Brain Bush’s Blog

People's Protest = Government's Opportunity

  • By : Brian Bush
  • July 29, 2011
  • 1:16 pm

Hi Eveybody,

Yesterday here in Jerusalem – and elsewhere in Israel – was quite a day.

We've spoken about the Tent Demonstrations protesting the high cost of housing. That group was joined by thousands pushing baby strollers through the streets outraged over the continued rise in the cost of living. Their organizers claim 16,000 Israelis throughout took part having signed up on a Facebook page.

Then there has also been, for more than two weeks, a doctor's strike – complete with the head of the doctor's union on a self imposed hunger strike. Yesterday he led a march on the Prime Ministers office here in Jerusalem and was joined by the government opposition head Tzipi Livni. He and his colleagues are marching for better pay and working conditions for Israel's doctors and hospital staff.

And to top it all off – the Gay Pride parade held in Jerusalem overflowed into all three protests – and we had one big party of unhappy people with one voice saying: Government – Take Care of Your Citizens!

For those who will have patience, it may be said that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu will eventually create packages with reasonable benefits that will off set the raising costs of living here.

But the fact is the pressure is off because Knesset elections are due to be held in another two years, and while this will motivate Mr. Netanyahu to act, he need not do it swiftly.

The government has time to draft and implement a plan to market cheaper housing and reverse the consumer prices. And timed right, all this will pay at the ballot box if Netanyahu can push reforms through and show for it.

Many of the protesters are open about simply wanting to topple the current Government regardless of what it does – and there number is growing.

The police and the government must be careful, particularly in light of the 'Arab-Spring' uprisings, to show the Arab world that Israel allows for demonstration – particularly since an eviction order has been served to one of the main tent cities that has been erected in a Tel Aviv area.

Israel's government must show that it heeds the people's will and works towards their betterment. In doing so it will show itself a model to the rest of the Middle East.

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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