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Sunday July 31, 2011 10:05 AM (EST+7)

RAMALLAH, July 31 (JMCC) - Israeli journalist Gideon Levy describes the euphoria he felt attending Saturday night's demonstration in Tel Aviv, where tens of thousands marched calling for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop down.

Demonstrations began two weeks ago when a tent camp was set up to protest high housing costs in Tel Aviv. Medical workers have also been on strike for better conditions.

There has never before been such a demonstration in Israel - everyone together, young and old, right and left, Arabs and Jews. The state that was created at the (old ) Tel Aviv Museum last night demonstrated its robustness and maturity in front of the current Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Between these museums lie 63 years of ups and downs. Last night was the ultimate high water mark. Last night was also, apparently, the biggest demonstration ever, bar the one after Sabra and Shatila.

The protests went up a notch last night. Chants about high rents were rare. The people demand social justice, was the most common, followed by Hoo ha, mi zeh ba? Medinat harevaha (Who's that coming? It's the welfare state ). Socialism, today? Yes, with choked throats and emotional tones. The protest took flight last night. Forget the housing protest, it's no longer alone. Those who feared that the protest was too narrow, too spoiled, yesterday watched it expand. Its goals are already way beyond a small rented apartment.

Those who grimaced at the mini-Woodstock on Rothschild must now recognize that this boulevard is only the launching pad for an explosion of a movement, the most impressive protest movement in Israeli history.







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