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Thousands expected at Tel Aviv climate protest Friday

‘What comes first — money and tycoons or dramatic steps to save lives?’ asks organizer, two days before PM is due in Scotland for climate talks

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Activists and demonstrators hold placards as they take part in a Global Climate Strike in Tel Aviv on September 27, 2019, against inaction on climate change. (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)
Activists and demonstrators hold placards as they take part in a Global Climate Strike in Tel Aviv on September 27, 2019, against inaction on climate change. (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

Environmental activists are planning a major demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Friday, just two days before Prime Minister Naftali Bennett sets off for the UN’s COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, with a 120-strong Israeli delegation.

Up to 10,000 participants are expected at the protest, which will snarl traffic in the area.

Around 100 buses will bring in members of green, social and civic organizations, as well as youth movements and student movements, from all over the country.

Climate activists are demonstrating all over the world in the run-up to the critical confab in Glasgow, described by COP26 President Alok Sharma as “the world’s last best chance” of getting things right and preventing climate disaster.

Last year’s planned protest in Tel Aviv had to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Elad Hochman, director of Green Course, which mainly comprises students and which is coordinating the event, said, “We’re taking the gloves off.

“The climate crisis is the greatest security threat to us and the entire world. The UN scientists’ report has removed any doubt — we are at war for our own and our children’s existence, but our leaders are not yet taking action.

“The era of applauding statements is over. We will not give up. It is a struggle for our lives, for the air we breathe, and for what comes first — money and tycoons or dramatic steps to save lives.”

The events will kick off in Rabin Square at 9:30 a.m. At 10:30, demonstrators will parade through nearby streets, returning to the square for an hour of speeches. A musical event will start at 1:30 p.m.

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