Anger and a feeling of bitterness prevailed at “Camp Sucker” in Tel Aviv Tuesday morning, following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s announcement Monday that he is dismantling the committee tasked with finding a way to more equally spread the national burden of service in Israeli society.
Zohara Berger-Zur of Shivyon, or the Israeli Forum for the Promotion of An Equal Share in the Burden, said at a press conference at the tent city that Netanyahu must understand “once and for all that [he] can’t push the public aside, we aren’t willing to be pushed to the side anymore.”
Berger-Zur said she believes the dissolution of the Keshev Committee was planned all along but that she still felt “a historic opportunity to make a change is taking place. But slowly they started taking the wind out of the committee’s sails.”
“We’re sending a very clear message to the prime minister: the season of rolling over the public is over. We won’t agree to anything less than a law that will bring full equality back to the State of Israel,” she added.
National Student Union head Itzik Shmuli said he came to the press conference Tuesday “for the quiet majority whose problem is that they follow the right path: they serve in the army, study in university, join the workforce and serve in the reserves, and at the end of the day their needs aren’t answered by decision-makers. This must end.”
Boaz Knoll, one of the leaders of Camp Sucker, said “one thing we must all understand is that they [the government] are defrauding us, scamming us, every day.
And they’re doing it with the most basic thing that all of us grew up with: service to the country, the moral of giving, which is now being warped every second by new types of spin. And we are the ones who are forgotten.”
The movement will continue its protests and is not going anywhere anytime soon, said Mickey Gitzin from the organization “Israel Hofshit.”
When asked what their response will be if the government does not find a solution to bring about universal service, he said: “If they come and say that in Israel there is an army of only half the people, we will say “the era of the army of the people is over.”