PMO dir.-gen. Eyal Gabai: Israel will not be welfare state

Gabai warns no change will come to Israel's economic policy unless Yachimovich is elected; Kadima: Now clear Netanyahu part of problem.

August 18, 2011 12:07
2 minute read.

Shelly Yacimovich. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Prime Minister's Office director-general Eyal Gabai believes that Israel's current economic policy will not change unless MK Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) becomes prime minister, according to Army Radio's recordings of Gabai's meeting with protesters Wednesday night.

Gabai also told them that Israel will not become a welfare state under the current government.

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Praising the director-general's words, Yachimovich said that she agrees Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will not bring real change.

A Kadima spokesperson responded to Gabai's assessment saying, "[Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu's tricks have ended. The voice is the voice of Gabai and the head is Netanyahu's head... all of Netanyahu's slogans about how he's attentive to the public have been crushed by Gabai's sharp statement."

"The protesters received a glimpse into Netanyahu's head today, and today they understand - Netanyahu has nothing to offer...he's part of the problem and can't be part of the solution."

Labor’s election committee decided Monday that despite the thousands of appeals on the party’s membership list, the list will be finalized August 30 and the race will be held on time on September 12 with a potential second round on September 21.

Gabai's comments came after Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin announced that the Knesset will reconvene for another emergency discussion of the housing crisis next Tuesday.

Following a similar discussion on Tuesday morning, Kadima requested that Rivlin call another meeting on the cost of living.

Every faction in the opposition signed on to the request.

“Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s tax policies have abused the Israeli public for the last two-and-a-half years,” a Kadima spokesman said. “He is responsible for the rising price of electricity, water, public transportation, food and dairy products.

He also said the “shameful absence” of most Likud MKs from Tuesday’s meeting exposes “the Netanyahu coalition’s abominable lack of consideration for what is happening.”

On Tuesday, the Likud released a statement slamming Kadima’s calls for emergency meetings during the Knesset recess, which began two weeks ago.

“[Kadima leader Tzipi] Livni is panicking because her poll numbers are dropping,” the Likud spokeswoman said.

“After the public understood that Kadima has nothing to offer in the diplomatic arena, Livni is trying to make up a social ideology for her failed party,” she said.

“Netanyahu is attentive to the justified protest, and he is the only one that knows how to find the correct balance between citizens’ welfare and economic responsibility.”

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