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Coalition-Opposition Fight Over Cheese Prices

Kadima MK places cottage cheese container on Netanyahu’s table, angering coalition chairman.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/15/2011, 7:02 PM / Last Update: 6/15/2011, 8:32 PM

Coalition and Opposition factions in the Knesset sparred over the price of cottage cheese Wednesday, with Kadima MK Ronit Tirosh placing a small container of cottage cheese on the government’s table, in front of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.



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Video courtesy of the Knesset Channel
 
The special session of the plenum was called to discuss the recent rise in prices, and the Opposition focused especially on cottage cheese, which has become the subject of a growing Facebook campaign to boycott cottage cheese until its price goes down. The campaign - apparently a spontaneous one - began with a flurry of talkbacks to an article in a financial news site and continued into Facebook. The organizers have noted that a small container of cheese costs almost as much as a liter of gasoline -- another commodity whose price has soared.
 
Another Facebook campaign protested that Israelis "need to take out a mortgage to buy cottage cheese."
 
Tirosh blamed Netanyahu’s policies for the rise in prices that has made cottage cheese “a status symbol,” in her words.
 
The plenum's presiding chairman ordered the cottage cheese removed and Coalition Chairman MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) reacted angrily to the parliamentary gimmick. He noted that it was Kadima’s finance minister Avraham Hirschson who removed cottage cheese from the list of items whose prices are supervised in 2006. 
 
MK Nissim Ze'ev (Shas) was also livid over the cottage maneuver. "How much further can the dignity of this Knesset be trampled upon?" he asked rhetorically.