Daily Israel Report

Tel Aviv Protesters: High Housing Prices Affect All Sectors

Arutz Sheva visits the tent camp in Tel Aviv, set up in protest of the sharp rise in housing prices throughout Israel.
By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 7/19/2011, 5:12 AM / Last Update: 7/19/2011, 8:04 AM

Arutz Sheva visited on Monday the tent camp in Tel Aviv’s Rotschild Boulevard. The camp was set up by young Israelis in protest of the sharp rise in housing prices throughout the country.

“We want to show that the problem in Israel is something that affects all of us,” explained protest participant Sarah Becker. “We want to give everyone the opportunity to talk about their problems because we understand that the moment we all gather together – that’s our strength.”

Becker said that the protest is not a question of being a rightist or a leftist, but that the issue is felt by everyone regardless of their political affiliation.

“We’re all suffering from the problem,” she said. “People who make a nice salary are also suffering from this problem because there’s not enough supply of apartments.”

Becker suggested that Israel implement what is done in New York, where the government purchases abandoned buildings and allows young people to buy apartments for reasonable prices in them. Once the buyers are able to move into a nicer home, they sell the apartment to someone else who needs it – but not for a profit.

“That’s what I want,” she said. “We’ve looked and we saw buildings that are empty, and I’m calling the government to give loans to companies that are non-profit, give them lands in south Tel Aviv in which no one is living, and help them build us these kinds of apartments.”

Referring to the allegations that radical leftists have “hijacked” the protest, Becker said: “This is how people in power usually try to put people down. I’m from a ‘settlement.' I lived in one my whole life and I now live in Rehovot, so this is not just a Tel Aviv problem.

“It affects people from all economic statuses,” she continued. “It’s leftists, it’s rightists, it’s everyone.”