By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

Beset with opposition on every side, from Beirut, Tehran, to Moscow, Cairo, the West Bank and the White House, Israel also has to contend with its internal enemies.

Like every Western nation, Israel has a large and growing leftist “5th column.”

Che Guevara carried through Tel Aviv

From the Communist Party USA’s People’s World:

The Israeli Knesset (Parliament) is convening a special session to figure out how to respond as unprecedented protests sweep the country against budget cuts, the skyrocketing cost of housing and other basics, and growing inequality.

On Saturday evening, nearly 300,000 Israelis took to the streets in Tel Aviv alone, chanting “The people demand social justice,” Israeli news media reported. (Considering Israel’s tiny population of about 7.5 million, that would equate to about 12 million people protesting in Washington.) Another 30,000 demonstrated in Jerusalem, and thousands more around the country.

It followed three weeks of steadily mounting protests, involving workers, retirees, students and professionals from across Israeli’s political spectrum, including Jews, Arabs and others. Tent cities have been set up in the heart of Tel Aviv and elsewhere in Israel, echoing the “Arab Spring” movement in Egypt…

Among protests last Friday, Haaretz reported, were dozens of people from the Western Galilee – including Jewish, Arab and Druze activists who created tent encampments in the region.

Gadi Shabtai, one of the leaders of the protest there, said it was clear that most Western Galilee residents support the protest. Shabtai said the issues go beyond the lack of housing and include the high cost of living overall, from the price of electricity to dairy products and other foods…

“A boycott last month of cottage cheese to protest rising prices for an Israeli staple appears to have been a symptom of widespread economic discontent that the housing protests also are tapping into,” JTA says…

The research center has previously reported on the heavy economic price Israelis are paying for the continuing occupation of the Palestinian West Bank. Today’s protesters are well aware that while they are being priced out of housing, the government is subsidizing housing for Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian West Bank…

On Monday, protest leaders, including leaders of social organizations and student and youth groups, circulated a joint Vision Document, Haaretz reported. It says, “For a number of decades, the various governments of Israel have opted for an economic policy of privatization that leaves the free market without reins. This economic policy … has become our daily existence – a war for survival to subsist with dignity.”

Haaretz reported that “dozens” of nonprofit and social organizations will hold an emergency conference Wednesday. Giora Rozen, head of Israel’s umbrella organization of non-profit groups, said that “there can’t be a solution without dealing with Israel’s poor population together with civil society organizations.”

One protest organizer, Gil Sasson, told Ynet News: “We have here an unprecedented collective awakening; we are witnessing a people sobering up …. what started as a battle for affordable housing has turned into a protest movement that is snowballing and is now aiming for a system-wide change.”

Similar protests in Iran and Syria are met with tanks, machine guns and the torture chamber – a thought obviously lost on the Israeli left.