Daily Israel Report

Leftist 'Elite' Creates Shadow Social Government

Leftists ignore Prime Minister's Social Committee, while Prof. Trajtenberg pays surprise visit to protest tents in Tel Aviv.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/15/2011, 9:51 AM

Prof. Trajtenberg
Prof. Trajtenberg
Flash 90

The left-wing "elites" spearheading the tent protests in Israel's cities have decided to ignore the "Social Committee" appointed by the Prime Minister to address their demands. Instead, they have created a shadow social government of sorts, headed by academics.

Meanwhile, Professor Manuel Trajtenberg, head of the official Social Committee, paid a surprise visit to the protest tents in Tel Aviv Sunday evening and held a conversation with protesters. Trajtenberg assured the protesters that the Prime Minister has given him complete freedom and independence as head of the committee.

"I will do everything to translate this protest into deeds and policy," Trajtenberg told the tent dwellers. "The work begins on 'the day after,' in implementation as well. You must remain on the lookout and make sure these things are implemented."

Trajtenberg said that he wants to hear the suggestions made by the different sides and the opinions of professionals before he makes suggestions for solutions to the country's socio-economic woes. He said, however, that in a public market, just like in a private household, one cannot take loans based upon money one does not have.

Trajtenberg made clear that he will not assist in moves that put Israel in debt. "I will not be there," he said – and the tent protesters clapped their hands.

The alternative committee of experts wasn't convinced and proclaimed in a press release: "The public demand today is for a thorough change of the system and not for improvements within in the framework of the system. The Trajtenberg committee… does not seem like it can advance such a change."