The desperation that led Haifa resident Moshe Silman to set himself on fire on Saturday night in Tel Aviv, exactly one year after the first tents were erected on Rothschild Boulevard, is a tragic example of the depth of the gaping chasm between the people and the government, a break in the making for years, and has been on full display since last July.
Government spokesmen will most definitely claim that Saturday night’s tragedy does not reflect the general situation in the country, which they’ll say is constantly improving. They’ll say that over the past year, they have been more attentive than ever to the plight of the people.
The letter left behind by Moshe Silman depicts a piercing reality that unfortunately is not unique to him: A monthly allowance of NIS 2,300, no money to pay for medication or rent, and “I can’t even live month to month. I won’t be homeless, and so I am protesting.”
Those are the words of a man with no choice left but to set himself on fire, in a last-ditch attempt to show the world how desperate his situation is.
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