Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chronology of the Israeli protest – August 6

Since the previous protest, the officials and ruling party chants changed somewhat but irritating comments that the protesters are "leftists" kept propelling the protest and brought in even more people. However, the biggest motivator was the bill passed by the government pushing towards further fast and uncontrolled privatization of of lands, in spite of the public outcry against it. August 6 was an amazing day. This demonstration was the biggest or 1 of the 2 biggest in the Israeli history. It was definitely the biggest regarding social issues. Over 250K demonstrators in Tel Aviv, 30K in Jerusalem and thousands in other cities. Jews and Arabs, Middle class and low class, everyone were in the streets. This means almost 5% of the Israeli population! The veteran social militant Charlie Biton declared in front of the crowds: "40 years passed...every year I awaited a new hope faded year by year and the government injustice my vision is materializing!" The demonstrations were exciting - everyone in the street talked about making history and that the government cannot keep ignoring people's demands. There were yet two problems: 1. The demands aren't clear. "The People Want Social Justice!" is a very broad demand if don't mean to change the whole system. 2. The government did barely nothing to tackle this demand till this manifestation. After this demonstrations the government set a committee of 14 members to recommend on actions to be taken. The public got divided between suspicion and endorsement. The government scored 2 points - first, dividing the public. second, gaining some time. The tents' movement leaders have gathered a committee of experts of their own and launched a camps-cross discussion about which demands should be presented. The cynics  use to say the government is awaiting Israel's neighbors (Palestinians or Hezbollah) to save the day by a terror attack which will distract the public attention. Others believe the government does intend to make some changes.

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