I’m a bit confused.
I always understood that the point of a general strike was to send a message to the authorities that their behavior or policies are not acceptable.
For example, in theory, when the government bodies are not providing proper salary benefits or working conditions to municipality workers, the workers go on strike. As a result, the general public suffers major inconvenience and hardship, they complain to those in power for causing the workers to strike and that pressure is meant to, hopefully forcing the authorities to correct their policies and end the strike.
At least, that’s the theory.
Tomorrow, many municipalities across Israel, including my town of Modi’in, are planning a general strike - ostensibly to show solidarity with the general public and to protest the high cost of water set by the Israeli Government, the Water Corporation and the Water Authority.
Now, call me crazy, but the idea of municipalities protesting the hardships placed upon the citizens by the national government by adding the hardships of no city services seems more than a little bit screwed up to me.
To their credit, the municipalities in both Jerusalem and Haifa are not participating in the strike. As the official statement form the Jerusalem mayor’s office said “… one cannot strike the capital city, where residents suffer daily from disruptions, stoppages and various incidents…The mayor is interested in minimizing the suffering of the citizens."
For all the good or bad that Jerusalemites can say about Mayor Nir Barkat, this particular statement makes a lot more sense than that of the Modi’in municipality, which basically tooted the horn of our Mayor Bibas as “one of the leaders of the struggle on the topic of the water”.
No mention about how this municipal strike is supposed to help bring down the cost of water, and of course no mention either about the additional inconvenience this strike will cause us, his constituents, the people whose interests he claims to be fighting for by depriving us of the municipal services tomorrow.
Bad enough that our water prices are rising, but on top of that we have to suffer a general strike from the municipality? What am I missing here?
So, maybe it’s just my own twisted sense of logic, but I can’t help but to see tomorrow’s strike as a waste of city resources that will accomplish nothing more than allowing us to suffer the same pain in the ass that most of the country gets to deal with tomorrow.