Hundreds Rally Against High Cost of Living in Yellow Vest Protest in Tel Aviv

Protesters block Shalom intersection near Defense Ministry ■ 'This is a clear message to Kahlon and his friends in the government: The people aren’t suckers, and we won't pay for the monopolies,' says student union leader

The yellow-vest protests, Tel Aviv, December 22, 2018.
Tomer Appelbaum

Some 400 protesters demonstrating against the high cost of living blocked a major traffic artery in Tel Aviv on Saturday as part of French-inspired yellow-vest protests, which commenced all across Israel last week.

The demonstration cut off access to the Shalom intersection near the Defense Ministry headquarters.

David Mizrahi, one of the protest leaders, said “We’ve been going through hell for too long now. We thought it would end but it's getting harder to make ends meet, the gaps are becoming monstrous. Some proudly say it’s good here, that Israel has growth, but who's enjoying it? A million hungry children? Families on welfare? The eroded middle class?”

The leader of the national student union Ram Shefa said, “This is a clear message to Kahlon and his friends in the government: The people aren’t suckers, and we won't pay for the monopolies. We are sick of putting our hands in our pockets every time the government promotes a concentrated market. I am proud of those who showed up to demonstrate tonight and promise this is only the beginning.”

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Ronit Tsarfati, a leader of the protest for the disabled, said “The cost of living will first and foremost hurt the disabled and the elderly and we won’t agree to that. We want justice, not robbery. Israel has an extensive budget but exercises offensive judgement.”

Last week protesters blocked the same area for several hours. Ten protesters were detained and released with restrictive conditions. Two of them were brought before a judge who later released them without restrictions.