Danon: Israel Paying the Price for Lapid

Following the publication of Latet's Alternative Poverty Report, Yesh Atid, Likud and Shimon Peres quickly strike up blame game.

Hezki Baruch, Cynthia Blank ,

Danny Danon
Danny Danon
Photo: PR

Likud chairman candidate, MK Danny Danon lit Hanukkah candles Monday night at the tomb of Shimon the Righteous in Jerusalem. 

At the ceremony, Danon stated, "We must allow Jews the right to live anywhere in Jerusalem. We will continue the tradition of the Maccabees - living without fear of our enemies at home and abroad." 

Danon also addressed Monday's publication of the Alternative Poverty Report by the Latet Organization. 

Latet's report, published a week after a similar report by Bituach Leumi (National Insurance), presents a frightening image of the state of poverty in Israel. 

According to the report there are more than 2.5 million Israelis living below the poverty line, including 932,000 children. 

"We must admit the grievous mistake we made by appointing [Yesh Atid Chairman] Yair Lapid the Minister of Finance. He is a man who lacks both social sensitivity and a willingness to help. We are all paying for this mistake today." 

Danon added that the Likud party is committed to appointing a finance minister with social sensitivity to the next government. Someone, as he put it, who understands real financial distress. 

Earlier in the day, Lapid's party, Yesh Atid, came out in critique of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, blaming him for the report's results. "The data on the extent of poverty in Israel is a badge of shame on the Prime Minister," the party said.  

"After two years of hard work to stop the breakdown of the middle class and to bring disadvantaged children and the elderly out of poverty, the Prime Minister still does not see the sights and hear the sounds," Yesh Atid added. 

Former President Shimon Peres also joined in on the act, responding to the report with harsh words of his own. 

"It is impossible to feed hungry children and the elderly with statements. We are taking the future away from our children," Peres said, in a veiled attack on Netanyahu's government. 

"If we do not make this issue a priority, maybe we will win battles, but we will lose our children. These are the soldiers of the future and these are the people who raised us," Peres added. 

Likud responded with sharp criticism toward Peres and especially the new report.

"The orchestrated campaign surrounding the inflated Alternative Poverty Report - which contradicts the true report published by the National Insurance Institute indicating a decline in poverty - is a transparent attempt by the Left and the media to transfer votes from the right and center blocs to the left." 

"The head of the Left, Shimon Peres, cannot beat Prime Minister Netanyahu and Likud in the political, security, and economic arenas," Likud continued.  

"This is an indirect way to try and bring votes from the right to the left - in order to make the concessions and withdrawals, Shimon Peres has dreamed of all these years." 

Despite the blame game between politicians, a majority of the public has taken fault with the Prime Minister for the economic crisis. 

A recent poll published Saturday night on Channel 10's "Hamateh Hamerkazi" program found that 46% of respondents place responsibility for Israel's weakening financial situation on Netanyahu, followed by 29% placing the responsibility on Lapid. 



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