PLEDGE NOW
Unprecedented Protests Grip Israel

We’re talking about the huge month of protests in Israel. Israelis in the streets calling for an end to Israel’s status quo and growing inequality.

Israelis participate in a protest against the cost of living in Israel, in central Tel Aviv. (AP)

Israelis participate in a protest against the cost of living in Israel, in central Tel Aviv. (AP)

Huge crowds. National uproar. Passion and politics in the streets. It’s not Egypt or Syria or Yemen or London this time, but Israel.

In the last month, hundreds of thousands of Israelis have poured into the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and beyond to protest the cost of living, the cost of housing, the cost of cottage cheese –- and maybe a lot more. They’ve built a tent city and railed against tycoons and inequality. Shouted they want their country back.

But back to what?

This hour On Point: After the Arab Spring, we’ve got the Israeli Summer. What do Israelis want?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Etgar Keret, well- known Israeli author who has been involved in the recent protests. He’s author of several short story collections, three graphic novels, and a children’s book. He has also written extensively for film and television. His most recent book is “The Girl on the Fridge.”

Bernard Avishai, adjunct professor of Business at Hebrew University. He’s author of “The Hebrew Republic: How Secular Democracy and Global Enterprise Will Bring Israel Peace at Last.”

Nadia Matar, founder of the Israeli settlers’ group — “Women in Green” –- which supports Israeli settlement of land captured in the 1967 War, and opposes the creation of a Palestinian state

More

Associated Press gallery of protests from the past few weeks, as Israelis have set up tent camps in a handful of cities throughout the country calling attention to the soaring cost of living.

Map of Israeli Housing Protests
View Map of Israeli Housing Protests in a larger map

From Tom’s Reading List

The New Yorker: “Middle-class Israelis from across the political spectrum are coming to the improvised tent site to protest what they consider government indifference to the unsustainable cost of living in Tel Aviv. A “rally for affordable living” brought more than twenty thousand people to the streets of Tel Aviv, holding signs that read, “I’ve had enough.” The face of the movement is Daphni Leef, a twenty-six-year-old film student from Tel Aviv, who first set up a tent on Rothschild after looking for an apartment in Tel Aviv and realizing that she couldn’t afford any of those available.”

Haaretz: “Are you in favor of affordable housing? If you are, you may want to consider this. If you want to build “socially correct” apartments on your own property, the land’s value could fall by 28% or more, found a study by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality.”

UPI: “Parents, doctors, students and other Israelis turned out in force to participate in nationwide marches for better living conditions, observers said.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 10, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., waves to the crowd before speaking during a primary night watch party at Concord High School, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The winners and losers in New Hampshire, and the path ahead in the presidential primary race.

Feb 10, 2016
In this Feb. 1, 2016 photo, a technician from the British biotec company Oxitec, inspects the pupae of genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, a vector for transmitting the Zika virus, in Campinas, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Taking on the Zika virus, from tackling the disease itself, to killing the mosquitoes that carry it to the challenge of birth control.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 9, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at a Rotary Club luncheon in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

From New Hampshire, a deep dive, from Trump to Sanders, on how the candidates would approach the U.S. economy.

 
Feb 9, 2016
Host Tom Ashbrook and producer Sarah Platt speak to supporters of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) outside the candidate's Manchester, N.H. campaign headquarters on Monday, February 8, 2016. (Katherine Brewer / WBUR)

We’re live in New Hampshire for the first in the nation primary day, with all the latest on how the big vote is shaping up.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Tom Ashbrook’s Note From New Hampshire
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016

Fresh off the New Hampshire Presidential Primary results, host Tom Ashbrook reflects on his trip to New Hampshire, and on what comes next in the race to the White House.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #6: Bernie v. Hillary — The Electability Debate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Bill and Betty are not real New Hampshire voters. But their arguments about the Democratic race for President most certainly are.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #5: Ted Cruz — The Advocate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Texas Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is an impassioned advocate, Jack Beatty writes — but mostly for himself above all others.

More »
Comment