Hundreds of the thousands of protesters across the political spectrum have taken to the streets in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to protest the growing wealth inequity and rising cost of living. “Despite Israel’s relatively healthy economic growth and low unemployment, wage disparities are big, wealth and corporate power are highly concentrated, food prices have increased almost 13 percent since 2005 and many people spend 50% of their incomes on rent or mortgages.” The government has yet to meet with representatives of the protests.
What’s the Big Idea?
The Arab Spring has come to Israel, showing there is not much uniquely Arab about wanting just governance. Just as protests across Egypt and Tunisia gained strength, “opinion polls have put public support for the protests at around 90 percent.” Some worry that an unfortunate political consequence of Palestine’s expected petition for statehood before the U.N. in September could drown out the domestic protests, providing Binyamin Netanyahu’s government the political cover it needs to ignore popular demands for more accountability.