Self-immolator Tel Aviv fire protester Moshe Silman 390.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Welfare and Social Services Ministry
and the Construction and Housing ministries on Sunday to look into the
circumstances surrounding the self-immolation of social protester Moshe Silman on
“We are speaking of a great personal tragedy,” Netanyahu
said at a meeting of Likud ministers. “I wish Moshe a full
President Shimon Peres also expressed his hope that Silman
will make a full recovery.
“I hope that the doctors at [Sheba Medical
Center] will be able to lessen his suffering as much as possible,” Peres added
in a conversation with the hospital’s deputy director.
Shelly Yechimovich (Labor) said that “tough standards to receive public housing
and the lack of a social security network brought many, like Moshe Silman, to
despair and a dead end.”
Yechimovich added that she is praying for
Silman’s health, but that suicide is an extreme act and he should not serve as
an example or an inspiration for anyone.
“[Silman] certainly should not
be seen as the symbol of the social protest,” the Labor leader
Former opposition leader Tzipi Livni warned on her Facebook page
that Silman is not the only person to reach “the most difficult level of
despair,” adding that she hopes others will not follow his actions.
said an immediate “change in the system” is necessary otherwise the economic
situation will only get worse, influencing many people’s lives.
Abesadze (Kadima) witnessed the self-immolation in Tel Aviv, tweeting at 10:23
p.m. on Saturday night: “I am shocked. Someone seems to have set himself on
fire, right by me at the protest.”
Soon after, she wrote that she
believes in all of the protesters’ demands, identifies with the pain Silman
described in his suicide note and is praying for Silman’s
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, speaking to reporters before
the weekly cabinet meeting, said there was no doubt that Silman acted out of
distress and despair.
He said this action needed to remind everyone of
the distress and depravation some in the country have to deal with.
has to remind us as a society, and as individuals, that we have to be sensitive
and attentive to the distress of others, and – as much as possible – to try to
help so that things like this do not happen in the future.”
“This is not
the right way to reach the protest’s goals,” the Kadima MK added.
Economics Committee chairman Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud) said that an in-depth
examination by the authorities in Silman’s case is
Shama-Hacohen wrote on his Facebook page that he plans to
discuss the matter with the National Insurance Institute, the Construction and
Housing Ministry and all other government offices that Silman turned to for
aid.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.