Social injustice by popular demand

Time has come to say these things loud and clear: I do not have the slightest shred of sympathy for the bearers of slogans like “social justice,” “equality in the burden” and other such utterances from the Zionist workshop and its ilk.

Salman Masalha ||
Social injustice by popular demand

It has been decreed, we are told, that we must pay the salaries of the cabinet ministers, the deputy ministers, the Knesset members, the council heads and the last of the parasites who run our lives, as well as the price of the luxury cars they drive. And that is not all. It has been decreed, by all the above-mentioned functionaries, that we must also pay for the tax breaks granted to corporations, tycoons and all kinds of people with very large bank accounts and very sharp elbows in the corridors of government.

“There are no free lunches.” The prime minister tossed this slogan into the air as a teaser for the new economic decrees. The hand of the self-satisfied Israeli refusal front government is still outstretched to decree the fates of citizens in the near future. There are no free lunches, asserted the man who certainly knows what he is talking about, yet it is very strange that this slogan is issuing from the mouth of a man about whose payment morality for all kinds of free lunches at restaurants much has been said.

It’s not political, the pullers of the social protest strings have declared repeatedly. “The new Israelis” is what some have called the people who took to the streets. But this protest has given rise neither to Israelis not to anything new, but rather to old-time Jews and new Zionists with seasoned shticks. They fled from “the political” so they could all gather together, the settler from Hebron with the harasser from Migron, the slacker from Rishon Lezion with the “homeless” from north Tel Aviv and along with them the lands robber looking out over the natives in the Upper and Lower Galilee. This is the face of the so-called “Israeli” social protest.

These professional protest activists are demanding nothing just and nothing social. Indeed, if it is justice they are seeking, then why does this justice stop inside what is called the Green Line and also the Blue Line, the Jewish line? And if it is something social they want to awaken, then would they please be so kind to explain to an ignoramus like myself for exactly what Israeli society, if indeed any such animal exists, they are seeking justice.

Social justice cannot go hand in hand with the continuation of the Israeli occupation. Justice cannot go hand in hand with the Israelis’ continued harassment of an entire people. Anyone who divorces the demand for social justice from the need for an immediate end to the occupation is an active collaborator with the occupation.

And there is more. Social justice does not go along with the inbuilt discrimination against Israel’s Arab citizens and against the Arab locales in the land of the Green Line. Therefore it must be clearly and unambiguously said that as long as there is not an explicit demand for ending the occupation on the one hand and on the other for total social and civil equality in Israel, equality that consists of equal rights and obligations for all citizens regardless of ethnicity, religion, race and sex – nothing good will come of one sort of protest or another, now or ever.

Therefore, the time has come to say these things loud and clear: I do not have the slightest shred of sympathy for the bearers of slogans like “social justice,” “equality in the burden” and other such utterances from the Zionist workshop and its ilk. As far as I am concerned the entire Israeli middle class can shatter into fragments and go to hell. I may add that this would not be any great comfort from the perspective of the lower classes in the cities, the villages, the outlying locales, the moshavs and the development towns who are crawling on all fours or sifting though garbage bins.

You are invited to eat your fill of this porridge called the legislature and the government, which you elect and cook up for yourselves time after time on Election Day, until the taxes and the decrees are coming out of all your pores. I have no sympathy for people who are not prepared to listen, not prepared to learn and not prepared to change their bad electoral habits.

You call yourselves a chosen people. You deserve this choice of yours.

Published: Haaretz-Opinions, August 5, 2012

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