Photo: Ofer Amram
Hundreds attended a protest against impending budget cuts in front of the house of Finance Minister Yair Lapid in Tel Aviv.
Protesters carried signs reading "Netanyahu and Lapid, you're stealing our money," and "We want gas and not austerity measures."
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Protesters cried out "The people demand social justice," and "Lapid, stop causing harm to underprivileged populations."
Ricky Cohen in protest (Photo: Ofer Amram)
Some six weeks after Lapid stirred the country when he posted on his Facebook page about an imaginary "Riki Cohen" who makes NIS 20,000 (roughly $ 5,600) a month, a very real Ricky Cohen arrived at the protest, and said "We come from poor neighborhoods to protest the austerity measures. I'm a divorced mother of five and it's simply impossible to exist in this country."
Cohen stressed that "Every third child in Israel is hungry. What will happen after the economic measures come into effect? As long as children in underprivileged neighborhoods go hungry, rich neighborhoods will not be peaceful. We will not sit still in the face of this reality. As soon as the austerity measures come into effect things will become much worse."
Cohen added she could hardly get by: "I'm not like 'Riki Cohen from Hadera; I barely make NIS 5,000 ($ 1,400) a month."
"This is a budget that will destroy families," another protester said. "There's nothing left to cut."
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