Trajtenberg C'tee: 'Protest experts didn't read report'

Committee for socioeconomic change deflects criticism from social justice movement, says significant steps ignored by advisors.

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
September 28, 2011 00:44
2 minute read.
Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg

Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg. (photo credit: Mark Neiman / GPO)

The Trajtenberg Committee for Socioeconomic Change deflected criticism from the alternative Spivak-Yona group that has been advising social justice movement leaders, saying that it seemed the experts had not read the complete report authored by the Trajtenberg Committee, Army Radio reported Tuesday.

According to the report, the committee claimed that if the experts had reviewed the report carefully, then they deliberately chose not to address the significant steps that it presents.

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Earlier Tuesday, leaders of the "J14" social justice movement issued a harsh rebuke of the findings of Trajtenberg Committee for Socioeconomic Change, calling them not nearly enough to answer the demands of the movement, and demanding that the government produce a new national budget with a greater focus on social issues.

Speaking at a press conference in Tel Aviv Tuesday, Daphni Leef, who launched the nationwide protest movement in July, said "yesterday we the citizens of Israel received the answer of the state of Israel to our demands…what did we get? What did we receive? I don’t want to make fun of the committee even though it's called for, because this committee made a joke of us."

Leef added "if there's one thing we've made clear over recent months is that we're fed up with being laughed at. We won't be taken for granted anymore."

"We asked for a root canal, and we were given a teeth cleaning."

She added that she had read through the committee recommendations and didn't find anything that helped the weakest segments of society, in particular single mothers, the homeless and temporary workers.

"The summer of 2011 has ended, but our struggle continues. The people, in case anyone forgot, demand social justice. The people didn't stop [demanding this], and wont stop. Social justice means a just national budget, the strengthening of the weakest sectors and the strengthening of the society as a whole. We are demanding a new, just and social national budget, one that first off helps the weakest sector, and will also help the middle class. When the weak get weaker, we will all get weaker."

When asked if the protest leaders intend to try and enter the world of politics with the cachet their movement has produced, she said "what we learned this summer is that citizen is the one with power. There is no reason to enter politics, there is a very massive power with the citizens, and we have already voted with our feet and we will vote with our feet again."

Leef told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he has a month to present what she called "real and serious recommendations" to handle the social issues driving the movement, or else the social movement will "on the 29th of October, just before the Knesset returns to session we will take to the streets in full power. This year we will bring the country back into our hands, rock and roll.

The crowd then began chanting "the people demand a social budget."

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