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Kadima MK Sees Tea Party Brewing in Israel

A Kadima MK predicts that over-taxation will spawn an Israeli version of the US Tea Party. Anglos in Israel are beating her to the punch.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 10/27/2010, 5:07 PM / Last Update: 10/27/2010, 5:36 PM

Tea Party

No sooner than Kadima Knesset Member Ronit Tirosh said this week that over taxation will spawn an Israeli version of the anti-big government American Tea Party, English-speaking Israelis were advancing plans to open an American branch in Tel Aviv.

The grass roots Tea Party has rocked the American political system, dividing the Republican party and attracting former GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin as its undeclared candidate to run in the 2012 presidential election.

The Tea Party has all the markings of a conservative, patriotic and evangelical movement, against “Big Brother” and high taxes and in favor of anything that symbolizes the once shining image of a free, strong and powerful United States. The common  thread with an Israeli version is that its popularity will come from the grassroots by people fed up with over taxation, a theme that MK Tirosh hammered home in a column this week in Globes.

“True, Israelis are greater suckers and more passive [than Americans], but we too are not far off from a Tea Party,” she predicted.

Next Sunday, one week after Tirosh wrote her column, anti-Obama Americans will begin a local branch of the US Tea Party with a “Saying No to Obama” rally at the ZOA (Zionist Organization of America) House in Tel Aviv, with a political focus much broader than high taxes. Among MKs expected at the rally are Druze MK Ayoub Kara, whose views are  eye-to-eye with Jewish nationalists', and Likud colleagues Danny Danon and Yariv Levin. The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Gershon Mesika, also will attend.

MK Tirosh's warning of an Israeli Tea Party was based on the policies of the Israeli government that "spends our money like water."

"First," she wrote, "we were required to pay a ‘duty on over consumption’ [of water], otherwise known as the ‘drought tax.’ Then, the Israel Tax Authority ‘updated’ water rates – effectively raising them – and the people were quiet."

“Then, in order to improve the wringing of money from the people, it was decided to require local authorities to set up water corporations. These corporations, we were told, would massively enforce collection while also collecting VAT [Value Added Tax}, something that had never before happened. And the people? Still silent.”

Rendering her version of American complaints of big corporations using government handouts for fancy perks, she said water corporations “grew to monstrous budget-gobbling size … built luxurious offices, bought cars, set aside job positions and received salaries for them.”

Meanwhile, budgets are being cut for education, and property taxes are raised to fund basic services.