Big protests in Israel

This video is called New Israeli Revolution.

By Jean Shaoul:

Mass protests sweep Israel

29 July 2011

Thousands are taking to the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to protest the high cost of housing, despite Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s promises of reforms.

The rent protests began two weeks ago. Tent cities have sprung up across the country to highlight the housing shortage and extortionate rents. What started as a largely middle class protest in Tel Aviv’s smart Rothschild Boulevard has been taken up by the National Union of University Students, which set up tent cities involving local people and students throughout Israel.

The protests have won widespread support—from youth groups, representatives of the ultra-orthodox Haredi movement, women’s organizations, social workers who went on strike last spring, residents and doctors who have been on strike for weeks. There were reports that Bedouin tribesmen had joined the marchers in outlying towns. A poll by Ha’aretz showed that 87 percent of Israelis support the tent city protests.

Last Saturday, 40,000 mainly young people marched from the tent city on Rothschild Boulevard towards the Tel Aviv Museum in the biggest political rally seen in years. They chanted slogans such as “Proper housing, Legitimate prices”, “The power is with the citizen”, and “This generation demands housing”. Some of the marchers demanded Netanyahu’s resignation.

Speakers called for the government to intervene in the property market to bring down prices, introduce rent controls and require developers to include affordable housing in their construction plans. Scuffles broke out when police tried to forcibly remove hundreds of protesters from the intersection of Kaplan and Ibn Gvirol streets. Eleven face charges of “illegal gathering”.

Since 2008, the price of an average apartment has gone up by 55 percent and rent by 27 percent, far in excess of wage increases.

Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, successive governments—Labour, Likud or Kadima—encouraged Israelis to move to the settlements in the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights, rather than build in Israel. This led to a shortage of new affordable housing in the outlying areas and an increase in prices and rent. The recent property bubble has seen house prices in the prime areas rocket.

Within the Tel Aviv area, only three percent of the construction over the last decade was public housing. Not one public housing unit was built between 2006 and 2009.

Such was the scale of support for the protests that Netanyahu was forced to cancel his visit to Poland earlier this week.

From Haaretz daily in Israel:

Facebook prevails as the driving force behind Israel’s protests

The power of the green movement in Iran, the Egyptian Revolution and Israel’s housing protests lies in these engines, which are gradually transforming into tools at the hands of the citizens.

Circle of absurdity: Hard-working Israelis can barely make ends meet: here.

The growing protest movement of Israeli workers and youth against worsening economic hardship is a development of enormous political significance for the working class throughout the Middle East and internationally: here.

Israel’s Finance Ministry Chief resigns amid growing civil unrest: here.

Moroccan Activist Speaks on the February 20th Movement’s Fight for a Better Future. Sarah Lazare, Truthout: “I interviewed Mohammed Elbouliki, a member of the administrative commission of the Moroccan human rights organization Association Marocaine des Droits Humains [‘Morrocan Association of Human Rights’]. He was detained from November 1985 – July 1994 as a prisoner of opinion under King Hassan II, including one month in the Derb Moulay secret detention center near Casablanca. A teacher by profession and a lifelong political activist, Mohammed talks about the February 20th Movement’s demands, hopes, and activities in the wake of the constitutional referendum and offers suggestions for how international supporters can stand in solidarity with Moroccan movements”: here.

Ousted Tunisian dictator sentenced in abstenia: here.

Millions of giant jellyfish have been washing up on Israeli beaches, posing a threat to power plants: here.

Spain‘s youth battle unemployment: here. And here.

The Spanish Constitution has been amended with a new article limiting the public deficit: here.

18 thoughts on “Big protests in Israel

  1. Pingback: Ultra-Orthodox attack on Israeli women’s rights | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Administrator on July 29, 2011 at 11:04 am said:

    Workers strike Egypt ceramics producer Lecico

    Workers at ceramics maker Lecico in Khorshid in Alexandria, Egypt, began a strike Tuesday leading to a halting of production. Strike action occurred at the firms’ sanitary ware and tile factories.

    These plants manufacture 30 percent of Lecico’s sanitary ware and 74 percent of its tile production.

    The workers at Lecico were among the many who struck during the mass protests that led to the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak.


  3. Administrator on July 29, 2011 at 11:06 am said:

    Textile workers in al Kut, Iraq, hold a one day protest

    On Monday hundreds of textile workers in the southern Iraq city of al Kut staged a one day protest in pursuit of better, safer working conditions. They are employed at the al Kut National Textile Company and are also demanding the removal of the firms’ company director.

    The protest was held outside the local provincial council and also drew attention to health problems being suffered by some of the workers. According to a General Federation of Iraqi Workers report there are some 75 cases of kidney illness from pollution caused by waste left by cotton. Staff are also calling for the payment of dangerous work allowances.


    Strike continues at Abu Dhabi Reem Island building site over unpaid wages

    More than 400 construction workers in Abu Dhabi employed at the Reem Island building site began a strike last week after not being paid for nearly three months. The workers are employed in the construction of the residential and commercial Tameer Towers project.

    The building contractor Al Rajhi Projects sacked around 30 workers last week according to a Ministry of Labour official. An article in the National reported that on Wednesday, “the workers on the Tameer Towers project received salaries owed for the month of May but did not return to work on Thursday as the developer had expected”. It added that last month’s wages would be paid this week.

    A labourer cited in the National article claimed that more workers had been fired. He said, “No one has come back to work. They are on strike until they are paid, but 50 staff—engineers, foremen—were terminated after the strike”.

    The report added, “The Ministry of Labour said workers who did not receive their pay for more than 60 days were entitled to transfer to another establishment without permission from their employer, but some workers last week said they could not leave because Al Rajhi had their passports”. The ministry said that sacking workers following a strike was not illegal “depending on the workers’ contract”.


  4. Administrator on July 30, 2011 at 3:27 pm said:


    Netanyahu promised
    The young people,
    Who are demonstrating
    In their tens of thousands,
    “Affordable housing”.
    They don’t believe a word.

    And why should they?
    Where was the truth
    In all his announcements –
    From “evacuating outposts”
    To “Two States”?

    Cheques to help us with ads and campaigns to
    Gush Shalom, P.O.Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033

    Please, include your email address


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