protest - Alon Ron - 31072011
The protest near Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv Saturday. In Jerusalem the author David Grossman said: 'People are loyal to the state but the state is not loyal to them.' Photo by Alon Ron
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More than 150,000 protesters took to the streets in 12 Israeli cities, calling for a change in the division of wealth and the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


In Tel Aviv, an estimated 100,000 protesters marched from Habima Square to the Tel Aviv Museum. “We are happy to see the people of Israel taking to the streets, each in their own city, each with their own troubles, but many troubles that are common to all of us,” said one of the organizers, Yonatan Levy.


The 10,000-strong rally in Jerusalem set a precedent for the capital. As well as being one of the largest in recent years, it was almost entirely without the participation of the ultra-Orthodox, and backed by no organizations or political parties.


The author David Grossman said: “People are loyal to the state but the state is not loyal to them.”

In Haifa, the protest cut across ethnic lines, as indicated by a greeting from one of the organizers to the cheering crowd of around 12,000: “Good evening, Jews and Arabs, good evening secular and Orthodox, good evening young and old.”

In Modi’in, the protest drew some 600 protesters. In Ra’anana, some 350 protested, mainly students from nearby Beit Berl College, and Be’er Sheva attracted a crowd of about 3,000.

In the north, around 40 people demonstrated in Spring Square in Nazareth, mostly Jews from nearby towns. Kiryat Shmona’s protest drew a crowd of some 2,000, who blocked traffic intermittently.