PM presents 15-minister 'social justice' committee

Netanyahu's new c'tee to be headed by Professor Trachtenberg; PMO director-general: group will submit its proposals after one month.

August 7, 2011 12:35
1 minute read.
Tens of thousands protest throughout Tel Aviv, Sat

tel aviv massive housing protest_311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday the establishment of a professional committee made up of 15 ministers to examine the social justice protest leaders' demands. The announcement came on the heels of nationwide rallies Saturday that saw over 300,000 people take to the streets with demands of "social justice" and "a welfare state."

The committee will be headed by chairman of the National Economic Council Professor Manuel Trachtenberg.

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Prime Minister's Office Director-General Eyal Gabbai told Israel Radio Sunday morning that the group has been charged with submitting its proposals for social-economic reform to the government within a month.

Trachtenberg responded to his appointment as head of the new committee cautiously, saying that he is accepting the post with "mixed feelings" – enthusiasm for creating social reform, and suspicion of the risks such work would entail and of the difficulty of meeting the nation's expectations.

"We are witness to a powerful process," he explained, and the burden rests on the committee's ability to translate the demands of the protesters into a plan of action. Trachtenberg quipped that he wishes there were a Rosetta Stone that could help with the process.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting last week, Netanyahu said the roundtable would invite to appear before it representatives of various different sectors. The ministers will then recommend practical plans to ease the economic situation of the country's citizens, and bring these plans to the social-economic cabinet. The cabinet, led by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, would then review the proposals and determine whether or not they will be accepted.

Last week social protest leaders rejected Netanyahu's ministerial roundtable initiative.

Speaking at a press conference with Israeli media, organizers said that dialogue should be carried out "transparently" with the prime minister himself and not "a ministerial assembly."

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