Occupy Cottage Cheese

Occupy Cottage Cheese

Hundreds of thousands of middle class Israelis began protesting a huge jump in dairy prices this summer, resulting in the largest demonstrations the country has ever seen. These soon became protests about widening economic inequalities in the small nation.

The protests are getting results. The Israeli cabinet has just approved a new tax plan reducing taxes on low-income wage earners and raising them for the rich and for corporations. Other new policies include cuts to the defense budget.

The huge summer protests in Israel were ignored by American media, which cannot walk and chew gum at the same time and were busy covering the bloodier Arab Spring. Except for fatalities and the lack of a single dictator devil-figure, protests in Israel share many traits with the earlier Tunisian rebellion: food symbolism, well-educated young middle class protesters, use of social media, significant expatriate populations. Unlike the demonstrations in Tunisia, Israeli expatriates do not seem to be actively supporting protesters back home, contributing to the movement’s low profile outside the country.

Occupy Wall Street take note: what motivated the change in Israeli government tax policy? Widespread populist protests and a looming general election.

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-bre

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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