Why the world should care about Israel’s social justice movement

Reference: New Satesman

To read full text from the article, please visit the New Statesman website at: http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/world-affairs/2012/07/why-world-should-care-about-israels-social-justice-movement

 

A year ago today the Israeli social justice movement started, seeing hundreds of thousands of Israelis repeatedly marching throughout last summer in demand of socioeconomic reform and constituting the biggest wave of public demonstrations in Israel’s short history.

It began with campaigns over poor doctor and social worker wages and inflated prices of staple household products from diapers to cottage cheese. Then “J14” (14 July) erupted when ordinary Tel Avivian Daphni Leef – struggling to find affordable housing despite working a six-day week, and flipping out from friends calling to say they’re leaving Israel because they “can’t make it there” – wound up pitching her tent on the affluent Rothschild Boulevard. Hundreds more followed to protest against skyrocketing rent and house prices, with ‘tent cities’ springing up across the country.

J14 was far more than a leftist gathering of disgruntled anarchists, spoilt college students and minorities against a hawkish government. Throughout last summer Tel Aviv’s tent city was a powerful hub for ordinary, hardworking, intellectual people realising they’re all struggling with the cost of living in Israel regardless of political leanings, ethnic background, religion, class or profession. Doctors, bankers, Ethiopians, Arabs, politicians, singers, Ultra-Orthodox, writers, parents as well as students all gathered and talked late into the night about change.

To read full text from the article, please visit the New Statesman website at: http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/world-affairs/2012/07/why-world-should-care-about-israels-social-justice-movement