DON'T TELL anyone, but in many a demonstration, when we were standing and proclaiming our message of peace and justice, knowing that not a word about it would appear in the media, I secretly wished for the police to come and beat us up.
That would attract the media, who would convey our message to the general public -- which was, after all, the whole purpose of the exercise.
This happened last week.
REMEMBER DAPHNI LEEF? She was the young woman who could not pay her rent and put up a tent in Tel Aviv's central Rothschild Boulevard, starting a protest movement that in the end brought almost half a million people to a mass social protest.
Imitating Tahrir Square, their slogan was: "The people demand social justice!"
Like all of us, the powers that be were totally unprepared. Faced with this new and threatening phenomenon, they did what politicians always do in such a situation: the government beat a sham retreat, appointed a committee, ceremoniously adopted its findings and then sat on its hands.
Since the end of last year's "Social Summer," next to nothing has changed. If there was any movement at all, it was for the worse. CEOs doubled their salaries, and the poorer became even less able to pay their rent.
At the end of the summer, the mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, nominally a member of the Labor Party, sent his "inspectors" to demolish the hundred tents in the Boulevard. The protest went into prolonged hibernation over the winter and good old "security" pushed "social justice" off the agenda.
Everyone expected the protest, like the sleeping beauty, to come to life again this summer. The question was: how?
NOW IT is happening. With the official beginning of summer, June 21, the protest started again.
There were no new ideas. Daphni and her friends obviously believed that the best way was to repeat last year's success in every detail.
They went back to Rothschild Boulevard, tried to put up their little tents and called upon the masses to join them.
But there was a huge difference between this year and the last: the element of surprise.
Every strategist knows that in war, surprise is half of victory. The same is true in political action.
Last year, the surprise was complete. Like the Egyptians crossing the Suez Canal on Yom Kippur 1973, Daphni and her friends surprised everyone, including themselves.