What’s The Hebrew For Tea?

Aug 9 2011 @ 3:41pm

Exum compares two seemingly different mass movements:

In the United States, because the Republican Party refuses to ever raise taxes and the Democratic Party refused to cut entitlements, the only thing left to cut out of the budget was discretionary spending — especially defense spending. In Israel, the popular protests here have thus far declined to demand the government end its subsidies to the ultra-Orthodox or its investments in infrastructure in the Occupied Palestinian Territiories. The government, meanwhile, could not cut those subsidies and investments even if it wanted to without breaking apart its own coalition. The effect of all this is to put a squeeze on the one place the Israeli government can go looking for to find more money — the Ministry of Defense.

So in Israel and in the United States, the political effects of two very different movements has been to make people in the defense establishments of both countries very nervous. That alone makes these protests worth watching for anyone looking at long-term security developments in the Middle East.

Gregg Carlstrom flags an amazing poll – 88% of Israelis "endorse" the protestors! – and thinks through the implications for the occupation.