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Israelis Plan Million-Strong March As Protesters Call For Social Justice..Israel Rating Downgraded Almost The Same Day With USA

Posted on: August 9, 2011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/07/israelis-march-protesters-social-justice

Activists behind spiralling protests in Israel plan to build on one of the biggest marches ever seen in the country by piling on “more pressure, more people, more tents and more protests” culminating in a million-strong march in 50 cities next month.

An estimated 300,000 people took to the streets on Saturday to press their demands for social justice and lower living costs in the largest demonstrations over social issues ever seen in the country. Despite scepticism that turnout could surpass previous events, almost twice as many people joined marches in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other towns and cities.

Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, was forced to respond to the spiralling protests with the establishment of a committee to “listen to the distress” and recommend action.

The protests, which began with a handful of tents erected in Tel Aviv, have unleashed a national fury at the government’s failure to respond to the needs and complaints of middle-income Israelis. Tent cities have mushroomed in more than 40 locations across the country as well as daily demonstrations and roadblocks over the cost of housing, childcare, fuel, food and electricity.

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% since 2005 and many people spend 50% of their incomes on rent or mortgages.

Up to 250,000 people marched through Tel Aviv to Israel’s military headquarters on Saturday, causing major traffic diversions until the early hours. One sign, in Hebrew and Arabic, read “Egypt is here”.

In Jerusalem, up to 30,000 people marched to Netanyahu’s residence, chanting the rallying cry of the past three weeks: “The people demand social justice.” Smaller protests were also held in Kiryat Shmona, Modi’in, Hod HaSharon, Ashkelon, Eilat and Dimona, according to media reports.

Stav Shaffir, 26, one of the original tent protesters in Tel Aviv, told the Guardian that “more pressure, more people, more tents and more protests” would follow. “Right now we’re coming together to think about our next steps. There will be more protests – definitely more protests.”

A loose alliance of activists behind the protests called for a million-strong march on 3 September.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-07/israel-bonds-drop-1st-time-in-week-after-s-p-cut-budget-concern.html

S&P on Aug. 2 moved Israel’s AAA rated, U.S.-guaranteed sovereign bonds on CreditWatch with negative implications to put them “in line with” the U.S. rating. S&P declined to comment on whether changes were made to the Israeli debt after the U.S. downgrade.

“The perception of credit risk for Israeli assets is bound to increase after the U.S. downgrade as some of the country’s debt is also guaranteed by the U.S. government and concerns about a slowdown in the global economy will affect the economy,” Alex Zabezhinsky, chief economist at DS Securities & Investments Ltd. in Tel Aviv, said by telephone. “Social protests over the weekend against high living costs are fueling bets the government may need to raise spending, which in turn is raising uncertainty over the budget.”

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The Arab Unrest Is Moving To Israel..Interesting Huh?

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1 Response to "Israelis Plan Million-Strong March As Protesters Call For Social Justice..Israel Rating Downgraded Almost The Same Day With USA"

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