At first the Knesset dismissed the tent encampments in Tel Aviv as a summer activity for leftist middle class youth in Tel Aviv.
Two weeks later the rent protests are growing and have spread to half-a-dozen cities. At the same time Israelis have protested against the rising cost of diapers and childcare, hospital overcrowding, soaring prices of cottage cheese and gasoline, and other expressions of economic discontent.
The LA Times reports that lawmakers are starting to get worried:
In a sign of how worried the government is, Netanyahu canceled a trip to Poland and some legislators are calling for the Knesset to postpone its summer break, scheduled to begin next week. A few lawmakers have tried to visit the camps to express sympathy or listen to complaints, but most were shouted down or hit with eggs or water by protesters fearing politicians will attempt to hijack their demonstration.
Last week, Netanyahu unveiled a plan to release government-controlled land, accelerate construction and provide incentives for the building of low-income apartments and student dormitories. But protesters, some of whom are calling for Netanyahu to resign or fire his finance minister, immediately rejected the proposal as inadequate.
Photos of the protests:
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