Pro-settlement activists co-opt protests in Israel

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Pro-settlement activists co-opt protests in Israel

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Demonstrations over living standards are continuing across Israel, but the question is who is a legitimate part of the protests?

There was heated disagreement as the protests were co-opted by pro-settlement activists who claim the solution for the housing crisis lies in building settlements in the West Bank.

One man said: “The problem of housing in Israel is because they are not building in Jerusalem, because the Prime Minister is not building in Judea and Samaria. The minute they build in Judea, Samaria and in Jerusalem, there will be enough houses for everyone.”

Campaigners say it is not possible to fight for social justice while living in a settlement in a disputed territory like the West Bank.

“I think it is shocking. This is a group of the most disgusting people in my country, if you ask me. They are a bunch of racists who are trying to piggy-back on the protest. They come here, but they are not interested in our social struggle at all,” was the opinion of one social justice campaigner.

Some say the protests are about social justice for all in the current climate, regardless of ethnicity.

Some settlement residents have joined the campaign themselves, and say it must not become politicised.