A few months ago, a Hebrew blog emerged entitled: "Sakhim, they are everywhere". the term "sakhi" is Hebrew slang derived from Arabic. It was originally used among consumers of canabbis to imply "sober": either someone who doesn't smoke or one who does, but isn't effected. "Sakhim" is its plural form.
In recent months the term came to be used otherwise. It now represents the mainsteam, bourgeois Israeli, as compared to the offbeat urbanite. On the "sakhim" blog, the sakhi is described as "the typical, politically correct Israeli, bereft of self awareness."
The anonnymous authors add that: "Sakhism can be percieved by the sakhi as something cool or just. The sakhi is mistaken. while innovative forces always seek to advance and broaden the barriers of the possible, sakhism will forever draw backwards and inwards, to the mainstream, to the common, to the avarage. Sakhism is not dependant on social status or ethnic origin and it appears in the 2010 Israeli sphere in various forms."
The sakhim blog, mainly showing Israelis making fools of themselves in weddings and other social gatherings, gathered some interest, especially from Tel-Aviv newspaper "Ha'ir" which dedicated two front page stories to what it perceived as a new social divide in the city, that between sakhim and "hipsterim", who seek more experimental lifestyles.
The attempt to paint sakhim as the ultimate conformists and the hipsters as their opposites failed, mainly because hipsters tend to be equally conformist, albeit within their narrower communities, as well as miserable fashion victims.
"Ha'ir" hoped to depict a contemporary version of the split which existed in 1960's Israeli society among the "salonim" and the "tnua". At the time, the salonim, who took on a rockn'roll lifestlye represented western influence on Israeli society, while the tnua kids stuck to the values and dress codes of the Zionist youth movements. Today, foreign influences are everywhere. Both sakhim and hipsterim are westernized, not to say Americanized. They're really not all that different.
Having realized this, I stopped reading the Sakhim blog and went back to concentrate on other things, until today this blog carried the following photo gallery, taken from the Facebook page of a young soldier girl, which was and still is open to the public. The caption on top runs: "Sakhim, the army service is the happiest time of their lives."
This is indeed the girl's heading for her photos: "My military service: The happiest time of my life :)". in two of the photos she is seen mocking blindfolded Palestinians. Such photos are nothing new, we've seen blindfolded Palestinians fed Matzas before and made to play other games. It's that innocence, that Sakhi spirit in which the photos are presented, that draws my attention.
Are hipsterim less prone to be cruel towards helpless individuals when given the chance? Are they more prone to make a big deal out of someone doing so? I wouldn't bet on it.
There are rare people, like the ones who author the sakhim blog, who are appaled by the state of our society and put the time into crying rage, and even they do so in a sardonic manner that signals an acceptance of the dark reality rather than a desire to change it. In action, we're all sakhim in one way or another. We are all of us children of the occupation.