Tens of thousands protest in Israel

Aug. 13, 2011 at 7:55 PM
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JERUSALEM, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Israel Saturday for social change, officials say.

About 30,000 protesters, both Arab and Jewish, marched in Haifa, Haaretz reported.

"They tell us we don't have focus, but we are super focused and know exactly what we want ...," Yossi Baruch, a representative for the largest tent city in Haifa, told the crowd there. "We want there to be a welfare state here, and a welfare state is not just a slogan. It means free education for every boy and girl, from the moment their mother finishes her maternity leave until they finish their doctorate. A welfare state is a place where its citizens receive fair wages."

More than 20,000 demonstrators showed in Be'er Sheva near another tent city.

"I never opposed the protest. I myself am from the periphery," Margalit Tzan'ani, a rapper who performed during the Be'er Sheva protest, said, adding, "I am coming to support the people here. Be'er Sheva is not the periphery."

Another 15,000 protested in Afula, where there a wide range of speakers addressing the crowd included students, farmers, and workers, Haaretz said

There were also protests in smaller towns across the country, including in Eilat, Rosh Pina, Nahariya, Dimona, Modi'in, Petah Tikva, Ramat Hasharon, Hod Hasharon, Netanya, and Beit She'an.

For the first time in the month of protests in Israel, Tel Aviv did not hold a march.

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