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Rally for teachers

Last updated: 2007-11-19

Israel

Israel

At least 100,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to support the ongoing strike by teachers in Israel.

Signs reading "no education, no future" and "Cheapening education will cost enormously" waved in the crowd as musical recording stars performed Saturday night.

The strike entered its 39th day on Sunday. Most high schools and junior high schools have been closed throughout the work stoppage. The teachers are striking for, among other things, a dramatic raise in pay and smaller class sizes.

Union head Ron Erez, chairman of the Secondary School Teachers Organization, told the crowd, "Education is closing gaps, education is fighting violence," saying "that is our struggle. It's a shame the government doesn't understand that. We are not against them, we are for them and we want to tell them the land is shaking, this volcano is erupting."

Education minister Yuli Tamir is under fire to end the strike. Before the rally she said, "If the process fails, it will be my failure and I will be held accountable."

(c) JTA