Against the backdrop of the escalation of the security situation in the south, the protests on social issues continued Saturday. About 5,000 demonstrators marched last night from Habima Square in the center of Tel Aviv to Charles Clore Park on the city's seafront. The march featured the theme that there is no personal security unless social rights are secure.
Many of the marchers said they had turned out not only to be heard on social issues but also to express solidarity with residents in the south. At Charles Clore Park, the demonstrators observed a moment of silence in memory of the eight Israelis killed on Thursday by terrorists north of Eilat.
At the beginning of the procession, a confrontation developed between socialist activists and other demonstrators who objected to the injection of foreign policy messages into the protest. "They're inciting a civil war," said Sderot area resident Gadi Dorfman.
"We don't need to be dealing with the party structures on the left or right," said Guy Zalmanovich, who identified himself as a long-time political activist. "We have to be dealing here only with getting a million people to turn out onto the street to give power to the government of Israel to inject social values into the neoliberal capitalist economy," he asserted.
Apart from the Tel Aviv gathering, about 1,000 demonstrators turned out in Kiryat Shmona in the north to protest the cost of living. One of the rally's organizers said its focus was national social resilience, saying that "a strong and united society will be able to withstand any security challenge."
Due to the situation in the south, the Kiryat Shmona rally dispensed with the shouting of slogans and megaphones, organizers said, explaining that, in addition to speeches, the focus was meant to be on dialogue.