Prominent Israeli Authors Visit Tel Aviv Tent City in Show of Solidarity

Meir Shalev, Yoram Kaniuk and others visit the protesters on Rothschild Boulevard, calling on them not to quit until elections are called and Netanyahu is replaced.

Israeli writers Meir Shalev, Yoram Kaniuk, Etgar Keret, Eshkol Nevo and poet Ronny Somek visited the tent city in Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv Thursday, offering their support in the struggle to lower living costs in Israel. The writers sat and talked with the protesters and read stories to the children who took part in the "stroller marches" that took place earlier in the day.

"I think this is a unique event," Shalev said. "The Israeli government is neglecting and ignoring the backbone of its society. This is a government that obeys only those who exert power on it. So far it has been the Orthodox and the settlers, and now we are seeing that there is organizing on this side of the Green Line as well."

Israeli authors at protest tent - Moti Milrod - July 2011
Moti Milrod

Shalev added that that protest should lead to early elections and the replacement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "He is scared of you," he told the protesters. "He is scared of you because he doesn't understand your language, and you are better than him at public relations."

Kaniuk also called for early elections, and said that "an entire class has been forgotten and eroded. I don't think this revolt is enough this is not partisan, it is political. We have to get rid of Netanyahu."

Kanyuk warned against the involvement of Histadrut labor federation chairman Ofer Eini. "Eini won't help you, he will only harm you – he's a politician," he said.

Somek said he comes to the tent city every day. "I feel like I am in a delivery room of a revolution," he said. "This is a revolution that is happening in time, because it is not happening only in Tel Aviv."

Keret said that at first he was pretty cynical toward the protest, equating it with the "materialistic" cottage movement, but when he came to Rothschild Boulevard for the first time he "discovered something completely different."