Israelis Take To The Streets
In line with the protests that have swept the Middle East this summer, Israel saw 300,000 people take to the streets on Saturday night, demanding social reforms. 200,000 people took to the streets in Tel Aviv, while another 30,000 people marched in Jerusalem.
Demanding Lower Prices
Demonstrators are, among other things, demanding lower costs for housing and for food in the wave of terrible economic crunches for many in Israel. Protesters have even been setting up camp in city centers throughout the country, camping in key locations to protest the cost of living.
One of the movement organizers, 33 year old Baroch Oren, said that the movement was nothing short of “a revolution.” He said, “There has been nothing like this for decades – all these people coming together, taking to the streets, demanding change.”
When evaluated in purely economic terms, Israel’s annual economic growth is seen as healthy. The growth includes an average 4.5% since 2004, with falling unemployment from 11% to 6%.
The public, however, doesn’t feel these positive numbers and says that this growth has failed to benefit them.
Mark Regev, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, said that the government is aware that it needs to bring down the prices for housing and consumer products. He has said that a team of ministers, academic experts and business people would be meeting as early as Sunday to discuss how to act, and that Mr. Netanyahu will also be prepared to meet with protesters.