Last Saturday night (July 13) was the 2nd anniversary of the beginning of the mass social protest movement, and the first anniversary of the self-immolation of Moshe Silman. I was there, in the heat, with everyone else. Below are selections from my new piece in The Times of Israel:
. . . Last night, two years after Daphni Leef created an “event” on her Facebook page announcing the first protest tent on Rothschild Blvd., thousands of people returned to the streets of Tel Aviv. . . .
Two years after tents were set up protesting the high cost of living, the price of housing has risen by an average of 10%, the government is threatening to repeal the progressive public housing law so that “the free market” can take care of things, … [yet] the overwhelming majority of [young] Israelis cannot manage without their parents’ help, and this includes people in their 40s!
. . . A few new elements were added since the first anniversary demos in the summer of 2012. One was, following the results of the Israeli elections, anger at Yair Lapid, considered a servant of the tycoons and a representative of the 1%, for having “stolen” the revolution. One of the slogans was “Im Bibi v’Lapid, Ein Atid”/With Bibi and Lapid there is No Future” (a play on the Hebrew name of Lapid’s party).
The second element was based on a glance at our neighbors in Egypt. ... One hand-made sign read “Bibi & Lapid = Morsi – It’s the Same Revolution”.
And another element was the protest over the direction of the proceeds from the big findings of natural gas off the shores of the country. Signs read “Gaz v’lo Gzeirot”/Gas, not Budget Cuts”, a reference to the idea that instead of going to the pockets of the tycoons, a bigger percentage of the income from this national natural resource should go to the people. . . .
Another target of the protesters was Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, who while originally allowing the protest tents to stay in place during the summer of 2011, brutally took them down when the fall arrived, and is perceived to be in league with the building tycoons. One hand-made sign said simply “Ani lo ohev autcha Huldai”/I don’t like you Huldai.” Huldai’s rival in the October municipal elections Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, a regular rank and file participant in all the demonstrations, couldn’t agree more. . . .
Again, click here for the entire piece at The Times of Israel website.