On Saturday evening, an estimated 10,000 people took to the streets of Tel Aviv to mark the first anniversary of J14, a movement centred around social justice and against inequality and the high cost of housing in Israel.
The march ended on Kaplan Street where a man in his 50s first distributed copies of a typed letter before pouring gasoline over his body and lighting himself on fire.
Witnesses were able to extinguish the flames, but Moshe Silman was badly injured. Later reports state that he sustained burns to more than 90 percent of his body.
Silman’s suicide letter details his financial, housing and health difficulties in addition to his anger at the state “for the humiliation that disenfranchised citizens go through day in and day out, that take from the poor and give to the rich.”
The State of Israel has stolen from me and robbed me, left me with nothing
and the Tel Aviv District Court blocked me from getting justice. — registrar at the Tel Aviv District court, broke the law, disrupted legal proceedings, out of condescension.
It won’t even assist me with my rental fees
Two committees from the Ministry of Housing have rejected me, despite the fact that I have undergone a stroke and was granted 100% work disability
Ask the manager of Amidar, in Hafia, on Hanevi’im Street.
I blame the State of IsraelI blame Bibi Netanyahu
and [Minister of Finance] Yuval Steinitz
for the humiliation that disenfranchised citizens go through day in and day out, that take from the poor and give to the rich, and to public servants
those that serve the State of Israel
The National Health Insurance, especially —, the manager of their operations, and the manager of their claims department, —, on Lincoln Street in Tel Aviv, who illegally seized my work equipment for my truck.
The Haifa National Insurance Institute branch, who abused me for a year until I was granted disability
That I pay NIS 2300 per month in Health Insurance taxes and even more for my medicine
I have no money for medicine or rent. I can’t make the money after I have paid my millions in taxes I did the army, and until age 46 I did reserve duty
I refuse to be homeless, this is why i am protesting
Against all the injustices done to me by the State, me and others like me
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the act of self-immolation a “great personal tragedy,” but the incident has much wider implications than Silman’s private suffering.