French Revolution symbol becomes main attraction at Tel Aviv's protest center,sending a message to Israel's tycoons, as rallies continue to spread across country. Protest leaders say Beersheba to hold next mass rally. Haifa holds the first protest organized by Haifa's Arab community, which constitutes 10 percent of the city's population, and Beersheba protesters organized a 'bathing suit march'
British envoy praises Israeli protesters - British envoy praises Israeli protesters' peaceful conduct, says London rioters "don't want change, They want to steal DVDs."
Protesters drive away Minister of Transportation - Body guards remove transportation minister Katz from Tel Aviv tent city after debate turns ugly
A guillotine, the symbol of the French Revolution, has been placed Wednesday in the center of Tel Aviv's "tent city," turning into one of the biggest attractions in this ongoing social protest. The surprising display arrived in Rothschild Boulevard following another long night of protests across the country, this time focusing on contractor conditions. Demonstrators in five different cities participated in rallies Wednesday night against working conditions, wearing white masks and chanting: "Contractor companies are organized crime."
In Beersheba protesters organized a 'bathing suit march' to exemplify how the social protest "has taken off." In Bat Yam hundreds of residents marched to protest against the high costs of living and housing shortage, clashing with the police's Special Patrol Unit.
'Jesse Cohen' neighborhood's protesters intensified the upheaval by burning tires and furniture, demonstrating against the city council's attempt to vacate the premises. Meanwhile, haredi and secular protestors rallied side by side in Jerusalem against the shaky public transportation in the city.
In Haifa's Wadi Nisnas, 200 protesters marched, chanting "the people want social justice" in Arabic. This was the first protest organized by Haifa's Arab community, which constitutes 10 percent of the city's population.Protesters in Haifa chanted, "The occupation is a disaster, it serves the tycoons," and "money should be given to neighborhoods, not settlements."Raja Za'atra, 33, who organized Wadi Nisnas' tent city, said the protest is part of the nationwide movement but also seeks to highlight specific issues facing the Arab community."The banks won't give mortgages to people who want to buy an apartment," he said. "In the case of the Arab population, the supply is limited and the prices keep rising."Za'atra also noted the shortage of kindergartens and schools specifically geared for Arabs.
British envoy praises Israeli protesters
The social protest sweeping through Israel and the riots ravaging the UK are a world apart, British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould said in an interview with Ynet Thursday. Nevertheless, he urged Israeli tourists to visit his homeland, both now and during next summer's Olympics. The events of the past few days show Britain at its worst, and its best, Gould said. The envoy said he was "saddened and ashamed" by the violence, but also proud of Brits who have voiced support for the police and the rule of law, and who have volunteered to clean up the mess left by the rioters. While what has happened is terrible, "I have no doubt that things will return to normal soon," he said.
Comparing the protests taking place in Israel and those in the UK, Gould said that while the social movement in the Jewish state is reasonable and peaceful, the opposite is true in London. According to Gould, those who have come out on the streets of the British capital aren't politically motivated.
"They don't want change," the ambassador charged. "They want to steal DVDs." While avoiding his personal opinions on the issues at hand, Gould said that he has much admiration for the protesters on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard, whom he praised for having chosen to express their opinions in a legitimate manner.
Gould noted that the toughest days of violence in Britain are coming to an end, and assured tourists planning to travel to London for the Olympics that there is no reason to worry. "It will be safe," he said, "there is no need to cancel travel plans."
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