Massive Demonstrations Draw 450,000 Across Israel

Biggest Protests in History Call for Social Justice

Huge Protests: An estimated 450,000 people joined protests for social justice in cities across Israel.
Getty Images
Huge Protests: An estimated 450,000 people joined protests for social justice in cities across Israel.

By Haaretz

Published September 03, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

An estimated 450,000 Israelis were marching across the country as part of the ‘March of the Million,’ a rally which organizers hope will grow to be the biggest social protest in Israel’s history.

According to initial estimates more than 300,000 people amassed in Tel Aviv’s Kikar Hamedina square, where the central event is currently taking place.

Thousands were reportedly marching along Tel Aviv’s Pinkas St. toward the main rally at Kikar Hamedina, with other choosing – contrary to the police’s estimates – to march from neighboring city of Ramat Gan, with traffic interrupted as a result of the impromptu march.

Yonatan Levy, one of the protest’s leaders, told Haaretz that there were “ten thousand people in [Kikar Hamedina], and a large amount coming from the Rothschild tent area.”

“It feels like a second independence Day,” Levy added, saying “people are dancing in circles, shouting together. People are coming in from the north, from Jerusalem. It looks very good and moving.”

Speaking at the main rally in Tel Aviv, National Student Union chairman Itzik Shmuli said: “This square is filled with the new Israelis, who would die for this country, but expect you, Mr. prime minister, to let us live in this country.”

“Tonight, Israel is awakening into the largest protest in its history,” Shmuli added.

Addressing the massive crowd at the main Tel Aviv rally, one of the protest’s main figures Daphne Leef, spoke of a “new hope born out of feelings of despair, the result of almost unbridgeable [social] gaps.”

“Israeli society has reached its red line. This summer we have woken up and refused to continue walking with our eyes closed toward the abyss. We are choosing to see,” Leef added.

In Jerusalem, tens of thousands of protesters are marching toward the the prime minister’s residence. Speakers will include actress Orna Banai, while Izhar Ashdot, Karolina and the Ma Kashur comedy trio will provide entertainment.

In Haifa, 40,000 are marching from Meyerhoff Square toward Ben Gurion Boulevard in the downtown area, where artists Kobi Oz and David Broza are slated to perform.

When asked about whether the number of protesters would reach the one million mark, one Haifa demonstrator responded by saying that “the number is not nearly as important as the understanding of the power of the Israeli public.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.