Daphni Leef: 'Protests to get more extreme'

Leef declares that that she is against violence but that people are becoming increasingly angry, hopeless.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
November 24, 2011 13:24
3 minute read.
Dafni Leef [file]

Dafni Leef 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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Demonstrations will soon resume and could become more "extreme" than past protests, social protest organizer Daphni Leef said Thursday morning in an interview with Army Radio.

"I will always be against violence, but if this government does not pull itself together and work for its citizens, people will understand that they have nothing to lose," explained Leef. "The government is not even trying to show results or real changes... During the last two weeks we have begun feeling angry and insulted because we are simply not being answered."

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The government commissioned the Trajtenberg Committee on Socio-Economic Change to seek a solution for the high housing cost across the country in response to the social protests over the summer. The committee's recommendations were passed in cabinet and constituted a substantive amendment to the country’s taxation regime. The new system, which will become law on January 1, 2012, include direct tax cuts for low-income families and tax hikes for higher-income earners and corporations.

On October 9, Leef criticized the government's approval of the committee's recommendations. “Where’s the public housing? What about daycare? What about our crumbling health care system? Now is the time when real solutions are needed,” said Leef.

Leef added “if the problem that brought us out into the streets was the housing crisis, how come the government isn’t offering a single meaningful solution to this? Where is the public housing? Where is the affordable housing? In many different countries in the world, governments have come to the conclusion that they must get involved in the housing market. This report doesn’t offer any solution, only a continuation of the same policies that brought us to the current crisis.”

Leef joined other leaders of the protest movement in calling for the formation of a special “welfare state” budget for 2012. She said that she believes that solutions to the social problems facing Israel can be found in a report compiled by a team of advisers working with the protest movement, a document entitled the “Spivak report.” The report calls for a new “social budget” for 2012, with a greater allocation of government spending towards social issues.

Ben Hartman contributed to this report

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