Israelis Hold Huge Rallies for ‘Social Justice’

Posted September 3rd, 2011 at 5:20 pm (UTC-5)
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An estimated 400,000 Israelis poured into streets in cities across the Jewish state late Saturday to protest the rising cost of living.

In Tel Aviv, a large crowd of chanting protesters called for social justice, increasing pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take on economic reforms.

Activists said Saturday's so-called “march of the million” rallies are designed to draw attention to economic issues that include housing prices and education costs.

The demonstrations began in July, when frustrated young Israelis set up tents in Tel Aviv to illustrate their inability to find affordable housing.

In response to the summer-long protests, Prime Minister Netanyahu appointed a commission to propose economic reforms and hold negotiations with the demonstrators. However, many activists rejected the calls for dialogue and pledged to continue protesting.

The government has since enacted measures that include tax breaks. But many demonstrators say the government's steps are insufficient.