Daily Israel Report

Lieberman: Social Protesters 'Paid Shouters'

Foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel's social protesters 'are just loudmouths paid to shout for the media.'
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 8/17/2011, 9:15 PM

Foreign Minister Lieberman (file)
Foreign Minister Lieberman (file)
Flash 90

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday met with the Sderot Mayor David Buskila and later took a jab at protesters who were waiting for him outside the meeting.

Lieberman, who was heckled by protesters on social issues, said that there is money behind the protests and that without media attention, the protests would disappear.

"We politicians," Lieberman told reporters, "are the ones responsible for solutions. [The protesters] are just loudmouths paid to shout for the media."

Protesters responded, "Nobody is paying us, we're fighting for the basics."

Lieberman told Buskila he plans to introduce measures that would provide an extra three months' salary to soldiers being discharged from the IDF, levy a new tax on apartments that left empty in order to put more housing units on the market, and propose free child care for toddlers in lower-income families

Despite his sharp interlocution with protesters Lieberman agreed that there are material economic challenges and problems Israel's government needs to address.

"But you can not suddenly create a media wave of self-oppression and see everything as black," Lieberman said, adding, "The state has made real strides. Distribution of the burden is not equal, but there is not as much inequality as they claim."

"Fine," Lieberman added, "The doctors, social workers, lawyers, teacher, and police officers.... the question of what do with all the just demands at once. There is definitely a glass half empty and glass half full way of looking at things. You should see it as half full.”

"We have to improve," Lieberman concluded. "But we have a real prosperity in the State of Israel, and economic stability, and I advise against destabilizing it with hasty decisions."