The most tangible gain an Israeli protester can hope to win from the housing protests in Israel, is, well, a house (leave aside “intangibles” like political clout and minority rights, ok?). And the Israeli government is making concessions!
No, really! Don’t change the channel!
Has Netanyahu got a deal for you!
You want houses? Well, then, they’ll give you houses!
We have the 930 housing units (“they’re just the thing you need!”) in Har Homa I reported on earlier in the week, plus the 1,600 announced homes in Ramat Shlomo and 2,700 more pending in Givat Hamatos (2,000) and Pisgat Zeev (700) that Adam mentioned in his post earlier today (“we’re practically giving them away!”). And don’t forget the 294 new homes announced for Beitar Illit and Karnei Shomron at the very end of July.
And it’s all Israel’s for just three easy payments of US$185.33 million annually!
That’s 5,524 “concessions”* to the demonstrators in less than two weeks! These are tangible gains we are talking about here (the fine print: assuming you want to live in East Jerusalem – otherwise, you’ll have to put your name and a deposit down on a waiting list for that Haifa co-op you’ve been eying).
“But wait, there’s more!” Netanyahu will also negotiate with the protesters over the cost of living in Israel! Such beneficence! And don’t think for a second that 5,524 is the limit. Oh no, at a minimum, we have at least 1,500 more in stock for this season!
Will the protesters soon have guns or butter moment and say to themselves “Hey, you know what? The cost of the Occupation is an indirect tax digging into our pocketbooks, and it’s a moral tax on Israel’s image, too. Maybe these 5,524concessions* are actually symptomatic of the problem! This isn’t a solution! This is a cop-out!” Is Bibi on the ropes?
Netanyahu, like an American infomercial host, knows exactly what kind of snake oil he’s selling. Beyond Tent 1948 and its environs, several hundred thousand pigeons are either happily snapping up the crumbs the PM is tossing them, or are too skittish to shy away from him and disrupt the flock.
*This figure does not include indirect concessions, such as the roughly 400 home demolitions that have taken place just this year in the West Bank.