Arab Media Calls Social Protests 'Israeli Spring'

Many Arabic-language papers compare local struggle to the Arab world's recent revolutions and boast that Israel is following in their footsteps.

Israel's tent protests are making headlines in Arab countries, with many Arabic-language papers comparing them to the Arab world's recent revolutions and boasting that Israel is following in their footsteps.

The London-based paper Al-Hayat termed the protests "the Israeli spring" and described them as "an unprecedented event in Israel's history, in that tens of thousands of people went out into the streets to protest the cost of living, especially housing prices."

bahrain - Reuters - February 24 2011

The Egyptian paper Al Youm al Sabeh headlined its report "the plague of Arab revolutions reaches Israel." Al-Ahram, another Egyptian paper, wrote yesterday that "Saturdays in Israel have become a revolution" and compared the Israeli protests to those in Syria, Egypt and Yemen.

Many of the reports noted that the size of the protests, particularly the one this past Saturday night, was unusual for Israel, especially for socioeconomic issues. But some of them also stressed the protests' political side.

The Egyptian paper Al-Wafd, for instance, headlined its report "Revolution in Israel ... The people want to topple [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu!" The Palestinian news agency WAFA ran a similar headline: "More than 300,000 demonstrators demanded that Netanyahu resign."