Not impressed. The protesters
Photo: Noam Moskowitz

'Netanyahu trying to spin protest'

Affordable housing protest activists say prime minister's new housing plan must be taken with grain of salt. 'We won't settle for slogans. We need action,' they say

The leaders of the affordable housing protest seemed unfazed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new housing plan, saying the outline offered only a partial solution.


Netanyahu called a special press conference on Tuesday, where he announced that the government will act to add 50,000 new affordable housing units to the market in the next two years.



"We have to study the plan further, but from what we've heard it's not a solution. We won't back down," one of the protest's leaders said.


Many others were unfazed and even enraged by Netanyahu's words, saying that the protest will not end anytime soon.


"This is an attempt to bribe the students and divide our camp. We stand by our demands – a comprehensive solution for students, renters, young couples etc. We won't accept any plan that doesn’t solve all of these issues," Yigal Rambam told Ynet.


The National Student Union released a statement following Netanyahu's press conference saying that, "The prime minister has offered students unprecedented benefits, which we welcome, but we are determined to pursue this battle nonetheless.


"The students are part of a wider battle for affordable housing in Israel, which is why we will not give this up."


Oren Pasternak of the Student Union added that "while this is a nice solution, it’s still lacking and does little to solve the problem that got us out here. We're here and we're not going anywhere."


Activist Nadav Amit said: "The battle isn't over, on the contrary. We urge everyone to join us because we didn’t really get any answers."


Protesters in various "tent cities" across Israel were irked by the plan. "We're not stupid. This press conference isn't going to get us to go away," Hadar Stern, who heads the Beersheba protest, told Ynet. "We are citizens and we deserve our rights. We'll stay here until affordable housing is available for everyone."


During the press conference, some 50 activists staged a protest rally outside the Prime Minister's Office, yelling "Bibi, we're not buying your spin."


Omer Samani, of the Educators' Kibbutzim of the Dror Israel Movement, told Ynet that "Bibi is trying to sell Israel his newest spin – land privatization and housing boards as a solution to the housing crisis.


"We don’t need privatization – what we need is development funds and (government) investment in the periphery… We won't settle for slogans. We need action."


Ronen Medzini, Aviel Magnezi and Ilana Curiel contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 07.26.11, 13:23
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