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Friday, May 10, 2013

The Voters Are Complaining of Being Conned

Sometimes I really get a kick out of how Jewish things are here in Israel.  Yes, I do complain frequently that it's not Jewish enough, but once in a while there's one of those "wow, only in Israel" moments that keep me going for a long time. *Read to the end, please.

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
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...  
*The TV news broadcast ended with:
"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;
Simply put, a large percentage of Israeli voters feel they were conned.

Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom.  I must hurry up to join my friends for Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh.


Miriam said...

Batya, once again, super blog. Thank-you for the mention.

Chodesh Tov
Shabbat Shalom

Menachem said...

And the fact that the other "great white hope", Stanley Fisher, supported Lapid's budget 100%? Does that not say something?

Batya said...

Miriam, thank you!
Menachem, considering that the Israeli economy is actually in good shape, I don't know why Lapid has taken such steps.
Too much of the burden is falling on those who have nothing to cut back on. Do we have to scrounge the shuk garbage for food?