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Israel Protests: 450,000 Hit The Streets In Country’s Largest Demonstrations


Over 450,000 Israelis hit the streets this weekend to protest the rising cost of living in the Mediterranean country. Demonstrations were held in cities across Israel, the biggest of the protests drawing 300,000 people in Tel Aviv. 50,000 protesters came out in Jerusalem. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the demonstrations were the biggest in the country’s history.

Israelis have been organizing the massive protests for six weeks, aimed at addressing a range of economic issues such as soaring housing prices and the rising costs of gas and food. In Haifa, people also protested discrimination against Arabs. Opinion polls suggest the demonstrations are supported by large segments of Israeli society.  PHOTOS HERE

From Haaretz,

The main protest took place in Tel Aviv’s Kikar Hamedina, where some 300,000 people gathered after marching from Habima Square about two kilometers away. Protest leader Yonatan Levy said the atmosphere was like “a second Independence Day.”

Protest leaders Daphni Leef and National Student Union Chairman Itzik Shmuli both addressed the Tel Aviv crowd. “Mr. Prime Minister, the new Israelis have a dream and it is simple: to weave the story of our lives into Israel. We expect you to let us live in this country. The new Israelis will not give up. They demand change and will not stop until real solutions come,” Shmuli said.

Orna Banai told the crowd in the capital: “I am not amused that there are hungry children here; that we have a soldier rotting in captivity for five years; that Israel is one of the poorest examples there are of human rights.” The chairman of the Hebrew University Student Union, Itai Gotler, said: “We changed this summer. The voice of the mother, the teacher, the student, have been heard…The fire of protest was lit in Tel Aviv, but the tent city in Jerusalem shows that the protest belongs to all of us.”

In Haifa, the protest drew 40,000 people, many of whom waved red flags. The Haifa protest focused on the issue of discrimination against Arabs. Shahin Nasser, representative of the Wadi Nisnas protest tent in Haifa said: “Today we are changing the rules of the game. No more coexistence based on hummus and fava beans. What is happening here is true coexistence, when Arabs and Jews march together shoulder to shoulder calling for social justice and peace. We’ve had it. Bibi, go home. Steinitz, go and don’t come back, Atias, good-bye and good riddance,” he said, referring to the prime minister, the finance minister and the housing minister, respectively.

 

4 comments on “Israel Protests: 450,000 Hit The Streets In Country’s Largest Demonstrations

  1. Interesting comment under one of the reports,

    Israel has a total population of 7 million. Saturday night’s demonstration was the equivalent of 18 million Americans taking to the streets in cities all over the country.

  2. ‘What is happening here is true coexistence, when Arabs and Jews march together shoulder to shoulder calling for social justice and peace. We’ve had it. Bibi, go home. Steinitz, go and don’t come back, Atias, good-bye and good riddance,” he said, referring to the prime minister, the finance minister and the housing minister, respectively.’

    Praise Jesus!

    Times are a’ changin’.

  3. Good to see people coming out for a simpler, common Israel and it’s good to see the fortress of zionism being dismantled by the very people it seeks to build up.

  4. Age carries with it a lot of advantages (including things like wisdom). But for most mature adults, the ability to “think outside of the box” is not one of those”. Sadly most of the older generation GLOBALLY seems to be locked in concrete when it comes to seeking solutions to the worlds problems. While we all know that ultimately Christ is the only solution to man’s problems, there is plenty of room for more flexibility in the civil realm and less reliance on long held prejudices. I rejoice to see what is going on in places like Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt. I rejoice equally to see that common Israelis are finding a voice and expressing themselves. And one has to give Israel credit for the fact that they are not mowing down these people with machine guns like their despotic neighbor Syria is doing to their citizens. But hopefully the limited democratic process that exists in Israel will respond to this heroic effort to re-envision a future that currently looks rather bleak. One can understand the friction between Israel and the tyrant states like Syria and Iran, but Israel is going to have to learn to get along with countries like Egypt where genuine democracy is beginning to take hold and grievances against Israel actually have at least some degree of merit. Treating Israeli Arabs with dignity and respect would go a long way toward improving Israels reputation within the emerging Arab democracies, not to mention non-Arab Muslim democracies like Turkey. Israel’s “go it alone” approach was to some degree understandable before the advent of the “Arab spring”, but now Israel’s problems will be better addressed in a regional fashion and they will need to learn to work together with their democratic neighbors as seek to secure their borders and their nation.

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