Shabbat service in Tel Aviv tents
Photo: Ofer Amram
Declaration of Independence reading
Photo: Ofer Amram

Protesters: We're not losing hope

Housing protesters mark fourth weekend in tents, stage public reading of Declaration of Independence. 'Protest has yet to peak,' they say

Hundreds of affordable housing protest activists marked their fourth weekend in the movement's various "tent cities" across Israel on Friday.


Despite the protest's evident progress – and several setbacks – the activists said that they "refuse to lose hope," adding that they would be more than willing to spend a fifth weekend in the tents, should it be required.



The activists called for yet another mass rally this Saturday, and said that they hope to break their own record: The second housing protest rally, which took place last Saturday and consisted of a series of demonstrations across Israel, had nearly 150,000 participants.


Dozens of new protesters joined "tent city" veterans in Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard on Friday evening, ahead of this week's Shabbat service.


In Jerusalem, some 150 protesters participated in a Shabbat service held in the city's Independence Park ("Gan Haatzmaut"). Meimad party leader Rabbi Michael Melchior led the service.


"More and more people join us every week," Martin Weiler, who is one of this week's protest rally's organizers, told Ynet.


"It's very encouraging. It feels like the public refuses to let go of this battle. People are no longer willing to settle for anything less than a comprehensive change in Israel's socioeconomic approach." 

'A sense of starting over.' The reading (Photo: Ofer Amram) 


Earlier Friday, some 150 protesters staged a public reading of Israel's Declaration of Independence.


The reading took place across from Rothschild Boulevard's Independence Hall – the home of Tel Aviv's first mayor Meir Dizengoff, and where the Declaration of Independence was first read.


Gadi Shimshon, who orchestrated the reading, said it was an attempt to "remember the good intentions of past governments, which never came to pass. This was an attempt to regain those original intentions."


Lior Hass, who participated in the reading, told Ynet that he was deeply moved by the scene: "There was a sense of starting over. Hope for a better, more just life."


The crowd participating in the event concluded it by singing Israel's national anthem.


Boaz Fyler and Omri Efraim contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 08.05.11, 20:18
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