An Israeli man has died after setting himself on fire in protest over social inequality.
He self-immolated last week in the streets of Tel Aviv. Although others are not as extreme, he is just one of many in Israel who are protesting the high costs of living. Last August, about a quarter of a million people marched in Tel Aviv over social justice. Although the government promised economic reform, it characterized the protesters as "left wing." People have again been protesting over the last several weeks, scuffling with police and trying to revive the movement from last summer.
Protesters are unhappy with the high cost of living and the growing income divide. Average salaries in Israel are lower than those of other developed countries and the price of basic goods is relatively high. Israel has one of the most educated populations in the world, yet many find themselves underpaid. Those in the lower and middle classes have become increasingly worried and believe that the government should improve social services.
Israel's housing prices have risen by more than 50 percent over the past few years. Moshe Silman, who set himself on fire, wanted public housing but was rejected two times. The waiting list for public housing is seven years.
The government responded to his self-immolation by announcing a new committee for emergency cases. Activists say that this does not solve the systemic social problem.