(photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER / FLASH 90)
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni was joined by several Labor party leadership candidates in criticizing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's housing plan presented on Tuesday, saying "Netanyahu is acting to bring down [the] tents and not to build houses."
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"Instead of changing economic policies and managing those bodies under [his control], Netanyahu is shirking responsibility, continuing to spread slogans that won't solve the social problems and lessen the burden of young people and the state of building in Israel," Livni said.
"Netanyahu doesn't understand that the problem isn't technical, but fundamental," she added. In order to solve the country's problems, "We need complete national political change and not marginal solutions."
Labor MK and party leadership candidate Zehava Gal-On slammed the prime
minister's housing plan, saying "Netanyahu is trying to cover up the
Titanic after it already hit the iceberg." She added, "His speech had no
solutions and displayed no leadership."
"The prime minister is genetically capitalist, which makes all the steps
worthless," Gal-On said of Netanyahu. "He's archaic and disconnected
and doesn't understand that the nation long ago stopped buying his
vision of a free market that can be advanced by a supertanker."
Fellow MK and Labor leadership candidate Shelly Yachimovich sharply
disagreed with Netanyahu's assertion Tuesday that state ownership of
land constitutes an economically unhealthy monopoly.
"The fact that most of the land in Israel is controlled by the state is
not a market failure, it is Zionist and [holds] environmental value,"
Yachimovich said in response to Netanyahu's press conference.
"The attempt to connect the state's control of the land to the housing
shortage is an attempt to misguide the public and a cynical attempt at
using demonstrations as an excuse to initiate destructive economic
polices that will harm the middle class and empower tycoons."
Labor MK Issac Herzog and fellow party leadership candidate Amram Mitzna
attacked the content and sincerity of Netanyahu's plan. Herzog said
that "Netanyahu's plans will never be implemented, just like all of his
others haven't been, including the train to Eilat." The public, he said,
"doesn't buy his promises."
Mitzna, in a statement, said, "Netanyahu once again proved that he is
very good at explaining things but does not know how to get the country
out of the mud."
Commenting on the prime minister's plan from the other side of the
political spectrum, MKs Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) and Arye Eldad (Habayit
Hayehudi) responded to Tuesday's plan with demands for the removal of
barriers to building West Bank settlements.
"We call on the prime minister to add to his plan the removal of
political barriers on building in Judea and Samaria, and by doing so, to
immediately solve the housing problems of thousands in a way that has
national consent in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem," the MKs said in a