"Netanyahu is trying to take down tents, not build homes," said Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's emergency housing plan. "Instead of changing economic policy and managing the agencies under him, he is evading responsibility, continuing spewing slogans that won't solve the social problem, and he is not easing the burden on Israel's young people and the middle class."
Livni added, "Netanyahu doesn’t understand that the problem is technical, but fundamental. It is necessary to ease the burden on the middle class, and that requires a change in national policy, not marginal solutions like these."
Labor Party chairman candidate Amnon Mitzna said, "Once again we received a press conference by the national commentator who told us that we're stuck in the mire. A real leader talks less and does more. This isn't a plan that will pull the nation out of the mud."
Labor Party chairman candidate MK Shelly Yacimovich said, "Netanyahu's attempt to link state ownership of land with the housing shortage and market difficulties is utter defrauding of the public, and a cynical attempt to harness a justified protest to strengthen the power of the destructive economic system that has shattered the middle class."
Yacimovich added, "The government's abdication of its responsibility for housing in favor of unrestrained and unregulated market powers is what resulted in the concentration of apartments in the hands of the few, and does not prevent this from continuing. Netanyahu is offering no remedy, but more of the same disease, and his plans will add to the absolute abandonment.
"The fact that most of the national land is state owned is not a market failure, but a Zionist, social, and environmental value. Netanyahu is proposing to hand over state land to developers and corporations for free. The government shouldn’t privatize the Israel Land Administration, but manage it in a social way for the construction of public housing and so on."
The reaction of tent protesters is not favorable either. Tel Aviv tent protester Barak Segal told "Globes", "Netanyahu is trying to bribe the students to divide us, but he won't succeed. The students won't be tempted by this bribe, and we won't buy these insulting offers. This is an infuriating attempt to weaken the protest and delegitimize it."
Another protester said, "The benefits for students is a solution for a small sector. This protest is nationwide and includes all sectors, and Netanyahu's offer is utterly inadequate."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 26, 2011
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011