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(freedompress.org.uk) Israel’s social protests

What began as a spontaneous tent city protest, mimicking the Tahrir square and Spain’s 15M indignados, has developed into one of Israel’s biggest anti-government protests in recent times and a universal call for greater social change. In less than a month from when activists occupied Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv and turned it into a camp in protest at rent increases and the country’s deepening housing crisis a mass movement as emerged with tent cities springing up throughout the country demanding ‘social justice’ from a unpopular government.

Thousands upon thousands of angry Israelis took to the streets in a co-ordinated day of action and although the main focus was on housing – Tel Aviv rents are estimated to take up at least half of people’s income – there was also anger about the government’s handling of the economy and disintegrating welfare state.

Despite the relative peaceful nature of the protests officials were quick to blame radicals and anarchists for their role in the protests, perhaps fearing a more revolutionary tone to the growing unrest.

Minister of Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein took a swipe at the anarchists involved declaring. “These are despicable people who have no connection to reality or to the demands being heard. This is a group that leeches on to the real demonstrators” adding “We need to separate them from the rest of the protesters.”

In Jaffa, dozens of Arab and Jewish protesters rallied against the government carrying signs in Hebrew and Arabic reading “Arabs and Jews want affordable housing,” and “Jaffa doesn’t want bids for the rich only.”

From a start of a dozen tents in centre Tel Aviv to the 2,000-tent camp there and many other local ones throughout the country, and from a few hesitant direct actions to a huge 200,000-march.

In the big Tel Aviv demonstration part of the local anarchists – including the anarchists against the wall marched as a block with flags, placards and chants. According to an veteran Israeli anarchist Ilan Shalif  ”We marched from the Rothschild Boulevard where the already 2000 tent campers dwell now on the way to the museum square – who was too small to include all of us. Most participants were chanting all the one hour march. Some speeches where carried at the square. When the tent dwellers and others who live in that direction walked back following the demonstration, hundreds of protesters blocked the intersection of Kaplan and Ibn Gvirol Streets – a major junction in central Tel Aviv. People used various materials available to barricade. They chanted among others: “Revolution! Revolution! Revolution” and “Non-violence! Non-violence!”.

Police started to confront the roads blockers – detained many and arrested some of them. About 200 detained during the confrontations. More than 40 were arrested. Most of them were released during the night on signed bail. Few activists of the anarchists against the wall were among the arrestees”.

Source: http://www.freedompress.org.uk/news/2011/09/07/israels-social-protests/

( on Sep 9, 2011 – Palestinians have started their campaign for statehood ahead of the upcoming United Nations vote. They carried a letter to the UN mission in Ramallah, saying their rallies will continue until Palestine becomes a member state. Washington meanwhile says it will veto any such bid if it comes to the U.N. Security Council. RT discusses this with Akiva Eldar, chief political commentator for Haaretz newspaper in Tel Aviv.

(daviddegraw.org) The Israeli people have joined the a Global Insurrection Against Neo-Liberal Economic Domination in a big way over the past few weeks, as tens of thousands have been protesting against “the high cost of living and wealth inequality.” This morning, a group of protesters occupied the roof of the Tel Aviv stock exchange. They are also preparing for a nation-wide strike on August 1st.

The Israeli people consistently point to inequality of wealth as a key rallying force behind the protests. Israel ranks as the 5th most unequal in wealth distribution among OECD countries…

Hello sleeping Americans, inequality of wealth is much worse here. (#OpESR,#OccupyWallStreet)

From AFP:

“Protesters scaled the building a day after the powerful Histadrut labour union threw its support behind the demonstrators, who have set up tent cities across Israel to protest the high cost of housing….

One of the protesters involved in occupying the roof of the Tel Aviv stock exchange told military radio it was a symbolic gesture intended to draw attention to inequalities in Israeli society.

‘Ten big companies control 80 percent of the stock market and take all the fruits of the growth in the national economy,’ he said…

This summer, Israelis have been showing their anger over the situation, beginning with a boycott of their much-loved cottage cheese in a successful bid to bring down the rising cost of the food item.

Then, in mid-July, students and other young protesters began pitching tents in the middle of Tel Aviv to protest the high cost of housing, quickly winning supporters and sparking similar tent protests in other Israeli cities.” [source]

Video from previous post:

Tens of Thousands in Israel Protest Rising Prices

 

It is also important to mention that Israel has just passed a new law against boycotts, as Democracy Now recently coverage:

“Israel has passed a new law outlawing citizens and organizations from advocating for boycotts against any Israeli person or entity. The law is drawing criticism from around the world as an attack on freedom of speech. Under the new law, any person, including journalists, calling for the boycott or divestment of Israel or the occupied West Bank can be sued by the boycott’s targets, without having to prove that they sustained damage. We’re joined by Gal Beckerman, the opinion editor at the Jewish daily newspaper, The Forward, which recently issued an editorial claiming “a boycott can be a legitimate use of non-violent protest to achieve a worthy goal.” The editors of the paper then drew a line through the sentence, along with several others, to illustrate the type of reasonable thoughts that will be punishable under the new law.”

http://www.democracynow.org/images/player.swf

(independent.co.uk) A senior Israeli army commander has warned that unchecked “Jewish terror” against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank threatens to plunge the territory into another conflict.

In unusually outspoken comments, Major General Avi Mizrahi took aim at extremist Israeli settlers, and said the yeshiva, or religious seminary, in Yitzhar, one of the most radical Jewish strongholds in the West Bank, should be closed, calling it a source of terror against Palestinians.

The general’s comments are likely to put him at odds with Israel’s pro-settler government, which has resisted US-led efforts to curb settlement expansion in a bid to revive stalled peace talks. The foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, himself lives in a West Bank settlement. All settlements are regarded as illegal under international law.

The army has anxiously watched an upsurge in violence by hardline settlers, who in recent months have set fire to a West Bank mosque, burned Palestinian olive groves, and vandalised Palestinian property. Settlers have killed three Palestinians this year.

“What’s happening in the field is terrorism,” General Mizrahi told Channel 2’s Meet the Press, and it “needs to be dealt with.” The Israel Defence Forces (IDF), he said, fears “terrorism against Palestinians is likely to ignite the territories.”

The general’s criticism points to frustration within the army’s high command at their ability to check violent settlers.

Palestinians and Israeli NGOs frequently accuse the army of siding with settlers in conflagrations with Palestinians, prompting the army to respond that it is obliged to protect its citizens and does not set policy.

The number of violent incidents has spiked in recent months, partly because of the murder earlier this year of five members, including three children, from one Jewish family in Itamar, a settlement near Nablus. Two Palestinians were charged with the crime.

Human rights groups suggest that the more radical settlers, many of whom oppose a two-state solution on the premise that the whole of Israel is bequeathed to them by God, are agitating against Palestinian moves to seek statehood recognition at the United Nations in September.

Some fear that the surge in violent attacks against Palestinians could compound rising frustrations with the stalled peace process and trigger more violent riots.

“The army is very afraid that [action by settlers] at a critical moment could set off a Third Intifada,” said Adam Keller, spokesman for Israeli human rights body Gush Shalom, referring to a mass Palestinian uprising.

“The fact that the army is nervous is making the settlers more aggressive,” he said

The Israeli commander General Mizrahi blamed the courts for failing to rein in the most radical of the settlers – a small proportion of the roughly 500,000 Israeli settlers who are living beyond the Green Line in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/jewish-settlers-are-terrorising-palestinians-says-israeli-general-2315435.html

(Censored News) Alexander Higgins’ online report about how Facebook helped spy on and arrest fly-in supporters to Palestine this week, could not be posted on Facebook today, as seen in this screen capture.
Facebook is not only helping governments to spy on, and arrest peace activists, but it is censoring a news article on what happened to the fly-in activists supporting Palestine. Activists were halted at airports in Europe this week, and others detained in Tel Aviv on Friday, as they attempted to travel to Palestine. Many remained in an Israeli prison on Sunday.
The ‘Flytilla’ supporters responded after Greece halted the Gaza Freedom Flotilla boats from departing, under pressure from Israel and the United States.
Alexander Higgins reports in his blog:

“… Facebook aided Israel in cracking down on the group of activists from the UK, France and Belgium who planned their event using the popular social networking site.
“According to the report, Facebook allowed government agents to track the activists activities and then create a black-list of people who participated in the planning of the protests.
“The group of black-listed people was then forwarded to airlines with instructions to prevent the activists from boarding air flights to Israel. Over 200 activists were prevented from flying after being added to the airlines terrorism watch list, according the the AP report.”
Aljazeera also reported on how Facebook was used to halt and arrest the Flytilla activists.
“According to the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, police and intelligence units followed social networks used by the groups organising the protest,” Aljazeera reported.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/07/201178154823642194.html
In his articles, Higgins also reveals an extensive spy operation, as uncovered in documents by hacktivists AntiSec, Anonymous and Lulzsec.
“A sinister cyber surveillance plot revealed in this rare fascinating look deep into the underground world of the fascist partnership of corporate and government black operations.
“I recently pointed out some of the shocking details of the cyber surveillance spy program unveiled by the Anonymous release of the HBGary Federal emails as discussed by the UK newspaper the Guardian.
“While those details revealed mounds of shocking information, such as top secret military black ops being ran in partnership with the likes of Google, Facebook and ATandT to spy on online activities to gather data for the government to run mass propaganda operations and manipulate the news, the reality is the email dump contains over 70,000 emails and only as the emails are further dug through and analyzed will the full extent of the operations be revealed.”
Read more on Higgins blog about the new spy operations Infraguard and Romas/COIN.
Higgins’ blog also includes the report from Censored News about the off-duty Marines who are hunting migrants on the border at Sasabe, Arizona, with assault weapons, as revealed in the data release in hacked Arizona police files.
http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/
WATCH VIDEO: French cops assaulting women protesters in Paris, after Flytilla passengers denied boarding by airlines in France


100_0026 by abunawfal

By Brenda Norrell

Source: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/07/censored-by-facebook-facebook-helped.html

(anarkismo.netBil’in fence is moving and the Ni’ilin one will be moved too.

During the years, the joint struggle against the separation fence and occupation brought some successes forcing the Israeli state to retreat a bit from initial steps of using the separation fence for annexation of Palestinian lands for colonialist settlements. However, the persistent struggles in Bil’in and in the near-by Ni’ilin were in the focus of the media [and in intensive participation of this writer the last six years.] Thus, with huge satisfaction we have seen the beginning of the moving of the separation fence in Bil’in and the media report on it and the coming moving of the fence in Ni’ilin. The relentless joint struggle continues in the heroic Nabi Saleh, in the persistent Ma’asara, in Beit Omar, in the Southern Hebron Mountain region, in East Jerusalem, and within Israel.

Beit Ummar Saturday 25.6.11

The weekly peaceful demonstration in Beit-Ummar set off on Saturday noon out of the village and next to the agriculture zone nearby the settlement Carmei-Tzur. In the demo took part approx 60 participants, Palestinians, internationals and 8 Israelis. The big number of IOF soldiers and border police waited to the protesters on the narrow road which goes up to the settlement (down the area where they usually Waite), but the protesters were smarter and branch out into two groups – one went directly inside the plum’s grove and the other continue climb up on the road and stopped in front of the soldiers. As usually the soldiers used violence in order to stop the protesters, that tried again and again to enter the agriculture’s areas around on the side of the road. After about 30 minutes the soldiers started to use sounds bombs, arrested 2 international activists and one Palestinian young guy, they also took the ID cards from 3 Israelis activists. After one hour the protesters left the area and the protest came to the end. Read More