“Social Justice” protests took place in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on
Saturday night. The Tel Aviv protest, about 5,000 strong, began early
Saturday night and started out peacefully, but a group of protesters
later began blocking streets. That group broke off from the main
protest, which consisted of demonstrators marching to the Tel Aviv
Museum, where several speakers were set to address the crowd.
Last Saturday night, demonstrators blocked roads and threw rocks at
the windows of banks and other buildings in central Tel Aviv. Police
responded with force, injuring several protesters. Police on Saturday
night were noticeably more reticent in their reaction to the road
closing, witnesses said, but police officials said they would not be
intimidated and would act with force if necessary.
Among the speakers at the Tel Aviv protest were Ze´ev Even-Chen,
whose daughter was killed in the 2010 Carmel Forest Fire. He called
on protesters not to act violently. “Don´t fight with the police,” he
said. “Remain united, continue to act as you are acting today.” He
added that he had nothing against police, but he had been very upset
at the arrest of protest leader Dafni Leef last week.
Also speaking at the protest was Ben Gurion University Professor
Yossi Yonah, who has been active in the protest movement since its
beginnings last year. “We are angry because a year has passed and
nothing has changed. The government continues to prefer the wealthy
instead of preferring social justice. Most of the public is behind
us. We do not believe in violence, and oppose it. Our strength is not
in power, but in our morality,” he said.