In 2011, the Israeli “chapter” of the Occupy movement began its activities with a huge rally in Tel Aviv, and went on to “occupy” Rothschild Boulevard for the next several months. The media was all for it, and so were the people. The causes were just, and there were many of them, and everyone believed a change was coming to the Israeli society. People felt they had had enough of corporations profiting at their expense. I warned back then that the protests would accomplish nothing because there was no unity among the protesters, and without unity, they were powerless against corporations and politicians. This is indeed what happened. A committee was announced, recommendations were drafted, but the citizens of Israel are exploited now as they have always been, if not more so.
But people seem to have short memories. These days, tents are up again on Rothschild Boulevard because Israelis are fed up with exploitation and abuse of power. And once again, the people are divided; their goals are manifold and budgets are given to those in power, who split them among the many parties that exist in Israel. When everyone pulls the blanket their own way, and the blanket is not big enough to cover everyone, it eventually tears and people are left with nothing.
Therefore, despite all the wealth of ingenuity, start-up companies, advanced technologies, innovative biotechnology and agriculture, and abundance of natural gas reserves, Israel will remain poor and weak. “The prime defense against calamity is love and unity. When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come over them,” writes the book Maor VaShemesh. Division is our only enemy. When we fight for different causes, we increase our separation and vie against each other. In such a state, we have lost before we have even begun.
If Israelis want to accomplish anything, they must first and foremost unite. Only if we make unity and solidarity our top priorities will we be able to prioritize our needs correctly. If each faction lays out its needs and challenges, and everyone discusses what to do and when, knowing that the primary goal is to enhance our unity, then all the problems will be solved in the right time and in the right way.
As long as we remain centered on our own needs, and this is the prevailing atmosphere in Israel, there is no reason why powerful people should not abuse the rest of us, if they only can. But if we unite, they will lose their desire to abuse; our unity will draw them in, and Israel will prosper.