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