Protest Movement Attempts to Show It Remains a Potent Force
Social activist Dafni Leaf began warming up the engines in advance of the social protest rallies scheduled to take place at 9 PM following the coming Sabbath.
The main rally will take place in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square with simultaneous protests taking place in other major cities from Kiryat Shmona in the north to Eilat in the south. The protest movement has been in recess for several reasons including the holiday season, public preoccupation with the Shalit deal and the feeling that the government has met the demands halfway.
In a Tel Aviv press conference this morning, Leaf attacked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu repeatedly and personally "I will never look you straight in the eye Mr. Prime Minister. You are living at my expense; you are using me and my people as a springboard. The time has arrived for you to admit your mistake and understand that your time is running out."
Leaf, who lives in the luxury suburb of Kfar Shmaryahu, was equally scathing about the politicians "For two months they tried to talk with public representatives – excuse me, the politicians who sit at the Knesset in Jerusalem. It feels like coming into a high school… Every time I feel that they're trying to blur or water down this protest. I don't understand why I should be in a fight for survival against the public's representatives."
"I don't understand how the politicians sleep at night. How do you, Mr. Netanyahu, get up in the morning with a smile on your face."
Leaf advised the prime minister to see what is going on in the United States, "the heart of the systems that you so admire. The system isn't working. It's time that you conceded your mistake… For my future will not be determined by the concept of a single person who only gives speeches and doesn't listen."
Many leaders in the social protest movement have accused Leaf's group of four - herself, Yigal Rambam, Regev Kontes and Stav Shafiof - of being out of touch with the zeitgeist of mainstream Israelis facing economic difficulties, going to far as say their scorched-earthstance has led them to make "silly demands" of the government.
Prime MInister Netanyahu, widely considered responsible for Israel's successful economy, has repeatedly warned that deficit budgeting will bring economically sound Israel to the level of bankrupt EU countries and therefore will only accept ideas for social welfare within the confines of the nation's budget..