PM sets up team to negotiate with protestors
Ronen Medzini
Published: 31.07.11, 12:03
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28 Talkbacks for this article
1. Unemployment
R in Jaffa ,   Jaffa, Israel   (07.31.11)
1. Israel does not have the lowest unemployment in the Western world. I know for a fact the Netherlands have less. 2. I am no economist but surely there's a lot more hidden unemployment in Israel than in my Western countries.
2. Ariel Atias from Sh-ass
Haim ,   TA   (07.31.11)
Ariel Atias has no problem finding the funds for ultra orthadox housing, in fact they are now constructing towns exclusively for the ultra orthdox. People are waking up to the fact that the goverment which is black mailed by Eli Yishai and his bunch of hench man have screwed the general public big time.
3. Some suggestions for Netanyahu.
Terry ,   Eilat - Israel   (07.31.11)
Not that I'm holding my breath to see any of these ideas actually implemented. Our multi-party bolshevik state is too entrenched. 1. Either a flat tax on income OR the VAT on consumption, but not both. Elimination of all other indirect taxes. 2. Reduce gov't. - the gradual elimination of 25% of gov't. jobs. 3. Elimination of custom duties & import restrictions gradually over 10 yrs. 4. Direct election of Knesset members - no party lists. 5. Elimination of bureaucratic regulations that stifle competition in favour of semi-monopolies, especially banking. 6. Replace the members of the High Court, replacement by candidates confirmed by the Knesset. 7. Eliminate tenure in universities & a complete change of administrators. That's just for a start. Like I said, I'm not holding my breath.
4. Sorry, forgot one point.
Terry ,   Eilat - Israel   (07.31.11)
Get rid of the Histadrut crime family once & for all & no public sector unions. They've done enough damage over the years.
5. ''team to negotiate with protesters.''
Terry ,   Eilat - Israel   (07.31.11)
I hope he included a few psychiatrists as members of the team.
6. Terry, Eilat
Alf Red ,   Londonistan   (07.31.11)
Terry, I like most of the times your comments. To these I would add that I observe Israeli customs "policies" for good 40 years already, and at their rate the abolishment of custom duties and restriction will take 100 years, not 10. Another thing you have forgotten: the bureaucracy. Israel is drowning in often completely IDIOTIC restrictions. I will never forget how they sent me from car registration office to Standards Institute to have a towing hook checked, measured, drawings to be made and electrical diagram established. I arrived then from Britain, not a "Most Democratic Congo" or some other nice place where they make things out of shit. The towing hook cost me a few pounds to buy, the checks would've come to some 200 pounds (at 1982 prices!) And that was not the end - they wanted my land rover (military specs) to be checked on suitability to tow a trailer, my caravan also checked and myself sent for a course on how to drive with a caravan on tow. Later I saw on Israeli road a Beetle Volkswagen pulling a caravan... So all this endless parody was ONLY to provide "our boys" with jobs, and robbing me more, after I'd paid at customs for said land rover and a stupid sum for caravan, few times more than what I've paid in England to buy it. It is called "Brukhim ha-Baim to our Homeland", stupid.
7. The PM was refusing to meet protesters??
Rebecca ,   Modiin   (07.31.11)
The Protesters did not have a single viable suggestion to offer him - their only solution - get rid of Bibi. What's to discuss? I still think this is not about housing but about weakening Bibi before the September UN / PA session.
8. Talkback Terry's suggestions etc....
Michael ,   Haifa   (07.31.11)
...even manage to make Netanyahoo look sane, sensible and reasonable
9. Uzi Landau - "the government is now more stable" !!!
Bruno ,   Haifa   (07.31.11)
The government is not more stable - it's more like a stable - full of ****. The government is scared ****less, because it may finally have realized that its job is to SERVE the public and not to EXPLOIT it.
10. Some ideas
Mark ,   Maale Adumim   (07.31.11)
Lower arnona (rates), lower gas bills, lower electricity bills, lower water bills. Change the unemployment benefits and don't pay those who don't want to work, not pointing a finger at certain groups. Pensioners should ride free on the buses on off peek times and free medication. Different areas of the country should have a maximum that one can rent an apartment for and of course build more apartments. University fees should come down and wages in all sectors have to rise. Take the homeless (beggars) off the streets and give them housing that they can afford and if they can’t other means have to be found to keep them. We should forget about having Sundays off as it will only make it harder to live. Higher the fines for speeding and crossing the roads on a red man. Fees for having a kosher license should be lower and also for getting married. Couples in there first year should not have to pay rates. And last but not least if you earn under 6000 shekels a month you should not be taxed.
11. One more thing
Mark ,   Maale Adumim   (07.31.11)
There should be a fine for littering, have you ever seen how much litter there is in Ben Yehuda 07:30 in the morning.
12. Terry
Mike Carmel ,   Rishon le Zion   (07.31.11)
Like you said, don't hold your breath. The trouble is that most of your suggestions would have to be implemented in the long term which means that the next and the next after that governments would also have to be obliged to follow them. Anything which reduces bureaucracy, freeloading public sector jobs-for-the-boys, parasitic histadrutniks etc must be good in the long term. And they should come down hard on those tenured protected university lecturers as well, as you mentioned. The way they treat students who are effectively their salary payers, is just disgusting. But we should also address the issue of exploitation of young people in service jobs and that's difficult to prevent without some labour movement-type activity. But the histadrut doesn't really care much about them, so it will have to get its house in order and realign its priorities. In the immediate term maybe we should concentrate on reducing indirect taxation and most importantly making mortgages more achievable by providing state-backed loans to first time buyers so they can at least raise a deposit to qualify for a mortgage from the banks.
13. #6 Alf Red, Londonstan.
Terry ,   Eilat - Israel   (07.31.11)
Your story proves my point. We are choking to death on bureaucracy & idiotic regulations. It stifles productivity which is one cause of low wages. Then you listen to these protesters & their foolish slogans. Rent control - I suppose we'll have to create a whole new bureaucracy with endless regulations & red tape to oversea this disaster. Landlords will appeal, tenants will appeal, politicians will find jobs for their incompetent relatives, others will get special treatment, there will be lots & lots of unintended consequences. It will be another mess. Price controls never work, at best, they create shortages. Thanks for the anecdote.
14. Again, Netanyahu proves he cannot make decisions!
David ,   Karmiel, Israel   (07.31.11)
He also confirms that the lunatics are running the asylum! It is time for Netanyahu to stand down or for his party to remove him. Let people like Kachlon, Sa'ar or Erdan who know how to talk to the people who they were elected to serve and who have the interests of the ordinary people of Israel at heart! It is time for our politicians of ALL parties to be reminded that their salaries are paid by the people and being a Member of the Knesset is not a ticket for a freebie at every corner and to serve their chosen few!
15. This has nothing to do with Bibi
Sagi   (07.31.11)
on a personal level. The whole system stinks to high heaven. Bolshevism was a blessing compared to what we have here. A complete and total revamp of electoral system, Government beaurocracy, civil service,education and health services and most important of all is equality and with this I mean specifically the haredim,they are either in the same team as us or they are out.
16. #4 Terry: So we replace the unions with what? Slavery!
Israel ,   Israeli   (07.31.11)
As a capitalist and I agree whole heartedly with you about the corrupt unions. Actually, the Histadrut has done more damage to the workers it "represents" than it has done to the state! However, in a capitalist society the low earners like cleaning staff, contract workers like those who clean our streets for the municipality, most hotel staff, supermarket cashiers and shelf packers deserve some protection from total exploitation and abuse. Whether unions are the right thing or not they do afford some protection against unjustifiable dismissal and abuses regarding pay and work conditions. You might feel that these problems should be handled by the Department of Labor but then you are encouraging more bureaucracy and, as we all know, law enforcement in Israel is a joke! The major problem in Israel is that Unions are basically forced to affiliate themselves with the Histadrut Ha Hadasha which is a self-serving institution creating jobs for friends in HIGH paying positions who fool the people who they are supposed to represent and protect that they are actually on their side. The bureaucracy in the Histadrut id more bureaucratic that that in the Government Departments! Unions are essential in a democracy unless you want to pay people grains of rice or felafel balls but the "cartelizing" of unions must be stopped!
17. Many moan and groan about the cost of living
Overtaxed ,   The North   (07.31.11)
However, where were all the protestors when the Government levied VAT on the most basic of all consumables - WATER! To tax people on water and electricity is not short of abuse of power and greed by the Treasury but no one thought to fill the streets and our TV screens on these issues!
18. #12 Mike Carmel, Rishon le-Tziyon
Terry ,   Eilat - Israel   (07.31.11)
Of course I realize that this can only be accomplished gradually. Sadly, our political system does not favourize long-term thinking & planning. And, it will never happen as long as we have this crap party list system. We need accountability so that politicians can be punished. Government does not rule over us, they are our servants, our employees. Somehow, that principle is poorly developed in Israel, no doubt because of our failed socialist past & the unaccountable bureaucracies that arbitrarily usurp authority.
19. #15 Sagi: Come on! No Haredim no Bibi!
David ,   Karmiel, Israel   (07.31.11)
You are so wrong. Everything Bibi Netanyahu is on a personal level. His biggest priority in life is to continue being Prime Minister of Israel and he cannot do this without appeasing the radical right and the Haredim! As for your "team" you might ask why the "Settlers" are not participating the the protests for equality? As George Orwell wrote: "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others". Surely the good folks in Ariel and Kidumim are also suffering under the yoke of price increases or are they among the privileged few whose lives are heavily subsidized by those in power?
20. good luck!
21. #16 Israel Israeli.
Terry ,   Eilat - Israel   (07.31.11)
Your description of the Histadrut was right on. You know, I live in Eilat, not exactly the employment centre of the country. I see exactly the abuses on the low paid service employees. As a matter of fact, now even many of these crappy jobs are being taken by illegal immigrants because they can be more easily exploited, mostly in the hotel industry. But I don't like unions. I think, however, that in some cases, a worker's union for a specific company can be a good thing. For example, all the employees of a supermarket chain would belong to the same union but unaffiliated with any centralized union. Admittedly, no system is perfect.
22. #10 - lower everything. yeh why not.
Rebecca ,   Modiin   (07.31.11)
The government does not need to pay for anything here. Government money grows on Olive trees.
23. # 19 David
Sagi   (07.31.11)
I did not say without the haredim,although I would not miss them if they disappeared, I said equality. They have 8 to 10% which they leverage as if they own the damn country and their life style is subsidized by the majority of good and decent working folks,enough is enough. My team is the one that built this country and paid in blood sweat and tears. I am proud of that and nobody will take it away from me.
Michael ,   California, USA   (07.31.11)
25. U.S. behind demonstrations?
SLZ ,   NY   (07.31.11)
Is it possible that the Obama administration is at the very least encouraging these demonstrations in the hope of toppling Netanyahu? Those carrying Che Guevera posters and waving red flags while wearing red clothing while engaged in these illegal protests clearly have more in mind that getting some housing. Obama clearly has it in for Netanyahu. While it's clear there is an oligarchy running Israel, the situation is such that the chaos these instigators are seeking to create is extremely dangerous.
26. To # 3
Philip ,   Afula, Israel   (07.31.11)
Direct election of Knesset members - no party lists. Lets hope so because I for one am fed up with the "current system".
27. Nothing to fear! Netanyahu is willing to negotiate!
LebanonPride ,   Canada   (07.31.11)
And we know how effective he is at that! Lol, this could take a while.
28. the government is too busy building
JL   (07.31.11)
their super secret super expensive nulear bomb shelter under the kenesset...they raise thier own salaries and build themselves bomb shelters...great little country
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