Israeli sets himself on fire in social justice protest

( A Haifa man set himself on fire July 14 at a social justice rally in Tel Aviv after having spent years fighting Israel’s National Insurance Institute and Income Tax Authority.

Moshe Silman, who once owned a successful business, became homeless after his assets were frozen due to mounting debts, reported the Times of Israel. Later, the state repossessed one of his delivery trucks, causing his entire business to fall apart. Also physically disabled after a stroke, he was unable to get housing subsidies from the state.

“He had no choices left and was just not ready to live on the streets,” said Rabbi Idit Lev, manager of the Social Justice Project at Rabbis for Human Rights, who knew Silman, according to the Jerusalem Post. 

Silman read a suicide note aloud and passed out copies. He then doused himself with flammable liquid and set himself on fire. Fellow demonstrators extinguished the flames, and an ambulance took him to Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center in critical condition.

Posted on July 16, 2012 .