Yair Lapid, Israel's newbie Knesset Member, leader of the second largest political party, Yesh Atid and our Finance Minister had been coddled and touted by the media as the "great white secular hope." Now that they succeeded so well in getting him elected, he's in position to be criticized. There isn't a ministry that attracts anger more than the Finance Ministry does.
A feature newscast about a local politician in a southern city who had campaigned for Lapid is now complaining bitterly. His townspeople gave Yesh Atid a very high percentage of votes, and now with Lapid's austerity budget they are going to suffer greatly. Lapid campaigned that he wanted to help the middle-class. His budget which includes raising taxes and decreasing benefits makes life a bit harder for the upper middle-class, (the income that Lapid touts as being "middle,") but it means starvation for the lower middle-class and those who try to survive on minimum wage and standard fixed pensions. That's most of the population.
The ministry is looking to cut government spending by some NIS 6.5 billion (almost $2 billion) in 2013 and by NIS 18 billion (some $5 billion) in 2014, largely through the cuts in defense, child benefits (NIS 2 billion or $560 million) and transportation infrastructure projects (NIS 1.2 billion or $336 million). (complete article)
NRP aka Bayit Yehudi's Naftali Bennet has expressed his full support.
On Thursday, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) came out with emphatic support for his political ally Lapid.
That has his voters upset, too. Miriam blogged this:
If this headline is true, you will not get another vote from my family. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/167877#.UYua9qLfCSo*The TV news broadcast ended with:
We are pensioners who like many seniors live on a fixed income. Raising the VAT to 18% is going to hurt. Chopping the child family allowance is dreadful, and adding 18% VAT to basic daily..fruits and vegetables is immoral. Most people use their family allowance to help pay for grocery and school bills [tuition, clothes]. The average family will not be able to buy fruits and vegetables for their children. Fruits and vegetable promote good health. Adding the VAT to hotels will keep many tourist away and that will hurt our economy. The domino effect, employees will loose their jobs, putting more people to seek unemployment benefits. MK Bennett, we didn't vote for you to team up with Yair Lapid..He says, "I'm not my father" the truth is he is worse than his father..his father went through hell and back, what's Lapid's excuse..I'll tell you, he is an elitist who doesn't live from pay check to pay check and doesn't care about families that do..We didn't vote for you to be the anti haredi spokes person..some of your comments leave me shaking my head. We voted for you, because you said you would protect Eretz Yisrael...Bibi is calling for a building freeze in Yehuda, Shomron and East Jerusalem. Why aren't you screaming "NO, NOT ON MY WATCH!" Up to now, your actions have made me very sorry I wasted my vote on your party...
"This is not the son we prayed for."
I had to laugh. That's a play on a very famous Biblical verse. It's from Chana's Prayer. And davka the story of Chana took place in Shiloh.
1 Samuel Chapter 1 שְׁמוּאֵל א
כז אֶל-הַנַּעַר הַזֶּה, הִתְפַּלָּלְתִּי; וַיִּתֵּן יְהוָה לִי אֶת-שְׁאֵלָתִי, אֲשֶׁר שָׁאַלְתִּי מֵעִמּוֹ. 27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath granted me my petition which I asked of Him;
Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom. I must hurry up to join my friends for Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh.