Social Justice Protests in Israel
Like America, Israel is no fit place to live in.
by Stephen Lendman
Last summer, Israelis protested for weeks for social justice. Hundreds of thousands rallied throughout the country.
Hoped for change never came. Netanyahu made promises he never kept. Public anger again erupted. On May 12, Haaretz headlined "Israelis take to the streets in renewed social justice protests," saying:
Thousands rallied in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square. Others did nationwide under the banner "Returning the country to the citizens."
"We want justice, not charity."
"Taking from the poor, giving to the rich, what a country of corruption."
Organizer Orli Barlev said:
"The message is one against the political system that does not count the citizens. What we saw this week were moves that resulted from personal interests of power and control. This government has greatly deepened social gaps."
Barlev meant the Likud/Kadima unity deal. Party heads Netanyahu and Shaul Mofaz became coalition partners. Doing so more deeply corrupted Israeli politics. Democratic values sustained another body blow.
Growing social and economic inequality affects most Israelis. Since the 1980s, policies disproportionately favored the rich. Social benefits keep eroding. Wealth disparity gaps widen. Unemployment and poverty grow. So do increasing hunger and homelessness.
Israelis face similar race to the bottom issues as Western societies. At issue is neoliberal harshness. Only elitist interests matter. Wealth and power are prioritized over human need.
People finally react and say no more. Grievances they want addressed include: