Protesters in Jerusalem 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Furious over what they call repeated government rejection of their demands,
protesters hope to hold “the mother of all demonstrations” across Israel on
Saturday – a week after an estimated 150,000 Israelis took to the streets in
several cities to protest the soaring cost of living.
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spokesman for the tent-city protest movement, told The Jerusalem Post on
Thursday evening that the size and intensity of Saturday night’s protests will
be greatly influenced by the Knesset’s approval on Wednesday of the national
housing committees law – a central sticking point for the movement.
us, the passing of the law will be a huge influence on the demonstration, and is
one of the main reasons that we called for it,” said Neuman.
“The vote on
the law was an opportunity for the government to show how important the people
are to them, and they said no. So it is our right and our responsibility to
When asked if the protests will have a more aggressive and
angry tone following the law’s approval, he replied, “that's for sure. There is
much more anger now. At first, we were angry about a moderate situation, and now
they’ve shown us that they aren’t going to let it be solved.”
protest in Tel Aviv will set out from the Rothschild tent city and head down Ibn
Gvirol Boulevard to Kaplan Street, where the rally will be held along the entire
length of the street, in front of the Interior Ministry building and the IDF
Organizers say the boulevard will be able to hold far more
people than Tel Aviv Museum, the site of the past two protests.
crowds gather in Tel Aviv, students plan on holding a demonstration outside the
Prime Minister’s house in Jerusalem, after marching from the tent protest at
Horse Park (Gan Hasus).
The cancellation of the law was one of eight
preconditions for dialogue that was presented by tent city protesters on
The other preconditions included reducing indirect taxes, (in
particular value added tax); increasing the budget for the Ministry of Housing
and Construction’s Mortgage and Rental Assistance; investing surplus-tax
revenues back to citizens by way of the state budget; implementation of the law
on compulsory free education from three months of age; a halt to the
privatization of welfare and mental health facilities; an increase in medical
supplies and infrastructure at health facilities across Israel; and a gradual
cancellation of private contractor-run construction projects in the public
Following last week’s impressive turnout – one of the largest
demonstrations held in Israel in decades – there has been some
whether or not the movement would be able to repeat such an overwhelming
According to Neuman, the question is a foregone
conclusion. “I think that we are at our peak of momentum,” he
“There was the protest by the Histadrut today and the stroller
marches across Israel, also. It’s only getting bigger and bigger, and people
keep telling us ‘that’s it’ – but it just keeps growing.”
He said there
are no concrete plans for people to block off traffic junctions, but that “it’s
two days away. Two days is an eternity for us.”