Netanyahu faces Israeli parliament over protests
Posted by Admin on August 16, 2011
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under fire for his government’s handling of a month-long surge of protests against high living costs, faces a special debate in parliament on Tuesday.
A motion introduced by the centrist Kadima party, one of four on the assembly’s charged agenda, targets “government imperviousness” and “foot-dragging” by Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition in addressing demands to cut taxes and housing prices.
Netanyahu has named a team of experts to look into possible reforms but he and financial officials have cautioned against any expansion of the state budget, wary of signs the economy is weakening due partly to a spreading global financial crisis.
“We are experiencing great turbulence,” Netanyahu told a parliamentary finance panel on Monday, adding: “We want to deal with both these problems — to relieve the cost of living and reduce gaps.” He also promised “substantial changes.”
Efforts by Netanyahu’s government to address protesters’ grievances seemed further complicated on Monday when an alternative panel of university professors stepped forward pledging to help protesters meet their goals. [nL6E7JD08N]
The Israeli protests, a rare sustained outburst of anger over domestic policies, have drawn hundreds of thousands to the streets since mid-July, when dozens first camped out on a Tel Aviv boulevard to complain of soaring rents, supermarket prices and taxes.
Soon a so-called middle-class revolt gathered momentum and spread to other cities, spawning several mass rallies.
More than 70,000 protesters thronged the centers of a dozen towns and cities across Israel on Saturday. Upwards of 250,000 demonstrated in the business capital of Tel Aviv last week.
Analysts say the unrest seems to pose no immediate political threat to Netanyahu’s two-and-a-half-year-old government.
But some officials say the controversy could inflame tensions in his coalition and result in national elections being held ahead of a scheduled 2013.
The parliamentary debate on petitions filed by four opposition parties will be an opportunity to air differences, but Netanyahu appears likely to win any votes held.
(Editing by Alistair Lyon)
- Dissent spreads throughout country (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Israeli Leader Vows Fiscal Reform but No Quick Fixes (nytimes.com)
- Israel Protests Press Netanyahu (online.wsj.com)
- Israelis take to streets to protest for 4th week (sfgate.com)
- Wave of nationwide social protests hits Israel (redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com)
- Netanyahu: Israel creating new financial team after massive protests (moroccotomorrow.org)
- Israelis take to streets to protest for 4th week (foxnews.com)
- Israeli Protests ! (2012patriot.wordpress.com)
- News Analysis: Netanyahu facing pressure as Israelis take to streets – Xinhua (news.google.com)
- Israeli protests spread as they enter 4th week (sfgate.com)
This entry was posted on August 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM and is filed under Economic Upheavals, Geo-Politics. Tagged: Beersheba, Benjamin Netanyahu, israel, Jerusalem, Kadima, Nahariya, Protest, reuters, Social justice, Tel Aviv. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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