This video is called New Israeli Revolution.
By Jean Shaoul:
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.
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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.
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The Spanish Constitution has been amended with a new article limiting the public deficit: here.