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By Carmen Rengel / Translation: Blanca G. Bertolaza

  • 30,000 Israelis set up camps in about twenty cities to demand a decrease in housing and basic product prices
  • Salaries have gone up 1% in seven years, while rentals have gone up 250%. This disparity forces them to live with their parents
  • The market is growing because of the demand of wealthy Jews who want a place to spend several weeks a year and because of speculation from millionaires from all over the world, especially in Tel Aviv

Campsite on Rotshchild Boulevard, in Tel Aviv. July 2011 /Activestills

The indignant protest in Israel is unstoppable: 150,000 people took to the street on Saturday night to demand a radical change in national politics, that prevents the middle class from maintaining a wealthy upper class that shines and gives out the wrong image of the country, that of a land of milk and honey. 30,000 Israelis live in camps spread throughout about twenty cities, in a fight that will not settle for partial wins. Sick of being “exploited”, what started out as a minor movement has become, in 17 days, a popular tide that sweeps everybody away. Even in Zara you can see support signs.Their tenacity has lowered Benjamin Netanyahu’s popularity rate from 51% to 32%. That is why he has hurried to announce 10,000 flats for young people tearing down walls in government compounds that today are office buildings, or indirect taxes reductions, or aid for young people to move to under populated cities. Yesterday, he even announced the creation of a special ministerial team to offer solutions. It is not enough for the streets, who today have begun the calls for a strike in about thirty towns, who have shut down city offices and who refuse to clean up the streets and pick up the garbage. Even the administration is on strike. The trembling has reached the Government, with the resignation of the general Financial director, the man who estimated the cost of giving an answer to the citizens’ demands at 12.000 million Euros. Netanyahu’s coalition with the extreme right and the ultra orthodox is not in danger, but the opposition is taking advantage of the cause: opposition leader Tzipi Livni has demanded the Parliament to keep working, even though on Thursday it should go on holidays until October. “Now it is time to fight”, she says. Here is the account of the birth, demands and yearnings of Israel’s “indignant”.

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