First Published: 2011-08-11

 

Israeli protest leader: UK riots 'warning sign'

 

Leaders of Israeli social protest movement warn: riots that swept Britain could take place in Israel too.

 

Middle East Online

The London fires could spread to Israel

JERUSALEM - Leaders of Israel's social protest movement on Wednesday called for more demonstrations this Saturday while warning that riot-swept Britain shows what can happen if public discontent gets out of hand.

Protest organisers on Wednesday called for more protests over the coming weekend, but not in Tel Aviv, scene of mass rallies last weekend.

"We decided not to stage demonstrations in Tel Aviv but to call for rallies across the country," activist leader Stav Shafir said.

"The important thing is to prove that the protest is not limited to people from Tel Aviv."

Student union leader Itzik Shmuli told public radio that Saturday rallies were planned in Afula in the north, and in the southern city of Beersheva.

Last Saturday more than 250,000 demonstrators marched on the streets of Tel Aviv and other cities calling for "social justice."

Shmuli said that while his members were committed to peaceful protest the unrest in Britain should sound an alarm bell to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"The warning from protests that has gone completely out of control can also be a warning sign to Netanyahu of what could happen if the public sees that dialogue (with the government) is insincere," Shmuli told local news website Ynet. "It could lead to a venting of anger here."

He said the students were committed to talks with the government.

"But we ask for a sincere and real process with the aim of bringing about real solutions and a change in priorities."

The public agency responsible for state-owned land, which is most of the land in Israel, approved on Wednesday Netanyahu's proposals to lower prices on land sales to facilitate affordable housing, in what local media called a historic decision.

"Land will no longer be used as a tool for profit but will serve the citizens," Israel Lands Administration chairman, Housing Minister Ariel Atias, said in remarks broadcast on state-run television.

Israel has been rocked since mid-July by a rapidly growing protest movement demanding cheaper housing, education and health care.

Haaretz newspaper warned on Wednesday that complacency could derail the movement.

"Protest organisers are facing the worst enemy in their struggle: loss of interest," the daily said.

"Organisers should not become discouraged even if the turnout is lower at the next demonstration or the media decides not to cover events in Rothschild Boulevard," it said of Tel Aviv's upscale area where many protesters set up a tent camp.

An opinion poll published by Channel 10 television late on Tuesday showed that 88 percent of respondents said they supported the movement, with 46 percent who voted for Netanyahu's Likud party saying they had joined protests.

A committee charged with examining the demands of the protest movement met for the first time on Tuesday, expressing the hope that its work would provide Israelis with a "better future."

 

US says Assad may be preparing another chemical attack

Over 8,000 migrants rescued in Med in 48 hours

Yemen cholera outbreak shows signs of slowing

Rouhani seizes opportunity to get closer to Qatar

Eid revives Tunisian tradition of pastry making

Hamas says travel documents for sick Gazans being refused

Former Syrian defence minister Mustafa Tlass dies in Paris

Iran says US reinstating travel ban 'regrettable'

GCC construction outlook to improve with oil prices recovery and implementation of reforms

57 dead in US-led strikes on IS Syria prison

Kremlin denounces US ‘threats’ against Assad

Mattis says US wants to steer clear of war in Syria

Mali activists call for referendum to be abandoned

Iraq forces battle deep into devastated Old Mosul

Iraqi forces control two thirds of Mosul Old City

Banned Bahraini newspaper fires staff

New crown prince widely welcomed in Saudi Arabia

Assad leads Eid prayers in Syria’s Hama

Lone-wolf attacks raise concern about new trend in terror

Erdogan slams Saudi demands of Qatar as illegal

Sudan making 'positive' steps on meeting US sanctions terms

Mecca suicide bombing injures six

Gulf crisis heats up as Qatar receives list of demands

Suicide attacks kill at least three people in Mosul

Civilians killed in Iraq suicide bomb attacks

UN warns Yemen cholera outbreak could infect 300,000 by September

Putin launches deep-water phase of TurkStream pipeline

Berlin warns Ankara against meddling in religious affairs

Asian states downplay 'Russia proposal' to send troops to Syria

Iran’s Salehi urges West to save historic nuclear deal

Iran, allies mark Jerusalem Day with rallies

US-led Syria strikes kill 472 civilians in one month

Morocco dismantles 'IS-linked cell plotting tourist attacks'

France sets out tough new anti-terror law

Russia warships, submarine strike IS targets in Syria

Trump-Saudi ties help pave way for new Saudi crown prince

Makeshift clinic saves lives near Syria’s Raqa

Egyptian fuel helps restart Gaza power station

Rights groups say Morocco protest leader 'severely beaten' during arrest

5 killed in Mogadishu car bomb attack

UN experts urge Egypt to halt executions after 'flawed trials'

Qatar emir congratulates newly-appointed Saudi crown prince

Kushner hails 'productive' Palestine-Israel talks

Macron says removing Assad no longer priority in Syria

Turkey sends first aid ship to isolated ally Qatar