Israeli protests continuing

This video is called Israel Protests: Over 250,000 join biggest anti-government rally in Tel Aviv.

By Jean Shaoul:

Protests over social conditions continue in Israel

10 August 2011

Benyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, faces his biggest political crisis since taking power more than two years ago, as protests continue following last Saturday’s demonstrations. More than a quarter of a million people took to the streets Saturday to protest the soaring cost of living, and thousands protesting high housing costs are continuing to camp out in tent cities in Israel’s major cities.

The protest organizers, mainly young people, have called for a million-person march in 50 cities across the country on September 3.

In Tel Aviv, the economic heart of the country, hundreds of pensioners rallied outside the city government on Monday, demanding the government lower medicine costs, cancel value-added taxes on basic necessities, and prevent a cut in their pensions. Gideon Ben Yisrael, the head of the pensioners’ union, told Ha’aretz that the pensioners identified with the nation-wide social struggle against housing costs and the cost of living, but were also demanding solutions to their problems.

Dozens of non-profit and social organizations are to hold an emergency conference to formulate their recommendations to the Dialogue Committee set up by Netanyahu last weekend, under the leadership of Israeli economist Manuel Trajtenberg.

Netanyahu’s coalition government, the most right-wing in Israel’s history, is incapable of addressing the social grievances of the Israeli people. He has refused to meet with the protesters personally, instead delegating the task of “listening” to the Dialogue Committee.

See also here.

Protests Force Israel to Confront Wealth Gap: here.

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis protest rising prices while Israeli Palestinian citizens organize for equality: here.

At least 75,000 Israelis took to the streets Saturday in 15 cities nationwide to protest high living costs and the domination of the Israeli economy by a handful of billionaires: here.

Israel has locked up a Palestinian Al-Jazeera journalist without charge, the Qatari news agency and the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said on Monday: here.

Someone in the wild Sinai peninsula took a decision and sent a big, well equipped squad to infiltrate across the border into the Israeli Negev, attack buses and cars and engage in running battles with soldiers and shoot and kill and kill indiscriminately. And presto, in one minute the agenda changed and the public mood changed into a state of emergency and war at the gate and in all communications media there was no more talk of social protests, nothing but terrorism and army and security issues: here.

The lack of popular interest in the Constituent Assembly elections is a devastating verdict on the Tunisian Transitional Government’s attempts to give itself a veneer of pseudo-democratic legitimacy: here.

6 thoughts on “Israeli protests continuing

  1. Press Release 11/08/11

    Uri Avnery on East Jerusalem construction plans: “Government heats up the political scene instead of dealing with social protest”

    Following the approval of construction program at the Ramat Shlomo Neighborhood in East Jerusalem, former Knesset Member Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom activist, says:
    “The government heats up the political scene instead of dealing with the wave of social protest and the tent encampments springing up throughout the country. Economic hardships brought the youngsters out into the streets and exposed the true face of the Netanyahu Government, which does not serve the voters but only the tycoons. Construction in East Jerusalem will benefit only to the favored ultra-Orthodox community, in stark contrast to demand of universal social justice, affordable housing for all. Not only will this act make even harder to renew any kind of diplomatic process, but it may well provoke a reaction by the Palestinians. In the present Israeli political climate, this might well be precisely what the government desperately hopes for – distracting citizens from their real concerns, and steering them back to preoccupation with primordial fears. Netanyahu continues avoid finding real peace solutions ? either domestically or with the Palestinians ? his real concern being to keep his seat, at the expense of all of us. ”

    Contact: Adam Keller 054-2340749



    Tent 1948
    by Abir Kopty on August 6, 2011

    – – – – – – – –
    ‘I want to speak about occupation, I want to speak about discrimination and racism, I want to put everything on the table, and I want to speak about them in the heart of Tel Aviv. Social justice can’t be divided or categorized. If it is not justice to all including all Palestinians, then it is a fake justice, elite justice or “Justice for Jews only” exactly as the Israeli democracy functions “for Jews only”.’
    – – – – – – – –

    If you are Palestinian, it will be difficult to find anything to identify with in Tel Aviv’s tents’ city on Rothschild Boulevard, until you reach Tent 1948. My first tour there was a few days ago, when I decided to join Tent 1948. Tent 1948’s main message is that social justice should be for all. It brings together Jewish and Palestinian citizens who believe in shared sovereignty in the state of all its citizens.

    For me, as a Palestinian, I don’t feel part of the July 14 movement, and I’m not there because I feel part. Almost every corner of this encampment reminds me that this place does not want me. My first tour there was pretty depressing, I found lots of Israeli flags, a man giving a lecture to youth about his memories from ’48 war’ from a Zionist perspective, another group marching with signs calling for the release of Gilad Shalit, another singing Zionist songs. This is certainly not a place that the 20% of the population would feel they belong to. The second day I found Ronen Shuval, from Im Tirtzu, the extreme right wing organization, giving a talk full of incitement and hatred to the left and human rights organizations. Settlers already set a tent and were dancing with joy.

    The existence of Tent 1948 in the encampment constitutes a challenge to people taking part in the July 14 movement. In the first few days, the tent was attacked by group of rightwing activists, who beat activists in the tent and broke down the Palestinian flag of the tent. Some of the leaders of the July 14 movement have said clearly that raising core issues related to Palestinian community in Israel or the occupation will make the struggle “lose momentum”. They often said the struggle is social, not political, as if there was a difference. They are afraid of losing supporters if they make Palestinian issues bold.

    The truth is that this is the truth.

    The truth is, this is exactly what might help Netanyahu, if he presses the button of fear, recreates the ‘enemy’ and reproduce the ‘security threat’, he might be able to silence this movement. The problem is not with Netanyahu, he is not the first Israeli leader to rely on this. The main problem is that Israelis are not ready yet to see beyond the walls surrounding them.

    Yet, one has to admit, something is happening, Israelis are awakening. There is a process; people are coming together, discussing issues. The General Assembly of the encampment decided on Friday that it will not accept any racist messages among its participants. Even to Tent 1948 many Israelis arrived, read the flyers, listened to what Tent 1948 represent and discussed calmly. Perhaps if I was a Jewish Israeli I will be proud of the July 14 movement. But, I am not a Jew, I am not Zionist, I am Palestinian.

    I don’t want to beatify the reality, or hide anything for the sake of ‘tactics’ and I will not accept crumbs. I want to speak about historical justice, I want to speak about occupation, I want to speak about discrimination and racism, I want to put everything on the table, and I want to speak about them in the heart of Tel Aviv.

    Social justice can’t be divided or categorized. If it is not justice to all including all Palestinians, then it is a fake justice, elite justice or “Justice for Jews only” exactly as the Israeli democracy functions “for Jews only”. July 14 is a great opportunity for Israelis to refuse to allow their state to continue to drown into an apartheid regime.

    Abir Kopty blogs here. Follow her twitter feed @abirkopty. A media analyst and consultant and political activist, she is a former city council member in Nazareth & former spokeswoman for Mossawa, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel.


  3. Tel Aviv ships in repression tools

    ISRAEL: Horses, water cannon, tear-gas launchers and a nauseating noise machine are being imported to control crowds at rallies planned next month in support of the Palestinian Authority (PA) bid for UN recognition of a state of Palestine on 1967 borders.

    Palestinians are planning mass demonstrations under the slogan “The People Want the End of Occupation — The People Want Independence” across the West Bank and abroad to coincide with the September UN general assembly session.

    The Netanyahu administration said that it feared that a violent incident could trigger mass unrest but the PA has said that it has taken steps to ensure that the rallies are peaceful and avoid confrontations with Israeli soldiers.


  4. Protests hit streets for fourth week

    Israel: Tens of thousands of people poured onto the streets of towns across the country on Saturday for a fourth consecutive week of protests against the soaring cost of living.

    Addressing protesters in Afula, National Union of Students chairman Itzik Shmuli said: “The joint pain that we are protesting encompasses Jews and Arabs, secular and religious, left and right.

    “The cost of living hits us all and makes a sharp distinction between those who live here and those trying to live here.

    “We are ready for a long and protracted struggle.”


  5. Pingback: Israelis say Netanyahu, resign | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Israelis demonstrate for peace, against Netanyahu | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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