Last summer's tent encampments were dismantled, but the spirit of the protest lives on. Citizens are taking matters into their own hands, promoting public interests through growing numbers of cooperatives. By Yifat Solel The summer of 2011 was the summer of social protest in Israel. Tent encampments emerged all over the country and one call was heard from every corner – "the people demand social justice." But the summer ended, the court enabled the dismantling of the tents and the only government response was in the form of an economic panel that produced a frail report. The protesters needed a…Read More... | 9 Comments
Facebook in Israel has been flooded all day with reports of cultural figures and venues announcing their decision to boycott the annual 'White Night' events sponsored by the Tel Aviv Municipality, in reaction to the weekend's police violence; meanwhile, over 100 protesters showed up at City Hall on Monday evening and disrupted a planned no-confidence vote against the mayor. Following police brutality and violent arrests against protesters in Tel Aviv over the weekend, a variety of Israeli writers, artists and venues have announced that they will be boycotting Tel Aviv's White Night events this Thursday night. "White Night" is an annual…Read More... | 9 Comments
An attempt on Friday at reestablishing last summer's protest was met with a heavy hand by the police. Daphni Leef, who set up the tent that sparked last year's movement and whose call brought out hundreds on Friday, was violently detained in a sign of a shift in the protester-police dynamic. Update: At least five ten protesters have been arrested, including Daphni Leef and Israeli actor Tomer Sharon, who had joined the protesters. The crowd stayed on, and Hadash MK Dov Khenin and Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz arrived. Activists announced plans for a march leaving from Rothschild Boulevard at 9 p.m.…Read More... | 12 Comments
UPDATE: Since this post was published on Sunday morning, a ministerial committee approved two bill proposals that seek to limit the funding of human rights organizations. Read more here. After a summer featuring hundreds of thousands of Israelis demonstrating in the streets for social justice legislation, the Knesset is now finally back from recess. But social justice legislation isn’t on the agenda. In its stead, the coalition has gone back to promoting its wave of anti-democratic legislation. Is this coalition government out of touch with the people's will? By Hagai El-Ad Right up until the eve of the summer social…Read More... | 3 Comments
+972 bloggers Joseph Dana, Aziz Abu Sarah, Noam Sheizaf and Lisa Goldman were recently hosted by Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., where they held a panel discussion on their work in a changing Middle East.Read More... | 144 Comments
Roee Ruttenberg reports for CCTV News on the return of social protests to the streets of Tel Aviv after an eight-week hiatus. The rally drew an estimated 70,000 people.Read More... | 5 Comments
Social justice activists and leaders of the J14 summer protest staged flash mobs in various points around Tel Aviv this week, in an attempt to reenergize the public ahead of a planned demonstration on Saturday night. The activists brought the flash mobs to the Ichilov Hospital, two banks on Rothschild Blvd and a supermarket. The first video depicts the flash mob staged in the hospital, designed to draw attention to the need for improved healthcare and the medical residents' struggle: The other videos depict activists chanting, "The people demand social justice!" and publicizing Saturday's protest:Read More... | 4 Comments
Posters and stickers—calling for a general strike (or, more literally, a people’s strike) and sponsored by J14—have popped up all over Tel Aviv in the past week or so. But with Gilad Schalit’s release capturing the country’s attention, will anyone heed the call? The poster above includes a picture of the Knesset and reads, “They’re not working for you; people’s strike 1/11/11.” The small print at the bottom says “three months, nine rallies, thousands of tents, a million citizens, and they still don’t get it—the people demand social justice!” Catchy. But, right now, Israelis are likely to feel that the…Read More... | 9 Comments
The recent Peace Index shows that when it comes to peace talks and social spending, not much has changed, despite diplomatic developments and a tumultuous summer The following are highlights from the September 2011 “Peace Index,” a long-running monthly index of peace and conflict related topics, mixed with other topical questions. The survey was run by phone from 2-3 October, 2011, among a representative sample of 600 Israeli adults. Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Remarkably stable dynamics. Despite a month that was supposed to be momentous, the central tenet of Israeli public opinion regarding the conflict remains exactly as it has been for years now: The…Read More... | 6 Comments
When hundreds block Tel Aviv's main boulevard, chasing away the police, the mass media isn't there to document it, explaining that now is "The Gilad Schalit festival" It didn't look as though anything majorly exciting was due to happen in Tel Aviv on the "Global Day of Action". Two events were indeed planned, but with the tents folded and the spirit of revolution calmed over the past month or so, no one expected mayhem. The first was a gathering on the Art Museum plaza, featuring live streaming and global chat, which was approved by both the police and the city,…Read More... | 10 Comments
Some two weeks after the forced removal of the last of the tents that represented the summer protest movement, Israelis on Saturday joined demonstrators all over the world in a coordinated day of protests against the financial system. Events took place in various Israeli cities. In Tel Aviv, the main event was held in the square of the Museum of Art, where at least 1,000 people gathered. The square was turned into somewhat of a political fair, with discussion circles, stalls promoting a dizzying number of political parties and movements, an ecological corner and finger painting for children. Organizers made…Read More... | 1 Comment
These are great times to be an Israeli and an American, when peoples of both nations are fighting capitalism gone wild Over two years ago I decided to start blogging. I called my blog “Half & Half” (which I later on moved to +972) because of the feeling I had of being half American (born to American parents) and half Israeli (born and raised in Israel). It’s always been a feeling that ran somewhere between “cool” to “confusing.” Now, that duality is kicking in once again. This past summer has been one of the most interesting and exciting I’ve ever encountered,…Read More... | 33 Comments
As Israelis rise in social protest, they comfort themselves with the thought that our safety net is at least better than that of the ultra-capitalist US. They are wrong The unscheduled and unfortunately long hiatus in the Israeli policy myths series coincided with the unprecedented rise of the current social protest movement. This movement has brought the enormous erosion of Israel's social safety net to the forefront of public discussion. Yet, if anything, Israelis are underestimating how bad things have become. In this, the suddenly topical fourth installment of the series, I will argue that the situation here is now…Read More... | 5 Comments
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