Right-wing protesters in Tel Aviv
Photo: Ofer Amram
Marchers gather in preparation
Photo: Amir Levy

Protesters blast marching rightists

Baruch Marzel visits Tel Aviv 'tent city', says: When it comes to social issues I'm more Left than Left; but protesters appear annoyed at rightists' presence. They are not part of us, says organizer as Marzel's followers chant: Tel Aviv Jewish, Sudanese go to Sudan

Hundreds of right-wing activists are scheduled to join the housing protest Wednesday evening, to the great dismay of many protesters camped out in tents across Tel Aviv, who do not agree with the rightists' views.


Extreme rightist Baruch Marzel visited 'tent city' on Rothschild Boulevard in the city ahead of the march. He told the protesters that "when it comes to social issues, I'm more Left than the Left".



Right-wing groups such as Bnei Akiva, Im Tirtzu, and My Israel say they are marching in Tel Aviv for lower housing and staple product costs.


But the protesters on Rothschild Boulevard did not appreciate the new company. "It's important to stress that they are not part of us. We did not coordinate a protest with them. They came in order to catch a free ride," said one of the protest organizers.


But others were in favor of the rightists' arrival. "We want to find solutions relevant to the entire nation. I called on the settlers to join from day one. This is a battle of the people. Right or Left doesn't matter – we want to break these definitions," one of the organizers said.


"We can't do anything without formulating a unified opinion. The people understand that (the government) is pulling a divide and conquer – for years they have been trying to create conflict between us."


The marchers will leave from Habima Square and march towards south Tel Aviv, accompanied by special police forces. Many are already on the scene, crying, "No Left, no Right, cheap apartments are our right."


Dozens of Marzel's supporters were also present, and angered protesters even more by calling out, "Tel Aviv is Jewish, Sudanese go to Sudan". Loud arguments broke out between them and the 'tent city' inhabitants, who yelled at the rightists to go home.


The rightists also took the opportunity to call out in favor of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard's release from prison. "We will yell until the US hears that the nation of Israel is united and maybe this will lead to his release," said one. The marchers also cried out in favor of the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. 

Baruch Marzel visits 'tent city' (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


Reservists: We are not anarchists

Another march was executed by about 100 reserve soldiers from the forum for equality "Shivyon", who yelled, "I serve the state and I want an apartment, too" as well as "Left, Right, we all serve".


One of the marchers, Yair Olmert, who was injured during his service, told Ynet the soldiers are angered by the fact that despite their loyal service, the state offers them no reprieves on housing and other issues.


"The average Israeli who performs reserve duty carries out his obligations but is then forgotten," he said. "We are the backbone of Israel's middle class… this is not a protest of the Left or anarchists. We have come here to say we have had enough, too."


Dairy farmers: Bibi milking us

Meanwhile, some 5,000 dairy farmers began a march from Habima Square towards the Tel Aviv Museum in protest over the government's plan to lower dairy prices. They are set to hold a demonstration in at the museum concourse.


The farmers claim that the government move would destroy Israel's dairy product industry and strengthen tycoon-owned supermarket chains, shutting down around 400 dairy farms.


"The people demand Israeli milk," the protesters called out, as well as, "Bibi, milk the tycoons, not the farmers."


Marzel: Approve Jerusalem expansion

"I am here to identify with the protesters. Even if our opinions differ on certain matters, their struggle is just," Marzel said. "I attended protests against foreign workers because I think instead of bringing them here, Israelis should have their jobs."


The activist also had a solution to the housing crisis. "If the government approves expansion construction in Jerusalem, the housing problem could be solved," he explained.


Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, dozens of Russian immigrants are protesting as well with around 150 members of the Dror Israel movement and Olim movements.


"We don't want to hear about the successful economy while the elderly among us can't get through the month," said one of the organizers, citing a statistic by which 250,000 Russian elderly people live below the poverty line.


Opposition chairwoman Tzipi Livni is on the scene, and discussing the issues with the protesters.


Yoav Malka contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 08.03.11, 18:09
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