J14 #2: Israel Social Protest Reaches New, Tragic Level of Intensity

Tonight, in the framework of Israel’s social protests– protests which were launched last year on July 14th (#J14) and have continued, smaller but in some ways more intensely, through this summer– in this context, a 46 year old man set himself on fire.

In a letter he wrote before attempting the form of protest made famous in recently in Tunisia, and before that, in The Western Context, in Vietnam, self-immolation, he wrote: “The State of Israel has stolen from me and robbed me, left me with nothing… I refuse to be homeless, this is why I am protesting. Against all the injustices done to me by the State, me and others like me.” [Full text of the letter here].

I don’t have much to say, except that I pray for a speedy and complete recovery for this protester, and I pray that this act will perhaps serve as a shock of a awakening for a society grown numb to injustices- not unlike most Western societies. Things here are, on one hand, quite comfortable for the privileged classes (of which I am part) and, on the other hand, really, really bad for those without privilege- for the poor, the dark, the ill, the foreign workers, the Palestinians, the refugees, for those oppressed by the State.

May this man heal, may this society heal, may this world heal.