1st issue of tent protest’s newspaper distributed in TA

Premiere issue features political statements, stories of Israelis who say it has been difficult to provide for themselves and their families.

bmaahal newspaper_311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
bmaahal newspaper_311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Hot off the presses and roasting in the sun of Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, the first issue of the protest movement newspaper “B’maahal” (in the campsite) was printed on Wednesday and handed out for free up and down the tent city.
More of a pamphlet or a “fanzine” than a proper newspaper, the 22-page premiere issue is a collection of user-submitted content compiled by editors Itay Orbach and Yael Rozen. The content consists of political statements and personal stories of Israelis who say they have found their ability to provide for themselves or their families slipping through their fingertips.
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The pamphlet features an illustration of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in clown makeup and opens with a manifesto written by a man named “Bentzi,” in which the author criticizes what he calls the media’s insistence on airing reality TV at the expense of the protest movement.
“The protest isn’t about the right to live in Tel Aviv, the protest is about the right to live with dignity. But, when tenants are subject to the whims of landlords, and not only in Tel Aviv, who will defend our right to live in dignity? Certainly not the ratings pigs,” Bentzi writes.
Another passage is written by a woman named Batsheva who says she is a mother of six children and 18 grandchildren, but is living in a tent on Rothschild. She criticizes Netanyahu for - in her words - leaving behind the weaker segments of society, adding “I am here and I am supporting those who are demanding what they need.”
Among the paper’s content is a 3-stanza free-verse poem that ends with the line, “we have lost our rights to this country, and it’s doubtful we will get them back.” Below the poem, the pamphlet reads “found on Sheinkin [street] in Tel Aviv at 4 a.m., the author is unknown.”