Israel Social Protest Leaders to Announce Hiatus, Updated List of Demands

Organizers seek to replace tent protests with network of 'community-based protest movements' across Israel; activists to organize citizen-based discussions, put pressure on Knesset members.

In the wake of the largest social protest in Israel’s history, the leaders of the tent city movement, who set up camp nearly two months ago on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, are set to announce a temporary hiatus in the ongoing movement in order to “restart the process soon”.

The leaders are also expected to release a statement in the upcoming days which points to their increasingly moderate demands.

Daphni Leef, housing protest
Nir Kafri

Aside from restating their previous demand that Manuel Trachtenberg resign as head of a panel designed to deal with Israel’s social issues, the protest leaders will attempt to “eliminate economic centralization”, propose a discussion to end monopolies, dismantle economic pyramids, increase competition, tax reform that would cancel the lowering of corporate taxes while raising taxes on high-income individuals, lowering indirect taxes, and monitoring of the capital market.

Moreover, the protest leaders are seeking to promote the idea of a welfare state that seeks to reduce social gaps and eradicate poverty.

They further demand the halting of the privatization of public services such as education, health, housing and employment, insisting on ensuring that said services will not be privatized in the future, while emphasizing the Israeli government’s direct responsibility for them.

According to estimates, implementing the demands could cost well over tens of billions of shekels a year. The statement suggests the government use revenues from its newly acquired natural gas reserves in order to aid in the funding of the demanded changes.

Furthermore, the organizers seek to replace the tent protests with a network of “community-based protest movements” across Israel, where activists will be able to organize discussions on the social-economic situation in Israel, as well as put pressure on members of Knesset from the major parties.

The networks will also work to organize a PR campaign, alongside a process which would allow for joint-decision making of the representatives of the respective communities.