ICSEP students protest banks

Courses
26 May ’04

A group of graduates of Daniel Doron’s seminars on the free market and its critics have formed a non-profit activist organization, “Citizens for True Social Justice”.

A few months ago they mounted counter-protests to the Histadrut’s protest marches, and with a series of well-formulated ads in the newspapers they managed to take the wind out of the Histadrut’s sails, poking fun at its pretence of representing the workers and documenting how it has been in effect seriously damaging their cause.

A group of graduates of Daniel Doron’s seminars on the free market and its critics have formed a non-profit activist organization, “Citizens for True Social Justice”. A few months ago they mounted counter-protests to the Histadrut’s protest marches, and with a series of well-formulated ads in the newspapers they managed to take the wind out of the Histadrut’s sails, poking fun at its pretence of representing the workers and documenting how it has been in effect seriously damaging their cause.

The students are from three Israeli universities and from various faculties. All are third-year and up, Dean’s List, and quite a number are doctoral candidates. After attending the course they decided that discussing and analysing problems was not enough and that they wanted to take an active part in reforming the ailing Israeli economy. Their protest and ad campaign were credited by some for the Histadrut’s decision to call off a general strike, which was threatening to paralyze the Israeli economy and inflict enormous damage on the country.

The target, this time, of the student’s protests was the bank’s monopoly, which, as our readers know, is one of the chief causes of Israel’s economic woes. The banks’ squandering of ten years of savings, which they distributed amongst their cronies, has resulted in lack of growth, high unemployment, shamefully low salaries and in hundreds of thousands of families failing to make ends meet.

The tent that the students mounted in Rabin Square – Israel’s Hyde Park – has drawn enormous attention. It was widely reported in the media, with presentations on television, radio and the press, and fostered heavily-trafficked debates on Israel’s foremost web sites, including Y-Net.

With very few resources, our students have managed to generate strong public support for the finance minster’s bold attempt to advance a basic and vital reform of Israel’s financial markets that the banks have managed to fend off for more than two decades.

Those who want to support the students’ effort are urged to contribute to their not-for-profit (but not tax deductable) organization, Citizens for True Social Justice, c/o ICSEP.

This is an historic moment for Israel – the battle for financial reform may determine the country’s future no less than the battle for security, since only a prosperous its young at home and pay its heavy security bill. You are urged to lend a hand.

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