There’s a long, dishonorable history of pro forma non-political associations that in fact were set up or propped up to serve political goals. Yet their propensities, purposes and patronage are cunningly masked in order to make their deployment more effective.
The upshot is that extremist programs are actually promoted within what are presented to public view as moderate frameworks. This wins greater support and adherence than would otherwise be the case. Even activists within these outfits are often bamboozled.
Yet no matter how clever the camouflage, there’ll invariably remain telltale clues to what really lies beneath. Intelligent citizens and news-consumers need seek out such hints and beware.
When a protest over high rents evolves into an all-encompassing clamor for “social justice,” odds are that it calculatingly conceals something so extensive, so ill-defined and hence so unattainable that non-satisfaction is a priori guaranteed. Nothing can possibly please these protest-orchestrators. All goodwill gestures will predictably fall short of their catch-all demands.
So when you see supposed hard-luck protesters, who pitiably cannot pay the rent, gesticulate mockingly as the prime minister makes them an offer – dismissing it before he finishes speaking, before hearing him out, before anyone has studied his numbers, read the spreadsheets, or done elementary arithmetic – you should understand that there’s no desire to gain anything specific, but to provoke and intensify discord.
The very insistence (subsequently dropped) on televised negotiations to better the nebulous lot of everybody (increased tax burdens for everybody notwithstanding) tells us the instigators’ aim isn’t to redress specific grievances, but to rake in propaganda capital. They aspire to look good rather than juggle figures (which is, alas, boring and not photogenic, but without which nothing can be accomplished).
Mega-doses of skepticism are mandated when equal-opportunity humanitarians fulminate against anathema settlers or observant Jews. Rightist tongue-in-cheek solidarity and facetious pseudo-support don’t diminish left-wing demagoguery, nor do occasional disingenuous make-nice overtures by the protesters toward their political bugbears, especially beyond the Green Line.
When the supposed champions of everyman march down city streets with red flags, this should instantly switch on every red light in our craniums – even if our consistently tendentious, left-dominated media choose not to notice.
Anyone who still doubts that the red flags are key, must pay attention to the pre-prepared placards, well-rehearsed anti-government mantras and those mass-produced Bibi masks donned by demonstrators shouting anti-Bibi slurs. There’s no mistaking the dishonorable hallmarks of anarchist agitation at the behest of far-out left-wing goals.
For those unsure of how this works, here’s a short glossary of helpful terminology:
• Front organization – used as a shill by others, by significant behind-the-scenes paymasters who prefer to obscure the front’s provenance to facilitate its exploitation as a tool for recruitment. This tactic, a communist favorite, spawned fronts like the World Federation of Democratic Youth, the International Union of Students, the World Federation of Trade Unions, the Women’s International Democratic Federation and the World Peace Council, to name but a few.
Fronts typically proliferated where Marxist Parties struggled to grab clout. They rendered radical dogma more palatable to non-Marxists and helped mobilize them to carry out tasks for purposes they couldn’t readily evaluate.
• The affinity group is an activist assemblage that appears non-hierarchical and decentralized, based on common philosophies and concerns – like animal rights, the environment, anti-war and anti-globalization. These coteries constitute ideal targets for manipulation by fronts.
• The mass movement – a front organization variant, promoted as the vox populi to denote broad public backing. Historically this oftentimes involved organizations that were not originally communist-controlled but that later became so. Most members are blissfully unaware of ties that bind them to other associations and never suspect anything subversive or nefarious. The object is to lend the impression of an authentic grassroots upsurge.
• Astroturf – Borrowing its name from a synthetic-grass brand, this is a political technique to simulate grassroots gusto and imply a spontaneous groundswell of opinion as distinct from politics overseen by traditional power structures. In reality, however, the agenda and strategy are directed by hidden financiers and stage-managers. Individuals seemingly voicing heartfelt indignation are indispensable to the spectacle – sometimes also known as “rent-a-crowd.”
• The useful idiot – an old communist term of disputable origin but still eminently relevant. Useful idiots play vital roles in the above-listed fronts. In USSR parlance, the useful idiot was a credulous, well-meaning dupe who, while not a communist, was converted to creeds that conveniently enabled communists. Inevitably, too much misguided naïveté and a desire to be a force for good led gullible, sincere saps to unwittingly support malignant causes.
There are several idiot sub-categories:
• The fellow traveler – a person who identifies with the clichés of an organization or assists its activities without maintaining formal membership in it. Originally Bolsheviks applied the moniker to writers and artists sympathetic to the Revolution’s goals but not card-carrying communists. Fellow travelers flaunted unmistakable inclinations, partook in communist- sponsored events, contributed to communist crusades, published pro-communist commentaries or wrote for communist journals and fought alongside the communists.
• Salon communist – a.k.a., the chattering classes, coffee shop revolutionaries and latte liberals. These diverse classifications focus on leftists who enjoy a degree of affluence, benefitted from educational opportunities and cultivated fondness for the finer things in life. Americans know them as limousine liberals, the British as champagne socialists, and Australians as chardonnay socialists, while the Italians talk of radical chic and the French of caviar gauche. The Petit Larousse dictionary defines “left caviar” as “progressivism combined with a taste for society life and its accoutrements.”
• Anarchist – In truth, this loose category defies precise definition because of its bewildering array of types and beliefs. Suffice it to say that many anarchists evince very pronounced left-wing orientations, squawk about social justice and, despite claims to the contrary, hardly oppose aggression – even terror – and propaganda.
Anarchism’s latter-day offshoots are bizarre hodgepodges of counterculture fanatics, squatter cheerleaders, anti-globalization, anti-global-warming and, of course, anti-Zionist zealots. Modern anarchists, partial to presumably decentralized technologies like the Internet, fomented riots against World Trade Organization, Group of Eight, and World Economic Forum conferences.
The entire aforementioned catalogue of political disguises unequivocally features in the current Tel Aviv “social insurrection” hullabaloo. When a protest about rents deteriorates into a demonstration to bring down the government, loud warning bells need be sounded and in a hurry.
The government’s identity should be immaterial to genuine protesters. Obviously Binyamin Netanyahu didn’t singlehandedly create all of Israel’s socioeconomic woes. Demands can be addressed to him, but ad hominem invective tips us off to another underlying and not-so-innocent agenda.
It shouldn’t take uncommon acuity to discern sly (though expectedly denied) ploys by astroturfing front organizations and assorted useful idiots to overturn the results of a democratic election by nondemocratic means – even if packaged as grassroots discontent.
A crafty covert campaign to countermand the voters’ wishes should outrage anyone who still sincerely cherishes values represented by the ballot box. Trendy cynicism mustn’t override the basics, which include respect for the people’s verdict.
This is the first of two parts.
Thanks for this excellent, educational article. But it should be remember that these strategies are certainly as old as human communication and complex societies. The Nazis didn’t call themselves “National Socialists” for nothing. They were neither nationalist nor socialist.
Dear Sarah: I fear the day you won’t be around any more to be the watchful eye to uncover the hidden truths in what is going on in the world around you. From afar I watch the events as they unfold in Israel and shudder to think of this aforementioned day. You and a few more of your counterparts of the written word in Israel are all that stand between success and a good future for Israel or a disasterous failure for Israel from these deeply subversive and disguised organizations and beliefs and utter chaos they advocate in the only stable government in the entire Middle East. They use any means available to them to captivate the minds in this unthinking world we now live in to gain their positions. Hang in there. There are many, many of us that can’t wait to see new revelations from your mind and the written magic of your pen/keyboard. We support you and hail you for your work.
It seems as though we are held in thrall by thrill-seekers who see no further than their own noses.
This is so on target that I can’t, but must wait for the second part.
Sarah, I’m not fluent in Yiddish, but “zei mir gezunt”!
“dismissing it before he finishes speaking, before hearing him out, before anyone has studied his numbers, read the spreadsheets, or done elementary arithmetic[…]They aspire to look good rather than juggle figures”
To paraphrase Marshal McCluhan, adding a touch of Ayn Rand, the protest IS the goal. They do not aim to work or govern or lead or create; their goal in these “debates” (ha! ever debate one without blood streaming from your ears within 5 mins?!) is ALWAYS to fight, protest, destroy, revolt, etc. (Or, you just get elected the President of the USA…) Never, ever do they have to do what Bibi tries to do: sort out a problem with real-world solutions. Or are we supposed to gloss over the red, metallic, smashing fist in all Socialist iconography??
Oh, please! Like all of a sudden, the Average Jane mum shopping for milk & cheese has suddenly woken up with all these concepts from “social justice” seminars! It’s so phony. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t for a minute defend ANY form of cartel, protectionism or other anti-free market systems. But there’s so much more to this than (rightly) aggrieved shoppers.
It emanates from academia in general: the notion that “social justice” advocates somehow produce “objective,” “neutral,” “apolitical” research is a cynical oxymoron. Such journals (you know, the academic tomes with 200 readers paid for by the very tax-paying businessfolk under attack in these journals…) make the “mainstream media” error of seeing their perspective as “neutral,” thus lambasting anything to the right of them. They never look in the mirror. The whole notion of “social justice” is, and will forever be, biased towards Marxism, Critical Theory, etc. Sure, Chomsky never said he wrote objective, neutral history and politics!!
Dear Sarah, Thank you for this article. People do not know what they are supporting. Do you write books as well? I think your Books would be NYTimes Best sellers here (USA). As you have said so well, “The People” are being duped by Marxists using the word, Democratic, in slogans and organization titles. I hope the tide will turn now, with the UK riots, Geert Welders trial, and the regection of the Burka in Belgium and France. People who do not blog, but love books and book stores, need to read your work. You explain the reality of what is taking place so well, as a natural teacher does. Heaven Bless you. Ann Rosen
Protest being the goal is not necessarily a bad thing. There certainly is plenty to protest about. Perhaps the protesters are misguided a bit, but there SHOULD be a major uprising against the cleptocracy that has taken over the nation. Over 40% if the wealth is controlled by 20 families. These are no different than the oligarchs in Russia, and are incestuously connected to the government, contributing to ongoing corruption of one cadence after the next.
If you understand Hebrew, you might be interested in the documentary שיטת השקשוקה – found at http://blip.tv/selfhonesty/episode-2417025
about the insidious power the Ofer brothers yield in Israel. It might raise your blood pressure.
Soros will solve that problem no?
This national social diversion Israel is under from could become too a great temptation for Assad and his cronies to the east to pass up ?
With the great majority of Israel distracted with introspection of the lint ball in their navel this creates more of a temptation for her crafty,desperate neighbors.
It sure gets more appealing to Syria’s Assad every day as his citizens now openly call for his execution.
War -What a way for him to go out and get revenge on his people and Israel at the same time.
What better way to unite the fractured,deeply divided Arab/Islamic nations busy with internecine fighting among themselves than an attack on Israel to defend the ‘rights’ of fellow jihad,the front line Jihad Army,Fatah/Hamas,aka the Palestinians.
Israel needs to get off the tainted false peace mothers milk of her mama, America and get her eyes off her navel, and get ready for the possible mother of all months,September.
Your article should be translated into Hebrew and publicized in all the social media, perhaps passing out pamphlets to the ohel dupes and any news groups that would dare to print it.
I am a faithful reader of yours. Regarding these protesters, I have seen in photo after photo, not to mention in the tent sites themselves that almost ALL the tents are the same nice NEW popup styles. Someone or some organizations has provided all these identical tents. It would be very nice to know who those benefactors are who purchased 1000s of tents.
Thank you for this informative panoramic scan of of the methods and agendas of the protagonists behind the protests. Except for actual violence (so far at least), they are not much different from rioters in London, or Madison, Wisconsin back in March, for that matter. While shoppers and tenants in Tel-Aviv might indeed have legitimate concerns about the cost of living and housing, only organizations with the methods, agendas, and clout as you have described, could conceivably advance the claim, and with significant success, that a worker putting next to nothing in a retirement account, is entitled to cry foul when the gold-plated $1.3 Million pension he was promised is taken away by those duly elected by voters to govern.
For what it’s worth, here in the U.S., such players are in Congress, and for at least another 18 months or so (and possibly for another 48 after that), in the White House.
Thanks for another great article. I look forward to them each week in the JPost.
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Well done Sarah
THe silent majority are the cause of so much malaise in Israel – they don’t know when to speak out against the reds under the bed inspired media.
At least I know I am not alone.in my views. One problem is that lots of Olim from the West accept everything and have no idea of the early days as so accurately illustrated in the Part II that appeared last Friday.