Center-Left parties blasted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his economic
policies at the “Forecast 2013” conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, with Yesh
Atid leader Yair Lapid mocking Netanyahu with a bomb drawing of his
Lapid lifted up a drawing of a bomb with percentages representing
tax increases for the middle class, saying he is speaking the only language the
prime minister understands.
“Pay attention, sir,” he stated, addressing
Netanyahu, who did not attend the conference sponsored by economic newspaper
Calcalist. “This is the bomb, this is the fuse.
This is what old politics
brought to the Israeli middle class. These are the taxes your government raised
in one term.”
Lapid drew a red line on the diagram, saying the middle
class is falling apart while the government invests in haredim, settlers and 34
ministers “who throw our money in the trash.” “The next tax increase is our ‘red
line,’ and we won’t let it happen. Yesh Atid is the party of the middle class,
and we will not allow the torture of citizens to continue,” he
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich criticized Likud Beytenu for not
revealing its postelection economic plan.
“Netanyahu, what are you
planning for the day after? What aren’t you revealing to us?” she asked. “[Likud
Beytenu] has no vision and Netanyahu has no answers.”
Yacimovich, Labor is the only party to present a detailed economic plan,
including budgetary sources, which she said will come from stopping tax breaks
for the wealthy and royalties from natural resources.
“I’m happy to hear
criticism about my plan, because what we’re missing is a discussion of economic
plans. Let’s have that conversation,” she said.
The Labor leader accused
Netanyahu of trying to “put the discussion [about economics] to sleep,” because
it reveals his weakness.
Yacimovich pointed out that the January 22
election was called because Netanyahu said he would be unable to pass his
budget, which she said “strangles the middle class” and is a “classic budget of
[negative] decrees from conservatives.”
Tzipi Livni explained that there
is a direct connection between economic and diplomatic affairs, mentioning major
international economic conferences.
“Whoever thinks ‘economic’ and
‘diplomatic’ can be separated has no idea what he is talking about,” The Tzipi
Livni Party leader said in an apparent dig at Yacimovich, who has been
criticized for avoiding diplomatic issues. “There was once a prime minister,
Yitzhak Rabin, who led a diplomatic process and a real change in national
priorities. It’s surprising that the party that’s supposed to be continuing in
his path ignores those two elements.”
“We can’t allow a situation in
which European consumers start to reconsider whether to buy products from Israel
or economists debate if they should invest in Israel, when they hear its prime
minister say we are on the verge of destruction,” she added.