Yacimovich rejects link between murder, economy

MKs Deri, Zandberg say government’s "cruel budget" pushed Beersheba shooter to commit crimes

Labor party chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Labor party chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Connecting the shooting in Beersheba to the economic situation is immoral, opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) said Tuesday.
“Murder is murder is murder,” Yacimovich stated. “Itamar Alon committed a cruel, violent, inhuman massacre of innocent people and left deep suffering and pain behind him.”
The Labor leader said she argued with her closest advisers who asked her to connect the murder to poverty, the tax burden on the middle class and bailouts for corporations.
“We cannot give a moral defense or even a hint of a justification to such a crime.
You know how deep my faith is in the government’s responsibility for the fate of its citizens, and there is a proven connection between poverty and crime. However, even the individual, not just the government, is responsible for his actions,” she stated.
Yacimovich added that many people go through difficult times of suffering, loneliness, abuse, unemployment illness, but the vast majority does not murder people in cold blood.
“Identifying, understanding, turning a murderer into a victim, using his fate as an example of wrong economic and social policies, creates moral corruption and blurs the lines between good and bad,” Yacimovich said.
Meanwhile, Shas chairman Arye Deri did not hesitate to connect the murder to the government’s policies.
“I was shocked to hear that the motive for the murder was economics,” he wrote on Facebook. “A few thousand shekels – that is what separates between life and murder for our citizens.”
Deri called for the government to rethink the “cruel budget that will put thousands of families below the poverty line.”
Still, the Shas leader added, “there is no justification for a crime like this, but the shocking incident should be a warning signal that this is how low a man can go when impoverished.”
On Monday night, MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) took to the Knesset stage to blame the government for the shooting.
“Today, a terror attack occurred in Beersheba for economic reasons, committed by a man whose life threw him into despair,” she began. “This was not his fate.
This was the result of a policy.”
According to Zandberg, hundreds of Israelis commit suicide each year because of money problems.
In response, Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levy said “it is too bad that the opposition is stooping so low and cynically using the tragedy in Beersheba.”
Levy called Zandberg’s comments “pathetic” and called for her to apologize.
The exchange took place during a failed attempt by the opposition to filibuster a bill allowing the upcoming budget and Economic Arrangements Law to apply to the years 2013 and 2014, instead of just 2013.
The opposition threatened to argue against the bill all night as a “preview” of their planned efforts to fight the budget.
However, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, whose office sets the voting schedule, said the vote would take place either at 10 p.m. or 8:30 the next morning.
The opposition chose the first option, and the bills passed shortly before 11 p.m.