Large scale protests / pop concerts dominated by secular Israelis are being held in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem and will include free performances by well known artists. The protesters demand “social justice” and a more equitable economy but their exact demands are not clear.

Protest in Haifa

Protest in Haifa

According to an investigative report by Maariv‘s Kalman Libeskind, the protests were engineered by a group of media strategists who are directed by prominent Democratic strategist Stanley Greenberg, a former adviser to Bill Clinton, John Kerry and others. Greenberg directed the strategists to create a protest that was not led by one specific group, in order to create social ferment. An unnamed left-wing leader would eventually step into this ferment and take the reins, Greenberg predicted.

Press reports at around 10:00 p.m. Saturday evening estimated the total number of protesters at anywhere between 100,000 and 400,000. This would be the rough equivalent of the number of people represented by three to thirteen seats in the Knesset.

Israel’s central television and internet news outlets provided live superlative-studded coverage of the protests, as they have throughout the summer. Central Channel 2 political commentator Amnon Abramovich said that the protest is against policies that favor hareidis and settlers.

Tent cities that have been put up in Tel Aviv and other cities are likely to be folded up soon as summer vacation ends and cooler weather approaches.

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