Daily Israel Report

Shas MK: Tent Protesters Want Netanyahu's Head

Nissim Ze'ev says tent protesters have a political agenda. "Luckily we are not Syria, we change governments in elections."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/14/2011, 7:03 PM

Protesters
Protesters
Flash 90

MK Nissim Ze'ev of Shas said Sunday that the tent protesters are politically motivated. "There is a purpose and an agenda in the tent protests – to topple the government," he told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew language service. 

"They do not want to hear solutions and offers and they do not care who heads the committee [formed to address their demands]," he accused. "They want to bring down the government. Luckily, we are not in Syria and we replace governments through the ballot box."
 
MK Ze'ev acknowledged that the housing shortage and the high price of homes are problems that need to be addressed – but explained that "the ones standing behind this protest are not necessarily the ones who feel the pain, but parties with other interests." Ze'ev echoed the opinion of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said last week that some of the protesters are "opportunists."
 
Shas, said Ze'ev, has been advancing reforms in housing for years. He mentioned bills that the party initiated for assisting young couples in buying a home, and the 100,000 shekel grants to people who live in the "periphery," which he said was advanced by MK Yitzchak Vaknin with the support of Housing Minister Ariel Atias, both from Shas.
 
Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who is also Shas Chairman, warned Thursday that Shas would "shake up the government" if solutions to the housing crisis were not found posthaste.
 
Yishai said that his party could leave the government coalition unless the protests were heeded. "If solutions are not found to the problems weighing down on citizens – that is, water, housing and the other social problems – I am ready to shake up the coalition," he warned.