Social experts gather to help protest leaders

New group of economics and social welfare experts hold a press conference to profess support for protesters, offer their assistance.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 15, 2011 12:54
2 minute read.
Tent City press conference

Tent City press conference 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

 
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A group of economics, sociology and social welfare experts who have agreed to assist social justice protest leaders across the country, held a press conference Monday morning in Tel Aviv.

The alternative Rothschild team will contribute facts and advice from their respective fields of expertise, and present various solution models for social-economic issues that have led to demonstrations across the country.

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Professor Yossi Yona, head of one of the teams, told reporters that the teams identify with the protesters and their cause, saying that the "Israeli statehood is collapsing and a banana republic has been established in its place."

The group has said that it will work with full transparency and participation with the protest leaders, and will work to present ways to redesign the Israeli economy in order to better serve its citizens. The experts will be broken up into teams addressing a wide range of social issues, including the housing, transportation, education, and health crises.

Team member Professor Avia Spivak has said that the way to ease the public's economic burdens is to increase taxation of the rich while decreasing taxation of the middle class, according to Israel Radio.

The press conference comes a day after the head of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's special socioeconomic  committee, Manuel Trajtenberg, made a surprise visit to the tent encampment at Kikar Hamedina.

The new social thought teams are being offered by the protest leaders as an alternative to the Trajenberg Committee, which they feel is not genuine in its efforts to alleviate the socioeconmic issues in Israel.

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Professor Yona explained that "like the protest leaders, we have no interest in holding discussions with a committee who's duty is to mislead and sour the opportunity [for change] of this protest."

Notable among the teams' participants is Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's daughter, Adina Bar Shalom who expressed her enthusiasm with being part of the group and said that the social and economic issues affect "everyone, regardless of religion."


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