Thousands Gather in Tel Aviv for Protesting Housing Prices

On Saturday night, around 2,500 gathered in Tel Aviv’s Habina Square for protesting the high cost of living in Israel and the rising prices of housing. On social media, the campaign had received support of more than 22,000 people and people from across the country had been drawn to it.

Protests all over Israel

Tent protests have returned once more to Israel in recent weeks in central locations, which include the Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, similar to the widespread protests over social justice that had been conducted decades ago. As compared to other cities of the world, the cost of living, housing and other relative costs associated with Tel Aviv have increased significantly.

However, the protest on Saturday was a small one and not even close to the one in 2011 when hundreds of thousands of people had taken to the streets because of rising prices and had demanded government action. The protests had been conducted weekly and more than 400,000 people had poured into the streets at their peak.

The new movement

The organizers of Saturday’s protests said that are not just interested in making noise, but want the government to take action. Therefore, they will seek the assistance of financial experts for coming up with a set of clear demands that can be presented to the government authorities.

The most prominent complaint they want to put forward is the increase in rental costs. The most popular website is Israel used for advertisement of apartment rentals claims that the costs have gone up by 10%. However, those who are currently renegotiating their rental contracts have said that rental costs in Tel Aviv have gone up by 30% to 40%.

Calling themselves apolitical, the protest organizers said that they want to see legislation introduced that can make significant changes to the housing market. The speeches were focused on common ground.

Everything is expensive

One of the organizers of the protest, Gal Shor said that Israel holds the 7th position globally in terms of people working the most hours in a week. She said that working so much should have made people millionaires, but most are unable to close the month. She said that everything in Israel is expensive and people are not allowed to complain about it.

She added that prices throughout the country had increased, not just in Tel Aviv. She asked if they should leave the country, something they didn’t want to do because of the love they have for it. She also added that the economic challenges in the country pushing a lot of young people to leave, as they do not believe there is a future in Israel.

A medical masseur, Shor said that people should take advantage of their right to vote in order to bring change. Statistics show that 30% of the people eligible for voting do not do so. Shor said that instead of ranting on the internet, it is time to take action and people need to stop being silent.

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