Herzog book: Let’s emphasize social issues as we do defense

“We mourn loss of lives in national tragedies, but over the years we have continuously lost lives because of poverty," Herzog writes in new book.

herzog and peres_311 (photo credit: Avi Hayoun)
herzog and peres_311
(photo credit: Avi Hayoun)
After nearly four years of taking on the country’s deep rooted social issues, such as poverty, domestic violence and children at risk, Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog will publish his second book Wednesday, urging the entire nation to take up the challenges of Israel’s social welfare problems as diligently as it tackles security concerns.
“We constantly mourn the loss of lives in terrible national tragedies, but over the years we have continuously lost lives because of poverty, which leads directly to violence and undermines the strength of our society,” Herzog told The Jerusalem Post in an exclusive interview about his book, Working Plan: A Recipe for Social Welfare.
He added, “It’s just as important for us to come to terms with these social welfare issues as it is for us to tackle the situation with our [Palestinian] neighbors.”
Published six years after his first book, How to Get Out of This: Economic and Social Solutions in a Recession, Herzog said he was inspired to write the latest book when his term as welfare and social services minister was extended following the last election.
“I decided to start putting the things I saw down on paper, including some of my ideas, such as a special savings plan for children and the need to work in a cohesive way to combat poverty,” he explained. “My goal is to find a way for every working person to live in dignity, learn how to save for his future and for his children’s future, how to give his children an education and to make sure that his family has a roof over its head.”
Herzog, who announced recently that he planned to run for leadership of the Labor party, said that this work would serve as an “identity card for someone who sees himself as the future leader of this country.
“This book does not necessarily outline what I’ve done [as minister] but it focuses on the related fields such as housing education and environment and creates a whole new concept of building a better life,” he said, adding that the 126- page work, which is printed by Tefer Publishers, also had input from the Tel-Aviv based Macro Center for Political Economics and its director Dr. Roby Nathanson.
“I would brainstorm ideas with him and we worked together as a team to test or measure different ideas,” said Herzog, who will officially launch the book at an event in Tel Aviv on Wednesday afternoon.
A spokeswoman for the minister told the Post that since announcing his leadership bid for the Labor party, Herzog has been pushing to bring the party’s primaries forward to June 2011. The primaries are presently scheduled for 2012.