Leaders of the tent city social protest movement announced on Monday that they
have nixed their demand for cameras to be present during any negotiations to be
held with the prime minister, following a dispute with the National Student
Union over the issue.
“The headquarters of the tent city protests admits
that it made a mistake by demanding that cameras be present during the dialogue
with the prime minister. The student union managed to convince us that the
central precondition for holding talks will be the cancellation of the National
Housing Committees law.”RELATED:
'Larger' housing protests set to take place in 10 cities
The statement ended: “We are a broad movement
and we will not be defeated by any single person or any amount of
The joint announcement was issued by the protest movement and the
student union on Wednesday afternoon after the media widely reported tension
between the union and tent city protest leaders.
Earlier in the day, the
protest headquarters on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard issued a statement
saying “our demand for cameras to be present during dialogue with the prime
minister isn’t for the sake of media coverage of the event, rather because of
the public’s need for there to be transparency and out of understandable fear of
secret nighttime deals made between different officials.”
Union said that “the demand to affix cameras is not rational and will be
disrespectful to anyone sent by the government [without any connection to the
Right or the Left] and will end any attempt at future dialogue that could
possibly reach solutions [on housing, education, welfare, etc.]” With the camera
requirement now out of the way, the only prerequisite issued by the protest
organizers is the cancellation of a vote planned for Wednesday on the National
Housing Committees Bill. The measure is meant to streamline housing construction
by having a National Housing Subcommittee discuss housing plans. The
subcommittee would have seven members, including representatives from the Prime
Minister’s Office and the Interior Ministry.
The committees would have
full authority to approve housing plans.
Critics of the plan say it would
be used to give a green light to privatize state land for wealthy developers to
build luxury projects, and wouldn’t address the housing
Protesters said last week that if the vote on the law is not
canceled, they would march to the Knesset and hold a mass protest, with the goal
of disrupting the vote.
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