Nearly eight years after she marched from Mitzpe Ramon to Jerusalem as part of a campaign launched by single mothers against then-Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's economic policies, social activist Viki Knafo is returning to the forefront.
"Bibi (Prime Minister Netanyahu) dreams of America – where everyone is either at the top or at the bottom – now everyone is at the bottom. We are on our way to becoming a country of servants and lords," she told Ynet Wednesday.
On Sunday Knafo is expected to take part in a march titled, "Bibi is dividing Israel into rich and poor; Bibi is screwing the people." The march, which is organized by the Kibbutz Movement with the participation of the Student Union, handicapped Israelis, youth groups, taxi drivers and truck drivers, will end at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem.
'Pressure cooker about to explode.' Knafo marches to J'lem in 2003 (Photo: Meir Azoulay)
"The situation is dire. This time the middle class is also collapsing -not only the lower classes. I hope this time around people will understand that we must take to the streets," Knafo said.
The activist claims people belonging to the middle and lower classes tend to "forget what they are going through at election time."
"During elections Bibi does not need the tycoons. He needs those he screws over. They raise gas prices and then lower them. Who are they kidding?" She said.
Knafo said she has resumed her social activity because "people around me are having a hard time. I can see how the pressure cooker is about to explode. Enough.
"People work for a very low minimum wage, can't make ends meet, and the situation is deteriorating. We must wake up before there is a catastrophe," she said.
Knafo called on Israeli citizens to join Sunday's march. "People have to believe we have the power to make a change. We are a nation that likes to suffer, but the government must keep in mind that the lower class is not stupid," she told Ynet.
According to Yoel Marshak, head of the Kibbutz Movement's task force, also criticized the prime minister's economic policies. "People cannot live in a country where the rich get richer and the poor are tormented."
The activists are calling out against recent price increases on staples such as bread, water and fuel. "A million and a half young Israelis are telling the government 'enough'," said Itzik Shmuli, chairman of the National Student Union.
Aviel Magnezi and Yael Branovsky contributed to the report
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