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There’s another team setting up streaming in Haifa..
One more day to the #globalrevolution!
25th August Real News Video of last weekend’s (post attacks) Tel Aviv protests “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies”
Reports of ‘Fierce Backlash’ from rank and file against Israel Student Union attempt at cancellation of protests after Gaza and Eilat attacks
Photos/reports of Israeli Protests in solidarity with Gaza 20/8
16th August: hundreds of protesters try to break into parliament to show the Knesset that the people are the sovereign! Two people arrested during protests http://www.flickr.com/photos/activestills/6048574829/in/photostream/
15th August: Great summary of situation, recommended by Tent48 at Jadaliyya
14th August: Report from + 972
Message from 15M comrade based in Tel Aviv: “The protests for social justice in Israel continue. This time the focus shifts outside Tel Aviv, to other areas of the country. Over 60,000 demonstrated tonight in 12 different cities. Arabs and Jews marched together in Haifa.
8th August: 300,000 turned out last Saturday in Tel Aviv + thousands more across Israel and they are aiming for a million this coming weekend. About the Palestinian issue, huge way to go will post more on this soon but in the meantime:
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Please see message from #tent48 in Comments below and FB group at Tent 1948
5th August Article on Open Democracy
Recent video from Real News
(1) Article first published at Take the Square
Israel: A revolution for social change
A social revolution is happening in Israel at this very moment. The people has united to demand social justice and fundamental rights from a government that serves the interests of the few instead of the citizens. Last week 50,000 people protested in the streets. This Saturday there were already 150,000 people across the country expressing their outrage over the existing economic and political system. Labor unions, local municipalities, doctors, social workers, and others have joined forces with over 30 protest camps across the country to make the message clear: we will be silent no more. They demand public health care, free education, affordable housing, raising minimum wage, and a fundamental change of priorities in the government. In short, the people is reclaiming control over state resources.
Those in power are shaking. After failed attempts to calm down the protests with bogus offers for student housing and privatization of state land, they now understand they are facing something much bigger. The director general of the ministry of finance has resigned. The prime minister announced a special task force of ministers to start a dialogue with the protesters. The tent protest leaders responded by calling this “just another manipulation” and rejecting the initiative. The forum of “heads of the market”, a group of rich families controlling most of Israel’s economy, published a statement saying “it’s time to act socially responsible.” The next day they got stink bombs thrown into three luxury towers representing Israel’s wealthiest sectors.
Tomorrow most local municipalities will go on strike as well as thousands of citizens who declared their intentions on facebook. Mass protests are planned for the afternoon. On Tuesday Tel Aviv is planning a big march to demand public housing for the poor.
Protests took place in Arab cities as well. There are now tents of Jews and Arabs together in Nazareth and Beer Sheva. In poor Southern Tel Aviv, foreign workers and refugees join forces with native Israelis in tent camps to fight for social rights.
Israel has joined the global wave of revolutions that is sweeping across the world. The people has risen, and no one can silence them now.
(5) UK Channel 4 blog on protest
(6) Guardian UK Report :
“An opinion poll earlier this week said 91% of the Israeli public backed the campaign. The widespread support, according to Shaffir, is the result of consensus-building: “Many of us have made a lot of compromises on our own ideologies to gain consensus. We have put egos aside, and agreed not to talk about more political issues, like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or settlements. We have said: ‘Let’s focus on something that will bring everyone together,’ – and it’s worked.”
When a group of rightwing nationalists from West Bank settlements came to Tel Aviv earlier this week to promote settlement expansion as a solution to the housing problem, Shaffir was firm in telling them they were welcome to join the debate but “settlements are not part of the Israeli consensus, and so are not part of the solution that has to work for everyone”. Rest here.
(7) Paul Feldman reports on giant Israeli protests
Arab Spring meets Jewish Summer
The rhythmic Hebrew slogans used at many of the protests are strikingly similar to punchy Arabic lines that have reverberated throughout the Middle East since January: “Ha’am doresh / tzedek chevrati” ["The people demand social justice"], one observer noted.
On Saturday night, more than 150,000 people – out of a population of seven million – gathered in 12 cities across Israel as part of the biggest social movement the country has witnessed.
Small-scale actions that started with tents being pitched in Tel Aviv and other cities over soaring housing costs have grown into a mass movement against the right-wing Netanyahu government, unemployment, the ruling families who own most of the economy and deep inequality.
Recent demonstrations have included marches against the price of petrol, boycotts of expensive cottage cheese that forced manufacturers to lower prices and lengthy strikes by social workers and doctors over pay and working conditions.
Middle-class Jews and Israeli Palestinians have come together in local encampments in a way that seemed unimaginable only a few weeks ago. And they have shaken the country’s ruling economic and political elites to their core. There were reports that Bedouin tribesmen had joined the marchers in outlying towns. A poll showed that 87% of Israelis support the tent city protests.
In echoes of the movements in Tunisia, Egypt and Spain, many on the march demanded fundamental change. It was a moment when the Arab Spring met the Jewish Summer. One of the placards read: “Mubarak, Assad, Netanyahu!”
Activist Daphni Leef, who initiated the first tent village protest in Tel Aviv against housing prices two weeks ago, told a crowd of 70,000-100,000 Israelis gathered outside the city’s main art museum that “we don’t want to replace the government, but to do more than that. We want to change the rules of the game”.
A steady influx of wealthy diaspora Jews from New York, Miami and Paris who bought up flats in Israel’s big cities has driven up prices in many affluent neighbourhoods along the Mediterranean coast in cities such as Tel Aviv and Netanya, in addition to Jerusalem.
Since 2008, the price of an average apartment has gone up by 55%, rent by 27%, far in excess of wage increases.
Many protesters say they do not want to live in the distant suburbs, where rent is cheap but amenities are far. Public transport is notoriously bad in Tel Aviv, where people joke that “the Messiah will arrive before the new light rail is built”.
Efraim Davidi, a political scientist at Ben Gurion University, says there is a simple reason why the vast majority of Israelis support the protesters against the government. “The situation of working families is getting worse and worse. It’s very difficult to buy an apartment, car, food,” says Davidi. “Prices here are like in Europe, but salaries are like those in the Third World.”
The Arab Spring is making itself felt in this unlikely context. The regimes being challenged are quite different, but the impulses are similar – corruption, inflation, unemployment, inequality and a failure of the existing political system.
In Israel, the Zionists who dominate a nationalist state founded on a single ethnic group have used the threat of an external “enemy” in the shape of Arab regimes to hold sway over a seemingly pliant population.
The shattering of the Mubarak regime and the heroic uprising by the Syrian people in the face of a murderous assault by the Assad dictatorship has served to loosen the Zionist grip. As the celebrated author David Grossman told the crowd: “The people are loyal to the state, but the state isn’t loyal to them.”
The idea that the Jewish state represents all Jews equally is being exposed and blown apart and with it will go the raison d’être of the Zionist regime itself. Class rather than ethnic and religious questions are now coming to the fore in Israel, with the nature of capitalist rule on the agenda. A real unity of Jewish and Arab workers in the region, leading to self-determination for the Palestinians, is a greater possibility now than it was before the Arab Spring.
Originally published at A World to Win
See also report with video, here.
The Israeli protests and the unity of Arab and Jewish workers
The growing protest movement of Israeli workers and youth against worsening economic hardship is a development of enormous political significance for the working class throughout the Middle East and internationally. Read the rest at World Socialist