The tent city protests (twitter hashtag #j14) began in Tel Aviv on Friday, July 15. A few tents suddenly appeared in Habima Square. There had been an internet call for protests against rising rents.
By Motzai Shabbat, the tents spread to fill a block on Rothschild Boulevard (since renamed “If I Were a Rothschild” Boulevard).
Some folks went down to the Likud Office on King George and threw cottage cheese containers.
The story soon made its way into the news cycle. Some government ministers made snide and derisive comments about the wannabe-bourgeois protestors. By Tuesday, tents appeared in Kikar Tzahal in Jerusalem, Mercaz HaMorim in Beer Sheva, and Kikar Tzahal in Kiryat Shmona … (click here for a g.map of all the tent protest sites).
Fast forward to July 30. Over 150,000 people crowded Rabin Square to demand that something be done about housing in Israel.
A friend forwarded me a link to the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) announcing “The Revolution is Here.”
One cannot think of “revolution” these days without thinking of Mohamed Bouazizi, Tahrir Square, or the Ramadan Massacre in Hama. Is the Tent Protest Movement driving Israel to its Tahrir Square moment? Will these folks drive PM Netanyahu from power like the people did with Ben Ali, Mubarak and inshallah, Assad?
IRAC seems to think so… or perhaps not. Having read and re-read the piece, I really cannot tell. Can you? Is a revolution truly afoot when its proponents swear up and down that their movement is apolitical?
What I can say is this:
There are three classes of citizens. The first are the rich, who are indolent and yet always crave more. The second are the poor, who have nothing, are full of envy, hate the rich, and are easily led by demagogues. Between the two extremes lie those who make the state secure and uphold the laws.
…And I did not even say it first. Euripides did over 2,400 years ago.
What say you?
- More than 100000 take to streets across Israel in largest housing protest yet – Ha’aretz (news.google.com)
- Housing protests roil Israel as tent cities pop up (jta.org)
- Police Break Up Tent Protest in S. Tel Aviv (israelnationalnews.com)
- Protest at the corner of Rothschild and Tahrir (theglobeandmail.com)