Tent protest leaders, Student Union slam housing law

Tent leaders say the bill's passage shows that the gov't hasn't internalized the demand for change; say will expand protest.

August 3, 2011 14:52
2 minute read.
Tent City press conference

Tent City press conference 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)


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Tent protest movement leaders, at a meeting to formulate a response to the passage of the Housing Committees Bill on Wednesday, said that the government seems not to have internalized the public demand for a change in socioeconomic policy, promising to expand their protest.

"We are greatly disappointed with the Knesset decision to pass the Housing Committees Bill that helps the tycoons and burdens the rest of the public," a statement said.

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The government, it seems, "has not internalized that there is a public demand for change in socioeconomic policy in Israel," the statement said, adding that they would expand their struggle.

Tent protest spokesman Roee Newman slammed the prime minister over the bill's passage, saying that Netanyahu and the government "demonstrated absolute insensitivity to all of Israel's citizens."

Noting that some 150,000 people took to the streets last weekend to demand social justice, he added that the housing reform law "shows that the Israeli government doesn't care about its citizens, only the wealthy citizens."

The Student Union, which has played a considerable role in the ongoing protests, also came out against the law a short time after the Knesset vote. National Student Union chairman Itzik Shlomi said that the law's passage was disappointing and destroyed public faith in chances of having dialogue with the government.

"The decision to pass the law is unfortunate and disappointing. More so, in recent days great efforts were taken by the Student Union and other bodies to unify and consolidate the various groups participating in the struggle, which was done in order to give a chance for true dialogue with the government."

By imposing coalition discipline during the vote, Shlomi said, in the public's perspective, the government "is defying and suffocating the prospect of trust and genuine dialogue." Following the vote, he added, "tens of thousand who cannot continue to ignore" the issue will join the tens of thousands that have already taken to the streets in a new protest this Saturday.

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