Protest Mobilizations at the Beginning of the 21st Century: J14 as Part of a New Global Cycle of Protest

Monday, July 14, 2014: 1:15 PM
Room: 501
Oral Presentation
Tova BENSKI , College of Management Studies, Tel Aviv, Israel
In the aftermath of Arab spring, throughout Israel there were massive protest, indeed, on a per capital basis, the “cottage cheese” revolt, or J14 (June 14), can be seen as part of the Global cycle of protest. According to Schechter (2012) three phases of the Israeli J14 can be identified:  1) The public phase, 2, Immediate Post – tent city phase, and 3) Long lasting projects born out of the protests. Like many, if not most of these movements, the mobilizations were responses to neo liberal globalization, which has had adverse impacts on Israeli youth, especially rising costs of living.  But like many of these movements, they were not simply workers, or even socialist unions, but a wider range of actors, especially youth, not just seeking a better standard of living, but dignity, recognition of their humanity.  But did these movements have any impact?  Let us note that to gain the support of many, the occupation of Palestine, a huge drain on the economy was not made an issue.  But that said, the “success” of Lapid, limiting the “victory” of Netanyahu must be noted. While he remained in power, that power was weakened.   More recently, the likelihood of the USA and others to negotiate with Iran, and the growing discontent over the Palestinian issues, seem to have made a weakened Bibi more bellicose and intransigent than ever. Noting parallels with New Dawn in Greece and the Tea Party in the USA, which have been losing actual support, it might be suggested that while the movements of 2011/12 may not have resulted in short term change, or perhaps things even worsened, these movements have just been the opening shot in more long term progressive mobilizations.