THE BigO PLAIN-SPEAKING, STRAIGHT-TALKING, NO B.S. CONTEST No. 6

August 1, 2011 – 10:07 am

EDITOR’S NOTE: A MUST TO AVOID?

Sept 5, 2011: About two hours ago, a $ingapore online news site finally reported on Saturday’s (Sept 3) massive street protest in Israel. This protest by unhappy citizens of Israel over the high cost of living started in July and has been building in scale throughout August but surprisingly has barely made the news in the mainstream press worldwide. In contrast, the Arab uprising that has seen the governments of Egypt and Libya toppled has been getting the front page all over the world. As our readers have responded in comments below, there seems to be an unnatural silence. Why? It’s hard to believe that editors around the world share the same sentiment that this is not newsworthy. Who calls the shots on what is news?

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July 30, 2011: Tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets Saturday to protest against the high cost of living and demand Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu undertake sweeping economic reforms.

Police said over 60,000 people demonstrated in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Beersheba and six other cities, in what local media have dubbed Israel’s middle class uprising. Haaretz, an Israeli paper, is reporting roughly 150,000 people around the country in Hebrew (most conservative estimate in the morning papers belongs to the pro-Netanyahu free paper, Israel Hayom: 100,000 protesters). [click here]

“People before profit” read a banner held by protesters who chanted “The people demand social justice.” “This is the Israeli spring” one sign read, referring to the uprisings which have rocked the Arab world.

The protests started two weeks ago when activists pitched tents along a Tel Aviv avenue, demanding lower rent and land prices. Demonstrations have since spread nationwide, and housing reforms announced by Netanyahu Tuesday have not helped quell the unrest.

Although commentators see no threat to Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, the demonstrations are proving a major political headache for the Israeli leader, halfway through his term in office. His approval rating fell to 32 per cent in a recent poll.

Economic growth in Israel is among the fastest in the world, with a 5 per cent spurt seen for 2011. Unemployment was at a two-decade low of 5.7 per cent in May.

But analysts say the high price of basic goods and services are weighing down the middle class which already bears Israel’s heavy tax burden and sustains its conscript military. - Reuters

Do you know about the 150,000 Israelis who marched against their government? Is this headline news in your country? Or is it buried deep inside the newspaper and not shown on primetime news? If the news is not mentioned in your country, why do you think that is so?

[Where possible, readers are requested to include a link to the news report.]

Countries which carried some reports: Germany, Italy
Countries which did not carry this report: United States, UK, Canada, $ingapore, Australia, Malaysia

Pictures of the march are here.

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UPDATE AUGUST 13, 2011
August 13, 2011: Tens of thousands have gathered at demonstrations around Israel, after leaders of a popular social movement called for rallies outside major cities to protest high prices of rent and cuts in government social spending. At 9 pm local time on Saturday, about 50,000 people were mobilised throughout the country, outside of the main urban centres of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, police said.
Click here for more.

UPDATE AUGUST 20, 2011
Around 4,000 demonstrators participated in a silent march in Tel Aviv on Saturday night to protest the high cost of living in Israel. The event was low-profile, due to recent security incidents in southern Israel.
Click here for more.

UPDATE AUGUST 27, 2011
Tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets on Saturday night to participate in demonstrations protesting the high cost of living in Israel, making this six straight Saturday nights.
Click here for more.

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 3, 2011
Some 450,000 Israelis march at massive ‘March of the Million’ rallies across country. Protests held in major cities across Israel represent of the biggest rallies in the country’s history. Protest leader: We have chosen to see instead of walking blindly toward the abyss. The BBC, CNN and Washington Post have reacted to the event by carrying more prominent reports.

Click here for more.

‘March of the Million’: Over 460,000 protest across country. Demonstrators in Tel Aviv’s Kikar Hamedina take part in huge rally demanding social justice; Student Union chair to PM: “Let us live in this country”; Large demonstrations in J’lem, Haifa, Afula.

Click here for more.

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Click here for Contest No. 1
Click here for Contest No. 2
Click here for Contest No. 3
Click here for Contest No. 4
Click here for Contest No. 5

  1. 75 Responses to “THE BigO PLAIN-SPEAKING, STRAIGHT-TALKING, NO B.S. CONTEST No. 6”

  2. These protests made the news a week ago or so, but currently there is nothing about it on the 3 biggest news sites in Canada. Is it something our leaders do not want us to hear about for fear it may happen here ? I think Canadians are too apathetic and ignorant to rise up in any case. The proof is in our current government, democratically elected with an un-democratic agenda.

    By Jacques on Aug 1, 2011

  3. people have the power, to quote patti smith.

    best,
    ed

    By Ed Saad on Aug 1, 2011

  4. Here in Germany it’s in the news, but there are not that much comments about it.

    By Gerhard on Aug 1, 2011

  5. In Italy the protests were in all the newspapers and in tv ; all young couple here have the same problem when looking for a house , always too expensive .We have protest against the government every day!

    By paco on Aug 1, 2011

  6. Having lived in many parts of the USA, and in NYC for the past 15 years, I am no longer surprised by the lack of international news that we get here. No doubt these protests have been covered somewhere but this is the first I’ve heard. Saturday’s protest against the high cost of living with demands that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu undertake sweeping economic reforms is not headline news. Demonstrations in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Beersheba and six other cities, in what local media have dubbed Israel’s middle class uprising is not headline news. Protests and housing reforms announced by Netanyahu is not headline news here in NYC. As per the new gilded age, the consolidation of wealth and power is moving into fewer hands.
    ~ The Incredible Falling Owl

    By The Incredible Falling Owl on Aug 1, 2011

  7. I haven’t seen much coverage of these protests. Maybe because economically, things are much worse here in the US than 5% growth and 5.7% unemployment.
    US news is all “debt ceiling” talk right now.

    I did see this story on NPR:

    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/01/138722068/protests-in-israel-target-high-housing-costs

    I also saw this story, linked off of Drudge, but it’s an Isreali website.

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/most-israeli-municipalities-declare-general-strike-in-solidarity-with-housing-protests-1.376251

    By steve22 on Aug 1, 2011

  8. This story has received next to no attention in the US media, I believe for two reasons: news about Isreal is polarizing in America because of our ongoing efforts in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afganistan. Foreign news trends visual: US reporter assaulted in Egypt, planes attack Tripoli. Showing an unstable US ally could brings calls for America to provide help it can’t (and probably shouldn’t) economically. Isreal’s “misery index” would only inspire a shrug and a “What about us? We have our OWN debt and unemployment problems?” Thus the provincialism of US media, especially with its lower budget and emphasis for international news.

    By Tony on Aug 1, 2011

  9. Not much coverage in the UK. It’s almost as if mass demonstrations are so common-place in other parts of the world that the newshounds are more interested in other ‘emerging’ stories. Plenty about Syria, Lybia. Egypt, etc. and even phone hacking is becoming old news. I’ve not seem anything on the BBC about Israel unless I slept through it. Which is either odd, or scary.

    By AlanK on Aug 2, 2011

  10. The power of people against Israel’s goverment!

    By Rochacrimson on Aug 2, 2011

  11. Did not make much of the news in Oregon. Power to the masses. The world will be a better place without all of these corridor governments.

    By john on Aug 2, 2011

  12. Almost no coverage in the U.S. - even though similar uprisings in other countries did get some coverage. Our corrupt media seems to be ignoring this one for some unknown reason.

    By TDC on Aug 2, 2011

  13. Hear about it on mainstream media? You’ve got to be kidding. Heard about it on Coast To Coast AM though. Our mainstream news is mostly held by the power moguls who do not want Americans to react similarly. They don’t even give us the truth about our unemployment rate. Is that the true unemployment rate in Israel? Hmmm…I wonder.

    By Tom Billings on Aug 2, 2011

  14. Elijah, didn’t think his voice meant anything. To para phrase god he said “what do you mean you. There are millions that feel the same way as you”. I will be your voice. BTW: God only spoke to the individual; while alone; by themselves. Go forth; you are not alone; Millions feel the same way and be heard.

    By Cowgill on Aug 2, 2011

  15. There did not seem to be much mention of the march in Canada. There has been a lot more coverage of the current situation in Syria. The media regularly picks and chooses what to feed the masses.

    By Mackster on Aug 2, 2011

  16. I have seen nothing about this here on the west coast of the US. We only hear of the protests of the people in countries we wish to support with military action against their governments. Our media in the Home of the Free suppresses information just like in other countries. They may be afraid of it causing protests here but the youth of today seems too apathetic. We gave all the taxpayers money to help out the banks who then screwed the taxpayers.
    Perhaps this is why we don’t bring our troops home. Their families had houses and jobs when they left to give their lives for this country.

    Good luck to the citizens of Israel. Spread the word.

    By Sking on Aug 2, 2011

  17. as others have said here mainstream media blurs with media that isnt necessarily mainstream like coast to coast am etc. i dont normally watch or listen to what might be considered mainstream media so i am not sure if this is being covered. i have heard about this protest but i am not sure where from. i dont tend to keep up with a lot that goes on politically anymore especially in other countries but i am on this site a lot and im on several other sites that push politics a lot as part of their thing too so whether i choose to pay attn or not.. its in my face. i dont keep track of how i hear about things but i like to feel that im semi aware of whats going on in the world. if i feel that i want to know more about a particular event i know i can always look up more details on a site like this one or a similarly educational site. i always expect there to be a bias or a personal spin put on things so i try to read between the lines. i try to consider the intentions and motives behind the reporters and take it from there. common sense goes a long way.

    By darth on Aug 2, 2011

  18. Haven’t heard a word in Australia.

    By Peter Nixon on Aug 3, 2011

  19. This was not news in the midwest(USA). Curious how other middle eastern countries made the news in recent months with protests, but not Israel. There has long been thought there exists a media connection between the US and this country. Selective reporting I suspect…

    By Brian on Aug 3, 2011

  20. No news about it here in the western US. No surprise. The wealthy own the government and the news media here, and pretty much everything else. Corruption is king. Noam Chomsky said something along the lines of “There is nothing the US government fears more anywhere in the world, than any country where the people have power.” More power to the Israeli people. I hope our people wake up soon.

    By aking on Aug 3, 2011

  21. Didn’t hear much about it in NY. If it weren’t for this site, there are certain things we wouldn’t know at all.

    By Dennis on Aug 3, 2011

  22. There has been nothing about this in the New Mexico print media. The absence of American media coverage about this event with one of our allies is another example of American journalistic fear and bias. Perhaps these Israeli protests are not newsworthy for an American media that is truly as paranoid as aking contends.
    Onads

    By Orangenads on Aug 3, 2011

  23. Not surprising that this was not reported in the US. The Tea Party is destroying the United States of America! Tea Baggers are nothing but C level students that have no sense of history or government. They are a 21st century version of “Brownshirts.”

    By Dick Cole on Aug 4, 2011

  24. Living in Germany, I seem to have missed this, although being an everyday newspaper reader.

    Rgds,
    Thomas

    By Thomas on Aug 4, 2011

  25. The rent is too damn high!

    I’m not surprised I haven’t heard anything about this. 5 percent growth and 5.7 percent unemployment simply isn’t news - at least not bad news that merit extensive coverage. So prices are higher than you’d prefer? Try selling that to the many, many nations of the world with higher unemployment and lower economic growth.

    By MrBill on Aug 4, 2011

  26. Hadn’t heard about this.

    By Phil on Aug 4, 2011

  27. if it wasnt for big o we wouldnt know

    By paul on Aug 4, 2011

  28. U.S.news is completely in the dumper; even CNN
    is now reduced to tabloid time (Casey, Warren Jeffs, ad nauseum) and “Happy talk” among anchors. I knew of this story via small piece in NYT and a few seconds on NPR. Shameful.

    By Terry Lawson on Aug 4, 2011

  29. they will all be looking for new jobs. Lets all and everyone vote the jerks out of office. 1 term obama

    By ron on Aug 5, 2011

  30. Not enough violence to warrant news coverage in the USA , I guess . If they had burned some cars or buildings maybe it would be news worthy.
    I agree with what Terry Lawson said .

    By Bruce on Aug 6, 2011

  31. Middle class marching because of the mess they put THEMSELVES in? Not much newsworthy there. Certainly not against a backdrop of millions marching (and dying) to protest against oppressive totalitarian dictatorships across the region. Want change folks? VOTE it in. At least you HAVE that option. Reality check called for.

    By golgo hakase on Aug 6, 2011

  32. “People before profit”? That´s why we can´t see it in the main news…

    By Belasco on Aug 7, 2011

  33. This was buried in the Detroit papers,I first heard about it on The Big O

    By Luis Torregrosa on Aug 8, 2011

  34. It’s about time that people in power started to respect and listen to the people that put them where they are.
    Once in power, these people see the people they are supposed to respresent as profit centres and this is morally wrong.

    By Daij on Aug 8, 2011

  35. This is the first I’ve heard about this.
    Can’t imagine why Canadian news agencies wouldn’t report it though.

    By Ante Matter on Aug 8, 2011

  36. BBC did cover it in the UK but not with much prominence (AFAIK) - did hear some detail on news magazine programmes but not aware of much on main broadcast news.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14434918

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14433245

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14344515

    By U Cheese on Aug 9, 2011

  37. On August 9, the Albuquerque Journal printed an AP article by Ian Deitch datelined Jerusalem entitled “Crowds Protest Economy in Israel.” The three column article was printed on page A6, complete with a picture of part of the reported 250,000 Israeli’s on the streets in Tel Aviv. Deitch’s reportage was focused on the “snowballing protest” and contained several quotations and analysis of the middle class discontent awakening in Israel.

    By Orangenads on Aug 9, 2011

  38. I made an error in my comment; the article was printed in the Sunday, August 7 Albuquerque Journal.

    By Orangenads on Aug 9, 2011

  39. Italy had good coverage on the media, I’m surprised it wasn’t the same all over the world for such an important thing.

    By giotto on Aug 9, 2011

  40. Coming from the Uk, there was always a lot about world news. Now I live in the US, it is very much US only or world news if and only if there is a US fatality.

    By Graham on Aug 10, 2011

  41. It’s going to spread to the U.S. Just a matter of time.

    By Randy on Aug 11, 2011

  42. I was completely unaware. However, I’ve been very busy and behind on my news reading. I did look on http://www.nytimes.com and found this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/27/world/middleeast/27israel.html?scp=7&sq=israel%20protests&st=cse, which seems to the be their first reporting of the protests. It was put on the web on 07/26/11 and published in print on 07/27/11 - on page A10. Slightly buried!

    Since then, they have continued to report and analyze the situation - however, never on the front page. 250,000 people is a BIG protest!

    By Jeremy Shatan on Aug 11, 2011

  43. I don’t think this has made the news here In Australia.

    By Bevis on Aug 12, 2011

  44. Normally here in the UK we see stuff that is anti-Israel quite prominently. Don’t know why this wasn’t raised - can only think that the news outlets were looking elsewhere (through their own inability).

    By Bill on Aug 12, 2011

  45. I never read or heard about this Israel march and searching for news on the Italian sites I didn’t found any particular information but in some blogs. I didn’t find news in Italian national press. I asked my wife who reads everyday newspapers but she doesn’t remember to have read such piece of news.

    By BigO reader in Italy on Aug 13, 2011

  46. Update August 13: Tens of thousands take to Israel’s streets as social protests move out of Tel Aviv

    By Admin on Aug 14, 2011

  47. Certainly nothing of note in the main news channels here in the UK, not surprising really as it’s a protesr against a government that is courted and coveted by governments and big business here.

    By sebrof on Aug 16, 2011

  48. not in the australian news at all, but jewish friends i have here are well aware of it

    By Liam NSW on Aug 16, 2011

  49. My TV viewing consists mostly of news. I’ve not heard of these protests anywhere but here.

    By Brad on Aug 17, 2011

  50. I’m in University Heights, Ohio. I do watch both the local and National news everyday and have no knowledge of this.
    Our cable news channels are just talking heads; all rhetoric and ZERO substance. I mean really, who gives a damn about the GOP primary presidential race when such INCREDIBLY IGNORANT folks are running for the office. They wouldn’t compromise to achieve a needed ANYTHING to save their own lives!!!

    By John McNea on Aug 18, 2011

  51. Perhaps the property owners in Israel are also the owners of the media in so many other countries? If so, they certainly wouldn’t want to publish any news critical of their selfish behaviors and attitudes.

    By Leland on Aug 18, 2011

  52. This was reported in the U.S. earlier this week - I saw it on Newser (a news aggregator website).

    By Mike Hansen on Aug 20, 2011

  53. Haven’t heard about this in California - but then, the powers-that-be focus on a few stories & that’s it.

    By tajackson on Aug 20, 2011

  54. Update August 20: Around 4,000 demonstrators participated in a silent march in Tel Aviv on Saturday night to protest the high cost of living in Israel. The event was low-profile, due to recent security incidents in southern Israel.

    By Admin on Aug 21, 2011

  55. there was a little piece in the country’s biggest “quality” metropolitan daily newspaper on aug 8. it referred to hundreds of thousands having protested. but i never saw a report on the protests themselves, or what the leaders had said.
    I’m guessing, but… correspondents who don’t give a stuff about bread and butter issues because “the palestinian question” is more of a balltearing story? foreign correspondents often regard mere domestic “financial stories” as beneath their dignity.
    vested interests, big brother protecting israel, neither applies here, i think, because the local paper does fairly decent coverage of israeli atrocities against palestinians

    By tony on Aug 26, 2011

  56. Here in the usa you have to do your own search to find any mention of this story.

    By ter kud on Aug 29, 2011

  57. No one was shot, bullied or bruised so no headlines or 1st page news.

    By D.G. on Sep 2, 2011

  58. Just another story of importance swept under the rug by the media.

    By Ed on Sep 4, 2011

  59. NEWS UPDATE SEPT 3, 2011: ‘March of the Million’: Over 460,000 protest across Israel against the high cost of living. The BBC, CNN and Washington Post have reacted to the event by carrying more prominent reports.

    By bigozine2 on Sep 4, 2011

  60. Everywhere in the world the people shall act like this people.

    By Steve on Sep 7, 2011

  61. I too have not heard or seen anything about this other than what was on the BigO website. I am always amazed at the lack of international news that we receive in the US. It always seems to be really selective. You may find a small story on the few pages dedicated to international news stories, but then again you may not.

    By Big Willie on Sep 8, 2011

  62. There’s a video piece about it on the Guardian (UK) website. I’ve noticed with large scale demonstrations within the UK that they really don’t get a great deal of coverage unless they turn violent.

    By Trader Woody on Sep 12, 2011

  63. Whoops - I meant to add the link - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2011/sep/05/israel-march-million-protest-video

    By Trader Woody on Sep 12, 2011

  64. this was covered quite well in the Sydney Morning Herald, so Australia is aware..

    By Liam NSW on Sep 13, 2011

  65. Information and knowledge results in motivation to bring about change. Could it be the mainstream news organizations have more control of society than we think?

    By fabgear5 on Sep 15, 2011

  66. Here in the United States it was not covered by our totally corporate media whatsoever. If it had been a bunch of lunatic Tea Party people they would’ve been all over it. Anything that is designed to help people, whether it is civil rights, unemployment, progressive ideas, health care reform, won’t be covered and if it it is only to criticize it. The newsmodels who pose as “journalists” are dumber than a sack of hair!

    By Craig on Sep 21, 2011

  67. It’s misleading to call this a protest ‘against the government’. It’s not a protest against Bibi or the Likud as much as a protest against the prevalent situation. It’s a call to everyone, the Likud as well as to the opposition parties, to be more sensitive to the plight of the common man. The fact is that neither Labor nor Kadima has made any political capital out of this, nor has the Likud really lost any.

    By Jeff on Sep 23, 2011

  68. The protest were in the news in Finland and in Sweden. It was not a big news, but it was repeated quite a few times. So in parts of the Scandinavia we know what goes on. Don´t know the situation in Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Cheers! Homer

    By Homer on Sep 27, 2011

  69. It seems astounding to me that someone who pursues a career in journalism would not be angry as hell over having access to information that is intentionally not shared. Could you imagine being a biology teacher who allows herself/himself to be told not to teach evolution? The media has become so much like the law field: take a position and dismiss what doesn’t support your side. Appalling.

    By Dave McElfresh on Sep 30, 2011

  70. I’m so tired of the media taking the narrow minded legal/political route. What has happened to intelligent discourse? Why can’t we disagree respectfully?

    By John Cooke on Oct 3, 2011

  71. I was aware of the protest, although it was not headline news here in the US. I read about it online and heard a brief mention on a BBC News report. I think the reason it didn’t receive more attention from the domestic media is that they are too preoccupied with US issues, particularly the debt crisis and the pending 2012 presidential election.

    By Tim on Oct 7, 2011

  72. I did not know. If I had to offer a, perhaps naive, explanation, it would be that the demonstrations were nowhere near as close to actually toppling the Israeli government as were the Arab Spring actions. That said. It should have merited at least a sidebar mention, or the broadcast equivalent.
    James

    By James on Nov 4, 2011

  73. I heard about this here, a few months ago. I’ve been waiting to hear more on the US news… nothing.

    By Eric on Nov 26, 2011

  74. there will never be peace in the middle east.The Bible told me so.

    By matt_the_cat on May 16, 2012

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