Does anyone hear us? In a protest demonstration facing shut opaque windows, you never know. Still, two demonstrators waving the Israeli flag at my face turned to me last night, in the demonstration opposite the American Embassy. Both of them, each separately, claimed repeatedly as in all our demonstrations, that protesting the occupation disturbs the great protest against the judiciary reform, and this is not the right time. The two, a young man and after him an older woman, listened to my response.
I tried to explain that the dictatorship is already here. It has been exercised in the Occupied Territories for quite a while and even more severely by the present evil government, but it is here. And a policeman on horseback who run over a 72-years-old demonstrator at the Azrieli Junction, is blatant evidence of this. All the criminal practices are already imported into the heart of Tel Aviv from the Occupied Territories, and have already rotted the ruling apparatuses. That’s why there is no one on whom we might rely and that is why we are fighting the same thing.
The young man stopped saying he didn’t agree, and finally fell silent. He seemed to be thinking about what I said. The woman said to me as we finished: “You’ve convinced me.”
There was a lot of noise all around, megaphones and zamburahs and the noise of buses on the narrow Ha-Yarkon Street – and the damp Tel Aviv summer air did not make things any easier for any of us, but the crowd mixed and for a moment a crack was opened, some kind of initial understanding on the part of those fighting for democracy for the Jews alone.
Even if Palestinian hardship will not touch the hearts of the people waving the blue-and-white Israeli flag, their own distress facing the authorities is already obvious. They will no longer be able to ignore it.