President Shimon Peres met this morning with the Socioeconomic Committee headed by Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg. The committee, which was appointed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, asked to meet with the President and to present the Committee's strategic plan for reforms.
At the start of the meeting Prof. Trajtenberg said to President Peres: "Thank you for this meeting which is important to us. We are here to receive your best wishes for success. The task upon us is twofold - to listen to the people and to turn those concerns into action in order to change direction and offer hope."
Prof. Trajtenberg used the meeting with the President to call upon the protesters' leaders to meet the committee: "The public expects action but without discussions we cannot use these events to affect a new economic reality," he explained.
President Peres said to Prof. Trajtenberg: "You are a very serious person who does not lose hope, you listen and are attentive and understand the power of the issues facing the committee. I am glad that some of the members of the committee represent the younger generation and are aware of the problems. This is not like any other committee. This is a committee that stands before a deep and substantial change in Israeli society, Israeli economy, and the unity of the people. Your responsibility is very comprehensive and limitless."
The President also added: "This protest is democratic, non-violent, and it is broad based. The protest movement must affect a real change in priorities in Israel and cannot fail. This protest must create new hope for the people."
The appointment of the Trajtenberg Committee may have called the protest organizers' bluff: they have said through the press that they would not meet the committee
, and have accused the Prime Minister of playing for time. This behavior is causing many people who supported the protest to suspect that the organizers' intentions are not positive and that they are, as many nationalists suspect, being directed by ultra-leftist elements
who seek destabilization.