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29 Jul, 2011 15:51

Israelis want social and economic “revolution”

“Mubarak. Assad. Netanyahu” – this is just one of the slogans Israeli protesters took to the streets to protest their government’s policies. But analyst Gidi Grinstein argues that social, not political trouble is the major reason for their uprising.

People in Israel are fighting for their social rights, Gidi Grinstein from Reut Institute think-tank told RT. ”What we are seeing here [in Israel] is a major crunch on the middle class,” he said. “On the one hand, salaries have stagnated and on the other hand – the cost of living has risen dramatically. In areas which are essential for life, which means housing, food, transportation, parenting, healthcare – all of these areas have risen and many more people here have a much harder time making ends meet.””Another phenomenon here is that we see people that used to be middle class, that are much more vulnerable to any shock in their life. If they are sick, if the member of family is sick, if they lose their job, they may be dropped into poverty,” Grinstein added. According to Grinstein, Israeli people have been inspired by protests in Europe.“What inspires people here is social unrest in places like Madrid and Greece. Israelis look more at Europe than at the Arab world in terms of their rights, because fundamentally we do have a democratic system and no one here wants to change their electoral system.”