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Rising Up in Israel

Netanyahu surely hopes that by the time elections take place the paramount concern of most Israelis will once again be bitachon—security. But if the protests this summer proved nothing else, it’s that many citizens are no longer waiting for elections to air their grievances or for their leaders to tell them what is important. When Knesset members dropped by the tents this summer to express their (belated) support, the reaction was cool. When the protesters were advised to go home after the violence in August, they refused, not because they didn’t care about security but because the word carried a different meaning to them. “If we don’t have health care, education, housing, a welfare system, we’ll never have security,” Stav Shafir said. “You need to have a strong society to have security, and right now our society is very weak.”

—October 25, 2011

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