Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Settler Movement demonstrating for "Regulation Bill"

Preparing posters for the demonstration


Here are some of the photos I took at this afternoon's demonstration. The national religious settler movement was demonstrating in favour of the REGULATION BILL the Knesset was supposed to vote for. 

Unfortunately not as many people as expected joined the demonstrations. Lets say that 1000 people were there but I guess that many other national religious Jews had to go to work and cannot just join a demonstration taking place in the middle of the day. 

The Ulpana people should have made much more publicity and instead only running a campaign in Hebrew also concentrated on English speakers. Handing out brochures in Hebrew and opening a facebook page in Hebrew is not enough. While running a protest, you have to work out a justification campaign in English too. A blog and / or website would be an additional idea ! Don't underestimate today's media world !

When I walked into the protest tent at around 11am this morning, some of the national religious protesters showed their doubt whether the haredi Knesset parties would join them. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef had ordered his SHASS party to vote against the bill but, in the end, the SHASS Knesset members just stayed away from the vote in order not to vote at all. The protesters foresaw this behaviour and didn't trust the Haredim although they would be anxious having them as protestors too. Someone said that SHASS may be too busy taking care of the TAL LAW ensuring young haredi Yeshiva students not to be drafted into the Israeli army. 

In the end, the bill failed but not only due to the haredi parties (SHASS and Yahadut HaTorah). Netanyahu's ministers, LIKUD members and coalition members got too afraid and didn't show any guts against the Prime Minister. They preferred to keep their positions and seats instead of standing up for our country. Why do we have to vote at all when Knesset members just care about themselves, their money and their position ? Including SHASS. Israel Eichler from Chassidut Belz, at least, had a reason for not supporting the settlers: Certain national religious Knesset members made a big fuss against Haredim in the past. The religious Zionist always bash Haredim when it comes to "joining the army".

Instead of being united, the religious parties fight each other and thus help Netanyahu. The bill could have changed the settlement situation into something more positive and legal but by rejecting the bill, everything just remains the same mess. Netanyahu won and all the other Knesset members (except for 22 of them showing courage) "shit their pants". Excuse my words !!!

The junction between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bank of Israel and the Supreme Court down to the Knesset was blocked by the national religious youth movement. However, the roads were not completely blocked, as the left - wing press is telling you. The youth only blocked the roads with posters as soon as the traffic lights turned RED for the cars. When the lights switched to GREEN, the youth immediately left the roads and let the cars pass.

Journalists are gathering. What I noticed was that various journalists were blocking the roads themselves while the youth movement did not. What the media was looking for were headlines and therefore, many times, it was them blocking the roads. Thus we could see what a journalist does for a headline.

Red light for the traffic: The youth blocked the road and protested

Green light for the cars: The youth left the road and let the traffic pass.

In the end, the police closed the road down to the Knesset. However, there was no need for the cops to interfere, as it was a peaceful demonstration.

Settlements disappear and Palestinians spread.

Inside the protest tent

Photos: Miriam Woelke

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