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On June 2nd, Wafa Tiara, a Palestinian agricultural worker organized
under the Ma’an union was supposed to address Israel’s J14 social
justice movement. At the last minute the organizers decided not to let her
speak. The protest was meant to serve as an indicator of whether this
movement, which began last summer, could restart after its quiet winter
months. While last September saw the biggest protests in the country’s
history with half a million people on the streets, only a few thousand
turned out this time. The movement started over the high cost of living in
Israel and the large gap between the rich and the poor but three main
criticisms amassed as the movement grew larger – its refusal to address
Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, address concerns of the
Palestinian citizens of Israel and its failure to include Jewish minorities
like Russian and Ethiopian immigrants, and the religious orthodox, while
focusing on the Ashkenazi middle class. The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky
spoke to Alon-Lee Green and Eran Bril, two of the organizers of the
protest that night, Asma Aghbarieh-Zahalka a representative of the Ma’an
Union to which Wafa Tiara, belongs, activists Matan Kaminer and Ronnie
Barkan, and journalist Noam Sheizaf.

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