Settler leader visits Rothschild tent city in solidarity

Yesha Council chairman Danny Dayan: "Hardships of public don’t stop at Green Line”; expresses hope movement won't become politicized.

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August 9, 2011 13:27
2 minute read.
Yesha chair Danny Dayan, Student Union head Shmuli

Yesha chair Danny Dayan, Student Union head Itzik Shmuli 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

 
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Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan visited the main tent city complex on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv on Tuesday morning, where he met with National Student Union head Itzik Shmuli and expressed his support for the social justice protests.

When asked why he came to visit the protesters, he said that “wherever the Israeli public is coming together it’s not only our right to be there, but it’s our responsibility. I came here to thank them for bringing the issue of the people’s hardships to the top of the public agenda.”

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“For years I have been saying that the time has come for us to place a moratorium on the obsession with what [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas or [Hamas head in Gaza] Ismail Haniyeh say, and to focus on the real suffering in Israeli society.

“The prices of diapers are the same in Beit El as they are in Ramat Aviv, formula costs the same in the settlements here as the rest of the country,” he said.

Dayan also expressed his fear the struggle would become partisan or politicized.

“I’ve also come to say, God forbid, this struggle gets to the level of being sector against sector or group against group.

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Thankfully, I don’t see this happening here or in other campsites.”

When asked about skirmishes between leftists and rightists that broke out last Thursday and this Sunday next to a group of tents set up by farright settler youth at the end of Allenby, he said “there are always hitchhikers who will try to jump on the issue, and they‘re on both sides.”

In regard to whether or not the public would eventually begin turning on the settler movement or the ultra-Orthodox over anger at what is widely seen as disproportionate government investment in those sectors, he said “if that happens, the movement will fail.”

He said that in the West Bank there is no consensus about the protest movement, and that some find themselves unable to get past what they see as the political views of some of the youths who started the movement, while others can place that concern aside and focus on the cost of living issues.

He also expressed his admiration for Shmuli and other tent city protesters, saying he knows how difficult it is physically, emotionally and leadership- wise to take part in a protest like theirs.

Shmuli told Dayan he believed his visit to the tent city showed “this is a struggle of all the people of Israel. The price of living here is something that affects all of us, regardless of our political standings.“ “This isn’t a struggle of sushieaters or crazy left-wingers”, in a jab at a statement made at a statement made last week by Likud MK Ayoub Kara.

“It’s okay to eat sushi.”

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