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Israel's middle class in nationwide protests

Sunday, July 31, 2011 - 01:34

July 31 - Tens of thousands of Israelis march in nationwide protests highlighting high living costs and demanding economic reform. Simon Hanna reports.

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Tens of thousands of Israeli's take to the streets demanding economic reform. Police say over 60,000 people demonstrated in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Beersheba and six other cities, posing a major challenge to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (SOUNDBITE) (English) OMI EVRON, PROTESTER: "I am here with many other thousands of Israelis to protest against the neo-liberal capitalist government of Bibi Netanyahu that is choking the working class and middle class families, young people and old people, Jews and Arabs, are choking under the economic burden." Local media has dubbed the protests an uprising of Israel's middle class. Economic growth in Israel is amongst the highest in the world, though ordinary citizens say high living costs mean they don't reap the rewards. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IDO COHEN, PROTESTER: "We are protesting because unfortunately here in Israel we have a great economy on one hand, but from the other hand you can't really live with your salary, a simple citizen can't really live here." Though commentators see no immediate threat to Netanyahu's ruling coalition, the Israeli leader is facing his biggest political headache so far, with his approval rating down 32 percent. Simon Hanna, Reuters.

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Israel's middle class in nationwide protests

Sunday, July 31, 2011 - 01:34