Knesset building with State symbol 390.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Kadima on Wednesday called for the Knesset to hold an emergency meeting to
discuss “the crumbling economy,” as the Prime Minister’s Office launched a
campaign lauding its reforms meant to lower the cost of living.
meeting will be held next Wednesday at 11 a.m., during the Knesset’s summer
According to Kadima faction chairwoman Dalia Itzik, Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been making misleadingly optimistic projections
about the Israeli market.
“Netanyahu’s false conceptions are now
crashing, and the people paying the price are the lower class and the weaker
sectors,” Itzik said. “The Knesset must convene immediately to give the
government a red card” like those used to kick a player out of a soccer
Itzik also accused the government of publicly discussing a possible
attack on Iran to distract from the “economic avalanche that is on the
Meanwhile, half-a-year after approving a raft of measures aimed at
reducing the cost of living, the government has launched a NIS 5 million
campaign to advertise the reforms.
The commercials, which will appear on
television and radio and in newspapers in the coming weeks, feature typical
Israeli families who supposedly benefit from tax breaks, free kindergarten and
other initiatives. The campaign was commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Office, Treasury and Education Ministry and
produced by the Government Advertising Bureau.
In one of the TV ads, Hod
Hasharon couple Haim and Chen Greenberg talk about the pressures of financing a
mortgage and supporting two small children. The recently introduced tax credits
boost the family’s net income by around NIS 700-NIS 800 each month, they say,
“which gives us a little room to breathe.”
Rami and Yaara Kaplan from
Ramat Gan are featured in another ad, along with their son Ido. Children are
constantly full of surprises, they say, but “the happiest” surprise was when
they found out that sending Ido to kindergarten would cost them nothing. At the
end of the ad, the voiceover says that almost 270,000 children aged three and up
will receive free education when school begins soon.
Early this year and
at the end of 2011, the government approved amended versions of the Trajtenberg
Report’s recommendations on reducing the cost of living.
which was commissioned one year ago in response to massive public protests,
contained chapters on taxation, education, competition and housing. Among the
measures were free education for children aged three to four and after hours
education care for children aged three to nine.
Liran Dan told Army Radio on Wednesday that the campaign was launched to ensure
that people “know and understand” the government’s actions.
“Some of the
families who were invited to participate in the advertising campaign didn’t even
know that they were eligible for these benefits,” Dan said. “There is
information here that could have financial value for people.”
Party slammed the campaign, calling it “ironic and cruel” in light of the recent
increase in unemployment.
“This advertising campaign is election
propaganda funded by the public,” a Labor spokeswoman said. “Too bad the
millions were not invested in a more worthy cause. The government serves the
public, and is not a private corporation that buys advertising space to glorify
According to Labor, most Israelis’ economic situations are the
opposite of the ideal shown in the clips.
“No campaign can hide the
unemployment, the poverty and the exhaustion of the middle class,” the