Gasoline set to reach highest rate ever

April 1, 2011 06:38

A small group of young activists from the Dror Israel movement gather in Jerusalem to protest rising fuel prices.

2 minute read.

Gas station

Gas station 521. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Just hours before the price of gasoline was set to reach its highest rate ever, a small group of young activists from the Dror Israel movement gathered in Jerusalem Thursday night to protest rising fuel prices, and the government’s failure to control the cost of basic goods.

“This government has a policy of only helping the rich get richer, while ignoring the middle class and the poorer groups in society,” said Mor Gal-On, a student and counselor for Dror Israel, the adult wing of the Habonim Dror and Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed youth movements behind the protest.

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“Our main goal is to raise awareness among the public that together we can push for change,” said Gal-On, acknowledging that similar protests in neighboring countries helped spark major change in Tunisia and Egypt.

At midnight on Thursday the prize of gasoline increased by 1.23 percent to NIS 7.39 a liter for self-service, and NIS 7.52 a liter for full-service – with drivers spending up to NIS 500 for a full tank.

“It is not right that people who work hard here cannot even finish out the month. The government is increasing taxes and the prices of basic goods. We believe there should be more intervention, more government subsidies,” said Gal-On, adding that it was time for everyone to unite to protest the government’s failure to control prices.

“Our mistake is that we leave every group to protest alone – the doctors, the social workers – really we are all in the same situation, and we have to work together to make change,” she added, commenting on the recent social workers strike that ended earlier this week with workers only marginally better off than they were before.

“This demonstration is for us, and for our parents, who do not have the time or the head to fight for what they deserve. It is also for those who understand that it is not right that basic commodities continue to get more expensive while our salaries stay the same. It’s ridiculous and sad that the economic policy of the State of Israel is to strengthen the rich and weaken the poor,” Gal-On said.

The activists said they asked several politicians to speak at the rally, but that there was little interest or willingness from them to come forward.

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