The Arab Spring Arrives in Israel?
What’s the Latest Development?
Responding to a widening gap between the rich and the poor, tens of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. “Saturday night’s demonstrations were the largest since the start of the protest wave, which was inspired partly by anti-government uprisings in neighboring Arab countries. Police estimated that more than 100,000 people demonstrated in 10 cities across Israel.” Most protesters were middle-class who complained that the rising cost of living is outstripping their salaries.
What’s the Big Idea?
While the Egyptian population had lived under corrupt rule for decades, it was the rising cost of living that finally tipped the scales. Now, the same is happening in Israel. “The protests have drawn people from across the political spectrum and have taken place outside Israel’s established political parties and their leaders. The demonstrations have united hawks and doves, those on the left and those on the right, who have traditionally lined up according to their stance on the Arab-Israeli conflict.” The government plans to appoint a new council to discuss domestic economic affairs.