Livni: Government still doesn’t understand protesters

Knesset convenes during recess; Bennie Begin says socioeconomic problems grew when Kadima was in power.

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August 16, 2011 13:17
1 minute read.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The Knesset reconvened during its summer recess on Tuesday to discuss the housing protests and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s economic policies, with opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni (Kadima) saying coalition MKs “still don’t understand the depth of the protests.”

The emergency meeting, initiated by MK Ya’acov Katz (National Union) and Kadima, took place in the Knesset auditorium, and not the plenum, which was undergoing renovations.

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“We are sitting in this auditorium because the plenum is being renovated, instead of fixing our problems throughout Israel,” Livni said.

Livni took issue with politicians saying they cannot fulfill the protesters’ demands for budgetary reasons.

“It’s not their job to figure out where the money will come from,” she said, “it’s their job to bring up this problem.”

The Kadima leader said she met a young mother who said “I am in favor of the protests, but then I hear that if they continue, they will harm the state’s security, because the funds for free [early childhood] education will come out of the security budget.”

“These are good people who care about what is happening, and they should not have to make these decisions,” Livni explained.

“The solutions and the funds are the leadership’s concern, and they should be discussed here in the Knesset.”

She added: “The social injustice began here, as did the preference of sectarian politics over the Israeli-Zionist majority, and here in the Knesset the repairs need to begin.”

Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin responded to the opposition, pointing out that many of Kadima’s complaints are about problems that began when they led the government.

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