Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


MK: Hareidim Won't Accept Trachtenberg Plans

The Trachtenberg committee has plans for the economy, but Hareidim, who feel they are unrepresented, may reject them.
By David Lev
First Publish: 8/23/2011, 9:47 PM

MK Eichler
MK Eichler
Flash 90

The Trachtenberg committee has long-term plans for the economy, but Hareidim, who feel they are unrepresented on the panel, may reject them.

That means many of the programs that the committee will recommend will not be completed until after the next Knesset elections. If Binyamin Netanyahu does not form the next government, the next prime minister could ignore the committee's recommendations.

The committee's statement added that members of the panel were aware of “the feelings of economic pressure, injustice, and a belief by many that the economic benefits of recent years have passed them by.”

Dealing with the root causes of those feelings is the primary task of the committee, the statement said.

Meanwhile, several Hareidi MKs expressed their anger at the lack of a member of their community among those Trachtenberg has included in the committee. Earlier Tuesday, MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, said that the Trachtenberg Committee was “unnecessary, since we on the Finance Committee will be deciding” on changes in the economy. On Tuesday night MK Yisrael Eichler (UTJ) said that the Hareidi community will not accept the committee's recommendations because a representative of the community was not included on the panel.

“We asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to include a Hareidi representative on the committee, and he refused,” Eichler said in the Knesset Tuesday. “Now we hear that they included an Arab woman on the committee. Actually she may represent us better than individuals from communities who scorn Hareidim and Arabs, lumping them together in one group against their will. I want to say that we Hareidim have no faith in this committee. We will not accept its plans, and we will do everything to ensure that they are not accepted by other communities,” Eichler added.

In what many felt was a surprising development, Professor Manuel Trachtenberg, who heads a specially appointed government committee charged with making recommendations on lowering the cost of living for middle class Israelis, said that any plan developed by his committee would take a long-term approach to solving the problems of housing and high prices. While many Israelis believed that Trachtenberg would recommend specific ideas that could be implemented quickly when the committee completes its work at the end of September, Trachtenberg said at the committee's first meeting that “slow and steady” was the best way to proceed, in order to ensure that “fiscal frameworks are strictly adhered to.”

In a statement issued after the first meeting, Trachtenberg said that the committee would present “a multi-year plan that, along with specific immediate steps, would ensure the health of the economy in the long-term.” The plan will touch upon tax policy, housing, the cost of living, and social services, examining each area to determine the most appropriate policies, the statement said.

The announcement means that many of the programs that the committee will recommend will not be completed until after  the next Knesset elections. If Binyamin Netanyahu does not form the next government, the next prime minister could ignore the committee's recommendations.

The committee's statement added that members of the panel were aware of “the feelings of economic pressure, injustice, and a belief by many that the economic benefits of recent years have passed them by.” Dealing with the root causes of those feelings is the primary task of the committee, the statement said.

Meanwhile, several Hareidi MKs expressed their anger at the lack of a member of their community among those Trachtenberg has included in the committee. Earlier Tuesday, MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, said that the Trachtenberg Committee was “unnecessary, since we on the Finance Committee will be deciding” on changes in the economy. On Tuesday night MK Yisrael Eichler (UTJ) said that the Hareidi community will not accept the committee's recommendations because a representative of the community was not included on the panel.

“We asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to include a Hareidi representative on the committee, and he refused,” Eichler said in the Knesset Tuesday. “Now we hear that they included an Arab woman on the committee. Actually she may represent us better than individuals from communities who scorn Hareidim and Arabs, lumping them together in one group against their will. I want to say that we Hareidim have no faith in this committee. We will not accept its plans, and we will do everything to ensure that they are not accepted by other communities,” Eichler added.