to get someone besides the media to pay attention to her, the movement never recovered from the return of Gilad Shalit. The heavy involvement of the media in creating momentum for the protests could not be sustained in the wake of the return of Israel’s most famous cause célèbre. However the left has done the next best thing by recruiting Gilad Shalit’s father to run for a seat in the Labor Party list.
As summer turned to fall and then winter, class warfare campouts had to give way to something else. Israeli winters are not terribly cold, but you wouldn’t want to be sitting in a tent in Kings of Israel Square right now, with the temperature below 50 and the rain coming down. It’s much more comfortable in a bus.
Religious warfare followed class warfare as the next phase of the NIF’s manufactured conflict. It was an effective strategy because it divided groups within the conservative coalition government, splitting apart Religious Zionist, Russian and Ultra-Orthodox Parties. Simply causing chaos wasn’t enough. The strategy was to gain a foothold in conservative communities.
It’s no coincidence that Tanya Rosenblit is the daughter of Russian immigrants or that the Beit Shemesh clashes between Religious Zionist and Ultra-Orthodox communities fighting over which of them has the right to an area school building are conveniently situated to embed NIF activists within those communities into the breach.
The NIF’s support for terrorists and hostility to Israel makes it persona non grata in those communities. But its NGO’s composed of local activists can go where the NIF itself can’t. On one video, Rachel Liel discussed the NIF’s new strategy of going beyond creating conflict and adding “voices from within the community” who can speak the language. This strategy of infiltration is vital to the rebirth of the Israeli left which has become too dogmatically inbred and too hostile to the survival of the country to be able to connect with the larger public.
An organization whose local head was quoted as saying that Israel will disappear and be replaced by an Arab state, is not likely to gain much currency among groups who have rejected the left for exactly that attitude. To create the Left 2.0 that is of so much concern to Labor strategists, those groups have to be taken over from within, their dialogue hijacked and their communities radicalized through conflict and confrontation. Through the social chaos and radical activism promoted and funded by the NIF and George Soros.
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