The coronavirus and its economic damage has brought Israelis out to the streets. Since March 30, workers have descended on the squares again and again and demanded answers from the government. Almost every day, there has been a demonstration, protest, or a cry for help. On some days, multiple demonstrations took place simultaneously. Each time, it was a different sector of the economy, or even a sub-sector, whose employees and managers came out to protest against economic disorder and demanded that the government respond to their distress.

Acceptance constitutes acceptance of the Website Terms of Use

This is a partial, chronological, list of the rage of spring 2020.

March 30, 2020: The self-employed put on an initial demonstration in the Rose Garden opposite the Knesset. These were the days of record-high numbers in the epidemic and the social-isolation rules, and a social gathering out in the public sphere also marked an infraction of the rules. 

April 1, 2020: Non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) speak out. In the spirit of those days, their rally was held on Zoom, and dubbed: "The Masquerade Protest." The heads of these organizations shared photos of them wearing masks that read: "The weak are being erased."

"The Masquerade Protest: NGO activists in a statement directed at Prime minister Netanyahu: "The weak are being erased."

April 19, 2020: Workers in the beauty industry and cosmeticians demanded compensation for the closure of businesses and the opportunity to return to work. They drove from Tzuk Beach to the government complex in Tel Aviv.

April 23, 2020: The leadership core of the struggle to protect the sphere of events and culture declared that the culture industry must not be shut down. The artists and organizers who led the fight succeeded in bringing thousands to Rabin Square in Tel Aviv to what appeared to be the first mass demonstration during the corona crisis. 

April 24, 2020: About 150 athletes arrived at the Olympic Committee offices in the Tel Aviv neighborhood of Hadar Yosef demanding to resume training. On the same day, several tents were erected on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, demanding that the government handle the plight of the self-employed and small businesses.

April 26, 2020: The Machane Yehuda market merchants in Jerusalem demonstrated after the IKEA branches were opened to the public, while outdoor markets remained closed. A violent clash with police forces accompanied the merchants' demonstration. Eventually, the government approved the opening of markets.

Machane Yehuda market merchants clashing with the police (Photograph: Yonatan Zindel/Flah90)

April 30, 2020: Kindergarten teachers and teachers at private nurseries protested at Rabin Square under the slogan "Closed Kindergarten – Broken Heart," demanding compensation for the private kindergartens for the losses they suffered from the lockdown. At the same time, there was a protest outside the Prime Minister's Jerusalem residence by owners of gyms who demanded their reopening.

May 2, 2020: Employees and self-employed gather for a joint demonstration at the Charles Clore Garden in Jaffa and several other locations around the country. The protest was organized by an organization called "Standing Together" under the slogan "The Nation Against the Disconnected."

May 4, 2020: The council of the heads of Arab districts held a demonstration in front of the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem demanding to correct the discrimination in the distribution of the aid to Arab localities as part of the economic stimulus package. The leaders of their localities claimed that although they were handling 14.5% of the population, they received only 2% of the budget increase.

Artists and organizers protesting the shutdown of the sphere of events and culture, in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. April 23 2020. (Photograph: Tomer newburg/Flash90)

May 7, 2020: The Emergency Feminist Center led a series of protests in 13 cities calling on the government to "act urgently and by all means to prevent the next homicide" following two murders of women this week, and because of a significant increase in domestic violence during the corona crisis.

May 7, 2020: Sound and lighting workers, stage technicians, sound technicians, and stage workers gathered for a protest at Hayarkon Park. Stage workers arrived with their equipment trucks and chanted, "The state cuts – the state pays."

May 7, 2020: Hundreds of students gathered at Habima Square in Tel Aviv to protest that although their income has ceased, tuition and housing payments continue to be charged to their accounts. 

May 7, 2020: Event and wedding planners and organizers protested at Rabin Square to call for government assistance under the slogan: "The Black Huppah Protest.” 

Event and wedding planners and organizers with "The Black Huppah Protest.”

May 9, 2020: Approximately two thousand medical interns demonstrated against their long-term working conditions, demanding that the work shifts be shortened from 26 hours to 16 hours.

May 9, 2020: Over 1,000 young people, employees in places of entertainment, pubs, and restaurants gathered for a protest party at the Charles Clore Park in Jaffa. The protesters demanded that the government "start dealing with the young people.” 

May 10, 2020: Hundreds of members of Druze and Circassian communities protested at Azrieli Junction, saying: "We will send Netanyahu a message loud and clear: enough discrimination and deprivation."

May 10, 2020: About 500 EL AL employees demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Finance in Jerusalem in protest of the intention to dismantle the company, and to demand a state loan.

EL AL employees demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Finance in Jerusalem (Photograph: Koby Wulf)

The list is only partial. More demonstrations are planned and will be held by the self-employed, tourism industry workers, and many more. Despite conditions of social isolation and fear of a new outbreak of the epidemic, many Israelis took to the streets to express their anger, demanding that the government take responsibility for the state of the economy. Is anyone listening?