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Protest leaders watching Trajtenberg submitting report
Photo: Yaron Brenner
Manuel Trajtenberg
Photo: Noam Moskovitz
Protest leaders, security officials slam Trajtenberg report
Leaders of socioecnomic movement disappointed by committee's recommendations, say it fails to meet protester's demands. Top security officials also criticize report, claim defense budget cuts could undermine development of missile defense system

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed satisfaction on Monday with the report submitted by the Trajtenberg Committee, which was tasked with formulating a new socioeconomic agenda, leaders of the protest movement and officials in the defense establishment were less enthusiastic about the committee's recommendations.

 

Protest leaders Daphni Leef, Regev Cuntes and Stav Shaffir crossed their hands in an 'x' shape, in what came to be known as a symbol of disagreement, upon hearing the committee's final conclusions.

 

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At a press conference held following the presentation of the report, protest leader Daphni Leef said: "They use the protest movement's 'lingo', which can deceive the public, because in reality we were not presented with far-reaching changes.

 

"It seems as though the committee is not bearing any fruit – even less than we had hoped for," she said, adding that the movement leaders will review the recommendations with their team of experts and issue an official response on Tuesday.

 

Regev Contes, also among the protest leadership, expressed disappointment as well, but noted that the committee's conclusions are not surprising.

 

"From the very first moment you could tell that the numbers (Trajtenberg) is talking about don’t even come near what the public needs." Contes added that although Trajtenberg adopted the "lingo" of the protest movement, he has managed to empty it from all content.

 
צופים בטרכטנברג במהלך הפגנת סטודנטים בירושלים (צילום: נועם מושקוביץ)

Watching Trajtenberg during student protest (Photo: Noam Moskovitz)

 

Chair of the National Student Union Itzik Shmueli also rejected the recommendations of the committee, saying "the committee had a chance to perform a big change – and they missed it.

 

Echoing Netanyahu's speech in front of the General Assembly on Friday, Shmueli addressed the committee chairman and said: "Manuel, let's talk dugri (straight forward), what's in this report, and what's missing from it.

 

"There is an unreasonable gap between the magnificent vision that Trajtenberg presented and his final recommendations," said Shmueli, adding that the gap "cannot be ignored."

 

"We give this report a failed grade, because there are too many fields that the committee failed to address," he noted.

 

'Treasury succeeded to cut budget'

The leaders of the protest movement were not the only ones who disapproved of the Trajtenberg report.

 

Officials in the security establishment also expressed concern over the committee's recommendations, which included a significant cutback to the defense budget, saying it would severely hinder the recommendations issued by the Brodet committee following the Second Lebanon War, which set the outline for the security budget over the next 10 years.

 

A top security official slammed the Treasury, saying it has "successfully managed to raise taxes and cut the defense budget," as it had planned to do long before the socioeconomic protest.

 

On Sunday, a security establishment official warned against cutting the defense budget, claiming it could gravely undermine the development of military technology and the deployment of Iron Dome missile defense system batteries.

 

The official also claimed that such a setback could also bring to a halt the development of the Magic Wand project, which is designed to thwart medium-range missiles, as well as the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 missiles, which are spearheading the long-range missile defense systems.

 

Yoav Zitun contributed to the report

 

 

 

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