Tent city protesters urge Trajtenberg to step down

Daphni Leef, who launched movement, calls on Knesset to handle their social demands; "country is on fire and MKs are on vacation.”

housing protest representatives_311 (photo credit: Ben Hartman)
housing protest representatives_311
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Tent city protest movement leaders on Wednesday called on Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg to resign from the committee he was appointed to lead, saying they do not have confidence the committee will find solutions to the social issues facing Israel, and the Knesset must return to session to handle the issue.
Speaking at press conference in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Daphni Leef, the 26-year-old Tel Avivian who launched the movement, said “Like the prime minister tried at the start of the protests to get the students to pull out by one-time temptations such as cheap public transport for one year, this is also what he is trying to do with the Trajtenberg Committee.
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“We are taking this opportunity to call on Prof. Trajtenberg to resign immediately as head of the committee and not be remembered in the history of the people of Israel as the one responsible for this fraud.
“There is already an elected body in Israel and it is called the Knesset. We call on the prime minister to bring the Knesset out of its recess. It cannot be that the country is on fire and MKs are on vacation.
“The committee is deceiving the public. The public is expecting real, deep and continuing change in the daily agenda of our government when it comes to social and economic issues,” adding that the committee doesn’t have the mandate to make this change.
Leef and the other activists also announced during the press conference that they will be holding a mass protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, as well as in several other cities.
Not present at the press conference on Wednesday were representatives of the National Student Union, who have been central to the protest movement from early on but have at times feuded with the Rothschild Boulevard-based tent city leadership.
In a statement issued following the press conference, the union said “the students are working to bring long term and immediate social and economic changes. We believe in the path that blends a social struggle and dialogue.”
In the coming days, the union will release its suggestions for what Trajtenberg’s committee should recommend to the government, the statement said.
The union also specified it will continue to cooperate with the tent protest leadership in the planning of this Saturday’s rallies and the “Million Man March” planned for September 3. Click for full JPost coverageClick for full JPost coverage