Opposition is just 'hitching ride on protest,' FM charges

Herzog: Netanyahu is only paying lip service to demonstrators; The National Union and Arab parties join protests.

By
August 7, 2011 15:40
2 minute read.
Rallies across Israel calling for social justice

social justice protest 465 9. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke out on Sunday against those who are trying to "hitch a ride on the protests."

"We shouldn't depress each other, and the press shouldn't try to create a wave of self-depression," he said at a press conference.

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Lieberman added: "The cup is full and empty – it's important to remember that the full cup is there. Israel's economic stability is an asset."

Meanwhile, Kadima dismissed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's announcement that his socioeconomic cabinet would discuss the current wave of protests, led by the prime minister's former economic adviser Manuel Trachtenberg.

"Instead of a round table for dialogue, there is a long, one-sided table of ministers that are disconnected from the public," a Kadima source said.

"Netanyahu continues to prove that he does not care about the demonstrations and offers the protesters more of the same thing instead of understanding a real change is necessary," he added. "He ignored 150,000 people who opposed that National Housing Committees Bill, and now he is throwing sand in the eyes of 300,000 protesters."

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Labor leadership candidate Isaac Herzog said that "the lip service Netanyahu is paying to the social demonstration crosses every line.

"Instead of adding experts on social welfare and representatives of NGOs that are familiar with the crisis, Netanyahu has built a bizarre and bloated staff of 18 ministers, so none of them will get hurt," Herzog explained.

He added: "Netanyahu is confused. His problem isn't with his ministers, but with the whole nation, which has already lost faith in him."

The protests on the cost of living brought together strange bedfellows, with both MK Ya'acov Katz (National Union) and MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta'al) joining demonstrators in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, albeit with different perspectives on the issue.

"Hundreds of thousands gathered to say they are fed up with the Netanyahu government's destructive policies," Tibi said, adding that the prime minister should be called "the prime exploiter."

Katz said "tens of thousands of people arrived from Judea and Samaria on special buses to Tel Aviv, proving that Netanyahu cannot ignore the growing protests, which represents every sector in society."

He added that the building freeze in the West Bank "made it impossible for young people to buy a home."

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