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Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai Photo: Ben Kelmer
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai Photo: Ben Kelmer
 
 

Huldai: Housing protest losing momentum

Tel Aviv's housing protest continues to grow daily but city's mayor believes it is not set to make a difference. 'I don't see a greater awakening,' he says while adding that protest is justified

Roi Kais
Published: 07.22.11, 14:52 / Israel News

The tent protest is spreading – every day more tents join the ranks of protestors in cities across the country and on Saturday they will all come together in a mass rally in Tel Aviv's Habima Square.

 

Yet in spite of the growing protest, Tel Aviv's Mayor Ron Huldai who was driven out of the protest area last week told Ynet: "I don't see a greater awakening. This protest is not getting going." But he added that "the protest is a justified one over the ruin of the middle class in the State of Israel."

 

 

Huldai, who was attending the 90th birthday party for former President Yitzhak Navon, noted that it would be impossible to fulfill protestors' demands to decrease housing prices in Tel Aviv: "I'm telling the protestors that there is no way to get to cheap apartments in Tel Aviv…


'Tent city' Tel Aviv (Photo: Yaron Brener) 

 

"The Tel Aviv Municipality initiated affordable housing projects as well as housing in southern Tel Aviv. Apartment prices are the result of the failed land marketing policies."

 

He added that the privatization and free market will not solve the problem and that the body responsible for the citizens basic needs is the State whose current "priorities are warped".

 

While Huldai spoke of justified protests, at the scene of the "tent city" itself, protestors were screaming at Knesset Member Avishay Braverman over haredi draft dodging. He left the scene.

 

MK Braverman took to the podium at an open debate on the issue of equal military service. The debate participants screamed that they didn't believe that he was in favor of equality for all and scathingly demanded to know if he supported or opposed the Arrangements Law.

 

When Braverman tried to avoid the question, they screamed over and over that they demand an answer.


Braverman - speaks and flees (Photo: Yaron Brener)

 

In response, Braverman burst out at one of the protestors saying that he was playing up to the crowds and that he would not answer his questions. He left a few minutes later.

 

Later he told Ynet: "Housing is the symptom of a major problem we have in Israel today. There are huge gaps in Israeli society when the young people feel that the State is neglecting them from both the housing perspective and other issues like price hikes and academic education.

 

"Instead of offering a comprehensive solution the government puts a band aid on it and uses it as media spin and not in order to try and really help the Israeli majority that is collapsing under the weight of its responsibilities," he added.

 

Moran Azulay contributed to the report

 

 

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