Over 250,000 join Israel ‘social justice’ demos: media
More than 250,000 people took to the streets in cities across Israel on Saturday night to protest the high cost of living and income disparity in the Jewish state, Israeli media reported.
Israeli news channel 10 said some 275,000 people were already in the streets, a figure approaching the record-breaking turnout at demonstrations organised by the movement on August 6.
The rallies came at the beginning of what organisers said they hoped would be a “million-man march” to reinvigorate their six-week old movement and show that Israelis continue to support their cause.
The movement, which is calling for reductions in the cost of everything from housing and food to education and health care, began in mid-July when young Israelis angered by their inability to afford housing pitched tents on a street in one of Tel Aviv’s trendiest neighbourhoods to illustrate their frustration.
It quickly garnered support from across Israeli society and began holding weekly demonstrations, culminated on August 6 with 300,000-strong nationwide protests that broke records for turnout at a social protest in Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has pledged to respond to the demonstrators demands, forming a committee headed by a well-respected economist to examine their calls for reform.
But protesters say his government is just stalling for time, and accuse the leader of failing to take them seriously.