People's Assemblies Network

Israeli Protests

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13th October

Tel Aviv:

Skype: TLV_Revolution
Twitter: @15oisrael @tlv_revolution
Streaming: http://www.livestream.com/j14isr
Google chat: aya.shoshan@gmail.com
Website: o15israel.org
Kiryat Shmona:
Streaming: http://www.livestream.com/j14k8israel
Twitter: @k8_revolution
Skype: gweinrot
mail: weinrot_gabby@hotmail.com
website: http://j14k8.wordpress.com/

There’s another team setting up streaming in Haifa..

One more day to the #globalrevolution!

28th August

Israeli activists squat empty Jerusalem buildings to protest over costly housing
Social justice campaigners unveil ‘People’s House’ in abandoned state-owned building and call for ‘national squatting movement’ Read the rest as reported in the Guardian.
Important article on the Israel/Palestine situation by Penny Cole.

25th August Real News Video of last weekend’s (post attacks) Tel Aviv protests “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies”

21st August

Reports of ‘Fierce Backlash’ from rank and file against Israel Student Union attempt at cancellation of protests after Gaza and Eilat attacks
http://972mag.com/j14-to-hold-weekly-mass-rallies-in-defiance-of-attacks/

Photos/reports  of Israeli Protests in solidarity with Gaza 20/8
http://972mag.com/photos-j14-march-combines-social-justice-message-with-call-for-immediate-ceasefire/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/activestills/

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

13th August: Video from Real News.  And pictures from Jaffa protest here

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.

News Articles:
Photos:
(one of the photos shows a Hebrew sign saying: Justice also to Palestinians!)
Jaffa: http://yfrog.com/h2ytyywzj (sign says The people demands social justice! End to apartheid and the occupation!)
We now have between 80-90 camps across the country, and counting.
Let the revolution continue!”

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:

SUPPORT Tent 1948!

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.

(2)  English Language Video report

(3) Critique of Protests

(4) Solidarity protests at Israeli Embassy in Berlin

(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

urne

5 Comments

  1. SUPPORT TENT #48

    Twitter : #tent48 / Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tent-No-1948/145119862236730?sk=wall

    We are a group of Palestinian Arab and Jew citizens that believe in shared sovereignty in the state of all its citizens. Instead of thinking about separation and constrains, we think of the possibility of joint existence.

    Since foundation of the state – Israeli policy of divide and rule, prevents real change and produces boundaries for deep social demands. If we work together we can only benefit.

    What do we want?

    We want this struggle to deal with housing shortage among Arabs and Mizrachi Jews in Israel, both in large cities and in the villages.

    We want to end Judaization of Arab neighborhoods and stop the “development” of neighborhoods by building luxury complexes.

    We want to stop the eviction of Palestinian families as it happens almost every day in Jaffa, Lod, Ramla and elsewhere in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

    We want to end the discrimination of the Palestinian Arabs in the rental and purchase of real estate, which became “legitimate” in the Israeli- Jewish society, as the “Letter of Rabbis” showed us.

    We want to change the land policy in Israel, so it will address the historical justice to Palestinian population. No more land confiscation, no more house demolitions. We live here together, it’s time we start to internalize it.

    We want to talk about discrimination in state institutions, education, health, culture.

    We require recognizing the basic right of the Palestinians in Israel and in the Occupied Territories to set their own lifestyles.

    We want to emphasize, there can be no social justice while this state occupies and oppresses Palestinians, and justice should be to all. In Addition, many of the state resources are allocated to the occupation: by establishing walls and barriers, that embitter the life of the Palestinian people, or by securing and supporting settlements. Occupation takes a lot of money, which can be used to improve the life of the Jewish and Arab population in Israel and the Occupied Territories.
    * * *

    אנחנו
    קבוצה של אזרחיות/ים ערביות פלסטיניות/ים ויהודיות/ים, שמאמינה בריבונות משותפת במדינת כל אזרחיה. במקום לחשוב על הפרדה והגבלה, אנחנו חושבות על מימושה של האפשרות הקיימת מעצמה, זאת של קיום משותף. מדיניות ה”הפרד ומשול” של המדיניות בישראל מאז קום המדינה מונעת שינוי אמיתי ומייצרת גבולות לדרישות חברתיות עמוקות. אם נעבוד ביחד נוכל רק להרוויח.
    מה אנחנו רוצות?
    אנחנו רוצות שהמאבק הזה ידבר על מצוקת הדיור ש…ל המזרחיות/ים ושל הערביות/ים בישראל, גם בערים הגדולות וגם בכפרים.
    אנחנו רוצות להפסיק את ייהוד השכונות הערביות ואת “פיתוחן” של שכונות מצוקה באמצעות הקמת מתחמי יוקרה.
    אנחנו רוצות להפסיק את הפינוי של משפחות פלסטיניות מבתיהן כמו שמתרחש מדי יום ביפו, בלוד, ברמלה ובמקומות נוספים בישראל ובשטחים הכבושים.
    אנחנו רוצות להפסיק את האפליה של ערביות/ים בהשכרה ובקנייה של דירות ולמגר תופעות שנעשו מקובלות בחברה היהודית כמו “מכתב הרבנים”.
    אנחנו רוצות לשנות את מדיניות הקרקעות בישראל, כל שיעשה צדק הסטורי לאוכלוסייה הפלסטינית. לא עוד הפקעת קרקעות, לא עוד הריסת בתים. אנחנו חיות פה ביחד, הגיע הזמן שנתחיל להפנים את זה.
    אנחנו רוצות לדבר על אפליה במוסדות המדינה, בחינוך, בבריאות, בתרבות.
    אנחנו דורשות להכיר בזכות הבסיסית של הערביות/ים בישראל ובשטחים הכבושים לקבוע בעצמן את אורח חייהם.

    אנחנו רוצות להדגיש שאין שבאמת צדק חברתי כל עוד המדינה הזאת כובשת ומדכא הפלסטיניות/ים, צדק אומר להיות של כולם. בנוסף, אל הכיבוש מופנים רבים ממשאבי המדינה: הן בהקמת חומות ומחסומים, שממררים את חייה של האוכלוסיה הפלסטינית, והן באבטחה ובתמיכה בהתנחלויות. הכיבוש גוזל כספים רבים שיכולים לשמש לשיפור חייה של האוכלוסיה היהודית והערבית בישראל ובשטחים הכבושים.

    نحن مجموعة من المواطنات/ين العرب الفلسطينيات/ين واليهود/يات، نؤمن بالسيادة المشتركة في دولة تكون لجميع مواطنيها. نؤمن بالعيش المشترك، بدل منطق الفصل والحواجز. سياسة فرق تسد التي انتهجتها دول إسرائيل، منذ قيامها، تمنع تغيير حقيقي، وتصد مطالب اجتماعية جدية. إذا عملنا معاً، سنربح جميعنا.

    ماذا نريد؟
    نريد من هذا النضال أن يتحدث عن أزمة السكن للمواطنين/ات العرب، في المدن الكبيرة وفي القرى.
    نريد وقف تهويد الأحياء العربية و”تنمية” الأحياء الفقيرة من خلال بناء المجمعات الفاخرة.
    نريد وقف إخلاء العائلات الفلسطينية كما يحدث كل يوم في يافا، اللد، الرملة وأماكن أخرى في إسرائيل والأراضي المختلة.
    نريد وقف تمييز العرب/يات في تأجير وشراء شقق، والقضاء على مظاهر العنصرية التي أصبحت مقبولة في المجتمع اليهودي مثل “عريضة الحاخامات”.
    نريد تغيير سياسة الأراضي في إسرائيل، بحيث تحقق العدل التاريخي للمجتمع الفلسطيني. وقف مصادرة الأراضي، وقف هدم البيوت. نحن نعيش هنا معاً، حان الوقت لأن نسلم بذلك.
    نريد أن نتحدث عن التمييز في مؤسسات الدولة، في التعليم، الصحة، الثقافة.
    نحن نطالب بالاعتراف بالحق الأساسي للعرب/يات في إسرائيل وفي الأراضي المحتلة في تحديد نمط حياتهم بنفسهم.
    نريد أن نؤكد، أنه لا يمكن تحقيق العدالة الاجتماعية طالما تمارس هذه الدولة الاحتلال والاضطهاد للفلسطينيات/ين، العدالة يجب أن تكون عدالة للجميع. بالإضافة، الكثير من موارد الدولة تذهب للاحتلال: إما من خلال إقامة جدران وحواجز، تجعل حياة الفلسطينيين مريرة، وإما من خلال أمن ودعم المستوطنات. الاحتلال يستهلك أموالاً طائلة، والتي من الممكن أن تذهب لتحسين ظروف حياة اليهود والعرب في إسرائيل وفي الاراضي المحتلة.

  2. From a correspondent in Tel Aviv:

    Re. the question: the protests are not related to the Israel/Palestine question. Obviously, people in the camps are talking about it. But it’s such a sensitive and divisive issue, that taking a stance would mean losing large parts of the protesters.

    This is the sad reality we live in in Israel. I decided to join the protests despite this because I think this movement has a long term effect. People are finally out on the streets, talking politics. Israeli Palestinians have joined the protests, and for the first time you hear people talk about social rights without referring to racial or ethnic terms.

    But for all your friends who are looking for an explicit condemnation of the occupation or reclamation of Palestinian rights, I unfortnately have to say they will be disappointed. This movement so far has no capacity to talk about the occupation without disappearing. I understand the dilemma you guys have abroad. Personally I recommended my friends in Madrid to wait a bit before taking a clear stance, because of this complex issue. They decided to act anyway and wrote us another support letter.

  3. This is a great message from Tent #48. I’ve tweeted it on A World to Win’s Twitter @aworldtowin

  4. Statement of Solidarity developed at International Student Movement Platform

    “Protests against continued austerity measures are spreading
    throughout the world. In early July, 2011, Israeli activists joined
    others in making similar demands upon their government. These protests
    raise issue with the continued attacks on working people in Israel,
    and, despite their origins among middle and upper class citizens, they
    have become a space for working people to voice their rage against the
    continued assault and austerity brought to them by the Israeli state.

    Among these protests, there are smaller groupings who continue to
    try and raise the Palestinian issue in the discussion, linking the
    continued occupation and war to the social cuts inside Israel. On top
    of this issue, many of the programs Israelis aim to preserve simply do
    not exist in the occupied territories or in Palestinian communities
    inside of Israel. These conditions are created by the Israeli state
    and its drive to use the prospect of peace talks for their political
    gain without any genuine consideration for building a real sustainable
    peace.

    We recognize that many Israelis are not directly responsible for
    the continued occupation and have little control over state decisions,
    especially considering the recent law banning Israelis from
    participating in solidarity with the Palestinian call for Boycott,
    Divestment, and Sanction. We do, however, recognize the inseparable
    connection between war spending and austerity measures that provide
    profits for the super rich while impoverishing poor and working
    people.

    We, the undersigned, declare our solidarity with the movement in
    Israel against continued austerity measures. We also call on our
    brothers and sisters in Israel to reach out to Palestinian communities
    and Palestinians who seek justice and peace with a desire to build a
    society based on the self determination of all peoples and to work
    with them in common cause. To this end, we encourage those who are
    taking part in these actions to reach out to and participate in tent
    1948, a tent encampment of Jews and Arabs who seek a collective
    solution to these social problems.

    We join in solidarity with those in Israel who are standing up to
    their government’s mixed priorities – priorities that put war,
    occupation, and profit before people. No more cuts! No more war! Self
    determination of all peoples!

    Solidarity with the Israel people against austerity! Solidarity
    with all peoples of Israel and Palestine who seek peace and social
    justice!”

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