Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement Monday night about suspending the judicial reform legislation, the “Struggle Against Dictatorship” organization announced shortly after his speech: “There is no removal – we continue the struggle! As long as the legislation continues and is not removed, we will be in the streets. This is another attempt to weaken the protest in order to enact a dictatorship.”
The announcement used the Hebrew word “genizah,” meaning to store away, meaning that as long as the coalition does not completely abandon its plan to revamp the judicial system – the troops would stay in the streets.
And so it appears that, maybe, Netanyahu has succeeded in dividing the opposition, although conquering may not be within reach yet. While National Camp Chairman MK Benny Gantz responded eagerly to the PM’s proposition and has already formed a team (led by former Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar) to go to the presidential residence to start negotiating; and Yesh Atid Chairman MK Yair Lapid is also on board, albeit more reluctantly or as a Trojan Horse – the anarchists, fueled by former PM Ehud Barak and the powers that fuel the “struggle,” continue to disrupt the country.
Netanyahu is betting that their fury and zealotry will alienate the majority of Israelis. Without the legitimacy of the two major opposition parties, it can be hoped that they would become little more than a nuisance.
Their tweets are beginning to sound shrill. They tweeted overnight Monday: “The announcements by the prime minister and his extremist partners are an admission of their intention to re-enact the dictatorship’s laws in the next session, thus harming the economy and the security of the country.”
In other words, those few thousand hardcore protesters mistrust not only Netanyahu and his coalition partners but also mistrust Gantz and possibly Lapid as well. They fear what every revolutionary is afraid of: that the fix is in, and the politicians would use their energy and faith to their ends. It’s an admirable sentiment, but to the average Israeli who still can’t be sure when he gets on Ayalon Highway that it would take him to work or back to his home without suddenly being stopped for hours by some protesters who ran down the overpass and invaded his highway – that’s no longer a legitimate protest, it is more like, well, anarchy.
This change in the national mood was already evident Monday night, after Netanyahu’s speech. The Tel Aviv police, which up to that moment had tolerated the demonstrators and allowed them to take over the highway for hours at a time (even as long as nine hours), suddenly lost their patience. After the speech, the police evacuated all the protestors on Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv. The protestors tried to break into the Ayalon Highway, and the police stopped them, this time using real force. And this time the police fired many stun grenades, at the protestors rushing down the highway exit and up at the Kaplan intersection. It was almost as if the Tel Aviv police were trying to impose law and order.
In addition to making everyday Israelis’ lives a little messier, the anarchists have announced that harassment teams are being assigned to coalition MKs and ministers. Claiming to possess “intelligence” about the movements of these elected officials, they promised unexpected meetings that would “paralyze and disrupt their routine and agenda.”
Tuesday will see a step up in the protest. “We will have a day of widespread paralysis throughout the country, which will be a step up from the previous days of resistance,” the protest headquarters announced.
Expect parades, attempts to block thoroughfares and intersections that will cause severe disruptions and heavy traffic congestion, as well as clashes between protesters and police and drivers who will get stuck in traffic, and right-wing activists who support the judicial reform.
On Wednesday, the anarchists are planning significant paralyzing events in various parts of the country in the morning and then they will go up to Jerusalem and hold a huge demonstration in front of the Knesset.
Protests are also planned for Thursday, but the organizers announced that at this stage they cannot reveal them.
And then they declared this: “In the face of the attempt to turn Israel into a dictatorship, millions will take to the streets and defend the State of Israel and the Declaration of Independence.”
There, at the point where they start hallucinating about millions in the streets, that’s where the first cracks are appearing. And that’s how you carry out a divide-and-conquer operation.