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Israel's Itzik Shmuli: 'Yair Lapid Is Misleading the Public'

In view of the new austerity plan, Knesset Member Itzik Shmuli and his followers from the social justice movement are about to take to the streets again in protest, reports Mazal Mualem.   
Itzik Shmuli, head of the National Student Union and one of the leaders of Israel's social protest movement, is seen during an interview with Reuters in Tel Aviv August 29, 2011. The protest movement which got off the ground in July when a handful of young Israelis, frustrated with the high price of housing, pitched tents along a major boulevard in Tel Aviv, faces its moment of truth on Saturday when the turnout for a "March of a Million" demonstration in Tel Aviv will show whether a popular push for reform
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"Is the social protest movement coming back?" I asked Knesset Member Itzik Shmuli, who was one of the turbocharged engines that propelled the social "tent" protest of the summer of 2011 and whose climax saw hundreds of thousands taking to the streets. 

We sat down for a cup of coffee at the glistening white plaza by the Habima National Theater in the heart of Tel Aviv. Some 50 yards away, at the far end of Rothschild Boulevard is where the first tent, which triggered the upheaval in Israel, was pitched. Or so we thought at the time. Thousands swarmed the boulevard. In one of those tents was Shmuli, who motivated the masses. I specifically recall his speech about the "New Israelis" during the "one million rally," which was held at the Kikar Hamedina Tel Aviv central square and attended by an estimated crowd of some 300,000 to 500,000 demonstrators. Back then, he was chairman of the National Union of Israeli Students. "A leader was born," the press proclaimed the following day.

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