Small business owners boo Yair Lapid at Knesset protest

Yesh Atid chairman shows up at Knesset protest led by small business owners - only to get booed, have signs thrown at him.

Tags: Yair Lapid
Hezki Baruch ,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Hezki Baruch

Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid joined protesters gathered outside of the Knesset Sunday morning to call for government assistance to small businesses in the face of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

MK Lapid said he backed granting immediate unemployment benefits to small business owners who are classified as self-employed, and to issue government grants to ensure that workers are not laid off as a result of the economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus epidemic and the subsequent social restrictions.

During his visit to the protest, Lapid was harangued by some of the demonstrators, who jeered the Yesh Atid chief and hurled signs at him. In some cases, demonstrators cited Lapid’s policies during his term as Finance Minister (from 2013 to 2014) for their negative response to his participation in the protest.

After protesters began throwing protest signs at him, Lapid was forced to leave the area, entering the Knesset building.

“I came to support the protest outside of the Knesset led by organizations for the self-employed,” said Lapid. “They did not maintain a distance of two meters [between each person], but for the self-employed, I’m willing to take a risk.”

“They’re angry, they’re yelling, and they’re right. This government has destroyed their livelihoods without stopping to think about what it is doing to the economy and what that means for their families. We must help them, and quick.”

“They deserve unemployment benefits, just like wage-earners. They deserve a system which will give them immediate compensation, like we did during the 2014 Gaza conflict. They deserve government grants to prevent workers from being laid off. That’s what other countries are doing, and that’s what we need to do here.”