toddler protest
toddler protest Courtesy

After the students, parents, and soldiers made their mark in the protests against the high cost of living that have become this summer's “hot” item in Israel, it appears to be the turn of – the toddlers. Children attending a Rishon Lezion day care center have “decided” to join their mothers who are participating in the “carriage protests” agains the high cost of raising children that began about two weeks ago. In solidarity with their parents, the toddlers set up their own “protest tent,” complete with signs and flyers.

The organizer of the “protest” is Inbal Yael Ya'akov, who runs a day care center in Rishon Lezion, who was inspired to set up what appears to be a PR stunt after speaking with the parents of children who are set to attend the school in September. Many of the parents had complained about the high cost of raising children, and in particular the high cost of the day care center.

A letter “issued” by the toddler protesters lists a number of demands – including lower prices for things like baby food, carriages, diapers, and other items; a government subsidy for attending private day care centers (like the one where Yael Ya'akov works), a tax deduction for expenses related to raising children, and others. The toddlers have “promised” to continue their tent protest as long as the other issues being protested, such as the lack of affordable housing, are resolved.

Yael Ya'akov said that “many parents have told me of their difficult circumstances and how difficult it is for them to handle the expenses involved in raising children. I, as a young mother myself, can relate to these problems as well. We have decided to join the rest of the people and help strengthen the protest movement. After all, this movement is for the benefit of our children, and it begins from the moment they are born,” she said.