Labor MK Itzik Shmuly on Rothchild blvd.
(photo credit: Lahav Harkov)
Three-and-a-half years after Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard became a tent city to protest the price of housing, Labor MKs Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuly, who were among the leaders of the demonstration before turning to parliamentary politics, returned to the scene Wednesday for the same purpose.
“If there’s one thing [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] needs to be indicted for, it’s this [housing crisis] failure,” Shmuly declared, shortly before the State Comptroller’s Report on the topic was released.
The MKs spoke in front of piles of boxes with the text “Instead of homes, we got cartons” printed on them, and the party activists surrounding them punctuated their speeches with chants of “The nation demands social justice,” the catchphrase of the 2011 protests.
“Young people have two dreams,” Shmuly said, “to have a roof over our heads and to start a family. That’s not too much to ask. Netanyahu’s economic policy was like a terrorist attack on those dreams.”
According to Shmuly, Netanyahu promised a “supertanker” of housing solutions, and instead, under his watch, prices rose by 80 percent, renting became unaffordable, public housing was destroyed, and not one affordable home was built.
“Netanyahu is the problem and Netanyahu needs to go.
His main partner in failure is [former finance minister and Yesh Atid chairman] Yair Lapid, who runs to construction sites to blame the world.
That’s not leadership and not a policy,” Shmuly added.
Shmuly said Zionist Union has a plan to lower housing prices and leader Isaac Herzog will solve the crisis, because unlike Netanyahu, he cares about the young people of Israel.
“The first reform we need to solve the housing crisis is to replace Netanyahu,” Shaffir said.
Flanked by Zionist Union activists, she said the prime minister is “too busy with his three houses to care about our homes,” to a chorus of “My Bibi [Netanyahu] has three houses” to the tune of the Hebrew children’s song, “My hat has three corners.”
“‘Mr. Economics’ has been prime minister for six years and he didn’t even bring one solution,” Shaffir said.