This week’s cartoon is about the affordable housing protests that are currently taking place in Tel Aviv. There is no doubt that a young couple simply cannot afford to buy or even rent an apartment in many parts of Israel. There are a lot of reasons for this — simple supply and demand, the lack of a stable rental market (most rentals are temporary, the owner of the property being abroad or waiting for his children to get married, etc.) — but it is a fact.
Our cartoonist wishes to draw attention to another side of the protests. For example:
“My Israel” (Hebrew site here) is an umbrella organization that specializes in the use of social media to spread the message of its member groups. Although Israelis would call it ‘right-wing’, that’s misleading to English-speakers — ‘Zionist’, ‘pro-IDF’ and ‘pro-settlement’ would be more accurate.
My Israel offered on Friday to join the protest, on condition that the national anthem would be sung. However, on Saturday night, it announced that housing protest leader “Daphni Leef’s people evaded and evaded” committing to singing Hatikva at the event in Tel Aviv.
“This should be a protest for all Israeli organizations, Left and Right, because centralization and monopolies do not know the difference between right and left wing,” My Israel chairwoman Ayelet Shaked said. “Therefore, we decided [on Friday] to join the struggle.”
However, the “minimum requirement for joining should be obvious. The protest’s purpose and participants should be Israeli, and its organizers should not stop demonstrators from singing Hatikva, as they did last week,” Shaked said…
“We are not willing to join a protest that aims for anarchy and pointlessly harming the government ‘because Bibi [Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu] is bad’ and that is lead by anti-IDF and anti-Israel elements. We would be happy to work side by side with leftwing Zionists who support the State of Israel, but think territory should be given up. They are our brothers, even if we disagree with them,” My Israel explained…
My Israel wrote that the activists involved in the housing protest “do not want Israel to be a Jewish state.”
On Friday, Ma’ariv columnist Kalman Liebskind listed various leaders of the housing protest and their associations with left-wing organizations and parties, such as Leef, a film editor for the New Israel Fund, Yehudit Ilani of the Balad Party, and Alon Lee Green of the Hadash Party.
Balad and Hadash are parties with mostly Arab memberships (Hadash is the Israeli communist party). And the New Israel fund is an American NGO which consistently supports anti-Zionist causes in Israel. It is absolutely not an exaggeration to say that these elements “do not want Israel to be a Jewish state.”
The less-extreme opposition is also hitching a ride on the anti-government aspect of the protest:
Addressing the social struggle and demands for social justice vocalized in protests and tent protests across the country, opposition leader Tzipi Livni said that “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not the solution, he’s the problem” …
While acknowledging that protesters don’t want to hand their struggle over to any political party, something she praised, Livni said that “at the end of the day, this is a problem that will have to be solved politically.”
The opposition leader also called on the prime minister to cancel the Knesset’s scheduled summer recess. Livni also said she hopes that elections come soon, saying, “Israel deserves [an opportunity] to change this government.”
PM Netanyahu is putting forward a plan to improve the housing market and reduce the cost of living in general.
All this goes to show that Israel can be a normal country with normal problems when the pressure of the security situation is relaxed, if only temporarily.
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