A protestor is fighting for his life right after setting himself on fire during a rally for social justice in the streets of Tel Aviv. Before lighting the match, he read aloud from a note saying that the state of Israel has stolen from the poor and given to the rich.
According to fellow protestors, the man was an activist from Haifa. He operated a company that went out of business, which forced him to get a job as a taxi driver. His luck made a turn for the worse when he suffered a stroke and became unemployed. He later moved to Tel Aviv but became drowned in debt due to the high cost of living in the city.
The remnants of the man’s note say that the government’s misdeeds left him unable to pay for his rent or medication. He also talks about the millions of dollars he has paid in tax as well as his many years of service in the military.
An estimated 8,000 marchers were at the demonstration. A separate protest also took place in Jerusalem and Haifa. The rally was a call against the rising cost of living. Protestors took to the streets shouting for the prime minister to resign.
A similar protest took place last year. In response, the government started a committee to address the demands for reform. However, since then, very little progress has been made. The situation remains dire for thousands of Israelis who continue to face rising costs.
Protest organizers hoped for tens of thousands of marchers to take the streets, though the number of turn outs were pretty dismal in comparison to last year’s march, in which roughly half a million demonstrators took to the streets.
The man who set himself on fire definitely got his message through, though only time will tell whether it will change anything.