"This is the bomb, this is the fuse," Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid
said as he presented an illustration of a bomb referencing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's now infamous UN performance.
However, Lapid protested not an external threat but rather "what the government has done to the Israeli middle class," which he visually compared to a bomb.
Addressing the Prime Minister he said: "I want to show you what state the middle class is in," referring him to the diagram. The comments were made Tuesday during a Calcalist conference which hosted the heads of all the major parties, as well as Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz
and former Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin.
Iran VS Netanyahu bomb (Photo: Rueters, Moti Kimchi)
Lapid claimed that Netanyahu has been in power too long to have any idea what is going on with the middle class, which according to him "keeps the country alive."
"If he doesn’t see the middle class, maybe the time has come to speak to him in a language he can understand," Lapid said.
The Yesh Atid chairman then produced a diagram of a bomb, a clear reference to the prime minister's speech at the UN General Assembly in which he used a similar image of a bomb, illustrating the development of Iran's nuclear capabilities. Netanyahu urged the world to draw a red line for Iran.
"Raising taxes is our red line," Lapid retorted, "We will not let it happen. We will not allow the ongoing abuse of the productive, army serving, educated and working citizen to continue."
Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich
also slammed Netanyahu saying: "We have experienced a decade of fiscal policy modeled on, and according to Netanyahu's vision. So how did we reach a deficit? It was created as a result of irresponsible tax cuts for the rich. This is not just me 'Shelly the social-democrat' saying, it is Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer saying it, it's the International Monetary Fund, the OECD."
Steinitz, Livni and Yachimovich (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
Hatnua Chairwiman Tzipi Livni
also appeared in the conference and called for a change in priorities. According to Livni, Netanyahu's natural partners, the haredim and settlers, have manged to exploit the prime minister's weakness and survival instinct to gain budgetary benefits.
She garnered applause when she added: "Anyone who thinks it is possible to disconnect the socio-economic issues from the political issue or the equal share of the burden, has no idea about what he is talking about," in a reference to Yachimovich's reluctance
to discuss security related issues.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, who followed the three, said: "We heard here three different people pretending to be candidates for the country's top leadership, yet I did not hear one word about growth or enlarging investments or job creation."
Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias
explained that "people want to work. But does everyone have a job? Does every working person manage to live of their salary? Haven't we just seen the 40% of those working live under the poverty line? So what is everybody talking about? These are statements that blame the poor man for his poverty and do not give him the tools he needs to deal with his situation. Hence we (Shas) must be the restrainer in the next budget."
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