Monday, July 18, 2011

Photos from the Student Protest against skyrocketing Rents in Tel Aviv


Slowly Israel's population has had enough of skyrocketing prices: Food, electricity, water or rent - anything is becoming so expensive that more and more people are unable to make a normal living. A few weeks ago, a Haredi from Bnei Brak started a group on Facebook boycotting the famous cottage cheese. What no one expected: The group had thousands of followers and was becoming influencial. In the end, Israeli cottage cheese producers were forced to reduce the price. At least for the time being.

Some days ago, Tel Aviv's students started a tent demonstration on posh Rothschild Boulevard. Today I went to take photos and found approx. 100 tents in front of Tel Aviv's famous theatre "HaBimah".
Costs of living are extremely high in Israel. Especially when you have a lower income. Then you start thinking twice of what you can afford. Landlords in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and further places have become incredibly greedy. They see that there is a demand and, as long as people are paying, nothing is going to change. 

The students started the tent demonstration and receive plenty of positive responses from the local population. Nearby restaurants donate food, the press is around 24 hours a day, famous Israeli pop singers perform and everything has been looking like a huge barbecue party rather than a demonstration. 

I have witnessed plenty of such tent demonstrations. The biggest were the protests from the poor for the poor. The "Black Panthers - HaPanterim" in the seventies and eight years ago, Vicky Knafo and Israel Twito (Israel Twito died a few years ago) started further demonstrations. Especially Twito was known for his demonstrations at Tel Aviv's posh place "Kikar HaMedinah" which he renamed into "Kikar HaLechem - Bread Square". The Twito as well as the Knafo demonstration have a long history and, in the end, Vicky Knafo was more interested in becoming famous and collecting all the rights and wealth for herself rather than working together with the other members of her protest. Eventually the demonstration in front of the Knesset gave up and Knafo went back to her home in Mitzpe Ramon. 

This is what Israel's press is waiting for. So far, the protesting students are still in a good mood and everything looks like a summer camp adventure. However, lets see when the first disputes begin because too many organizations want to take over and gain control. 

Nevertheless, here are a few impressions from today:

 Rothschild Boulevard: The street to the left and right and the center looks like a park. 

The information desk

Thousands of visitors have been coming and going.

Suddenly everyone works together: Religious and secular.

The media

Copyright / Photos: Miriam Woelke

What do the protestors want: The government has to build new housing affordable housing for students and interfere into the rent policies of greedy landlords. No one is expecting miracles and we all know that prices will continue to rise.


  1. Great Pictures! I had no idea the tents were so wide-spread!

  2. B"H

    They claim to have about 100 tents. It is quite big and you can find the place in Rothschild, near the Bimah Theatre.