Throngs Rally in Israel to Demand Social Justice
Posted on Sep 4, 2011
Israelis turned out in the hundreds of thousands Saturday night to protest high costs of living and demand social justice in the largest such demonstration the country has ever seen. According to opinion polls, the protests—which have been going on in tent cities across the country for over 50 days—have the support of 90 percent of the population. The Israeli government is scrambling to respond to what appears to be a widespread and durable social movement. —ARK
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets on Saturday night in Israel’s biggest ever demonstration to demand social justice, a lower cost of living and a clear government response to the concerns of an increasingly squeezed middle class.
About 430,000 people took part in marches and rallies across the country, according to police. The biggest march was in Tel Aviv, where up to 300,000 took part. There was an unprecedented 50,000-strong protest in Jerusalem, and 40,000 marched in Haifa. There were smaller protests in dozens of other towns and cities.
... Tent cities mushroomed across the country and protesters rallied behind the slogan: “The people demand social justice.” Among the issues raised were the cost of housing, transport, childcare, food and fuel; the low salaries paid to many professionals, including doctors and teachers; tax reform; and welfare payments. The government established a committee led by the economics professor Manuel Trajtenberg to examine the protesters’ demands, which is due to report later this month.
AP / Ariel Schalit
Demonstrators crowd a main square in the center of Tel Aviv, where as many as 300,000 people turned out.