Daily Israel Report
Show More

OpEds


May 1st Rally Reminiscent of Summer Social Protest

A Tel Aviv rally in honor of International Workers’ Day turned into a call to bring back last summer’s social protest.
By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 5/2/2012, 5:16 AM

May 1 rally in Tel Aviv
May 1 rally in Tel Aviv
Yoni Kempinski

A leftist event held in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, seemingly in honor of International Workers’ Day which is marked on May 1, turned into a call to bring back last summer’s social protest and overthrow the government.

The young Israelis who protested Israel’s high housing prices last summer repeatedly claimed that their protest was not political and not leftist. Their connection to the radical left was proven early on during the protest.

One of the speakers at Tuesday’s event was MK Dov Khenin, who chairs the communist-based Hadash party. In his speech, he said that “May 1 this year should signal the beginning of summer. We need to bring back a summer of protest, of resistance, of a social struggle.”

Khenin added, “Six months ago we numbered hundreds of thousands and we saw how we are stronger when we are together. But the government did not understand the message and instead of a social agenda it continues to promote an agenda of deepening disparities, of settlements and of military adventures, hurting the workers and eliminating welfare arrangements.”

He went on to say, “We are here to tell them no more! When the government is against the people, the people will be against the government. If we're going to have social justice - we need another government!”

Khenin admitted in a conversation with Arutz Sheva that the May 1 day is traditionally associated with the left side of the political spectrum, but he also claimed that the leftists who held the rally are “very open”.

“[The left] is willing and able to speak to the Israeli audience at large and we do hope that we will be able to persuade Israeli public opinion that if we want social justice, we need also political change,” he said.