Lapid: We Took From the Yeshivos and the Rich First


finance-minister-yair-lapidWith the power he is wielding these days, Yair Lapid is like a kid in a candy store. He can’t get enough of the attention and he doesn’t miss an opportunity to push his anti-chareidi agenda.

And the finance minister isn’t hiding his animus for chareidim or their lifeblood, the yeshivos hakedoshos.

Referring to cuts in the 2013-2014 budget, Lapid told the Knesset this morning that “the middle class, which for years was the automatic ATM machine of all Israeli governments, was the final source this time from which we took money.” Then he added with obvious glee, “First we took from the yeshivot and the rich people, and we also raised taxes on the large corporations and companies.”

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. It seems that neither the protests nor the vote for Yair Lapid were ever about “social justice,” in the sense of narrowing the gap between the upper and lower deciles.
    On the contrary: If Lapid… finds a way to get money from others and bring it to his electorate, as they hope he will, then the income gap… will only grow wider – “The wealthy minions of Yair Lapid,” – Haaretz

    .. Lapid won’t fight crony capitalism – because he believes in it; he merely wants to harness it to meet his own goals. – Haaretz,

  2. Understanding politics : The limousine theory

    Why a limousine?

    In Israel

    Why a limousine? Well, in a limousine you have driver, in official uniform and a smart cap, who is charged with driving the vehicle. He holds the steering wheel; sometimes he decides to turn it to the right and sometimes to the left. Sometimes he decides to step on the gas and sometimes the brakes. So, the uninformed observer could easily reach the conclusion that he, the driver, also decides on the destination of the vehicle.

    But of course he would be wrong.

    You can change the driver. At most, this may result in a change in the style of driving – with one chauffeur being a little more cautious and another a little less so. One might even take a different route from the other. But this will not change the ultimate destination of the limousine. For this is not determined by the person holding the wheel, and who appears to be in charge, but by the occupants of the backseats, behind the shaded panes.

    Identifying the backseat occupants

    Clearly, our allegorical chauffeur represents Israel’s elected politicians, whose overall destination remains unchanged – regardless of who holds the wheel. But who are our backseat occupants? Who comprises the previously mentioned “extraneous source of influence that imposes outcomes on the political system very different from those one would expect from the unhindered operation of that system.”

    The principle fallacy that must be summarily dispelled is that these policy U-turns can be ascribed to “international pressure,” as if foreign diplomats and governments were the backseat occupants giving directions to the driver.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    After all, it is impossible to invoke international pressure to explain either of the two most dramatic processes that took place in the past two decades, the Oslo Accords and the disengagement. These were all Israeli initiatives, conceived and promoted by Israelis alone.

    In the case of Oslo, the entire process was covertly (mis)conceived exclusively by Israelis without any international coercion.

    Indeed, the PLO, cosignatory to these unfortunate accords, was still listed as a terror organization by the US government during the negotiating process. Similarly, the disengagement was not a product of American pressure. Quite the reverse, Washington initially opposed unilateral initiatives and had to be persuaded by Ariel Sharon as to the merits of the idea.

    Moreover, current endeavors to reinstate the notion of unilateral withdrawal – now from Judea-Samaria, are again a domestically driven initiative – led by the NGO Blue & White Future, headed by well-known Israelis, and by the Institute for National Security Studies, closely associated with Tel Aviv University.

    The backseat occupants (cont.)

    We are thus compelled to conclude that our allegorical backseat occupants are homegrown, for whom the specter on “international pressure” is merely an instrument for them to brandish and with which to manipulate public opinion – and policy-makers perceptions – in furthering their own agenda.

    So who then are these influential “backseaters”? They are groups in the country’s civil society elites identified and discussed in previous columns and who control the legal establishment, dominate mainstream media, and hold sway in academia (principally, but not exclusively, in the social sciences and humanities). These groups comprise an interconnected of influence that dominates the socio-political process in Israel. From their positions of unelected privilege and power, they are able to determine the parameters of the public discourse in the country, and hence the perceived constraints acting on the decision- making echelons.

    Accordingly, the have the ability to set the overall direction of the national agenda at the strategic level and to impose their views on elected politicians and the general public.

    Ingredients for remedy

    The capacity to counter this pernicious phenomenon requires a firm grasp and clear vision of the mechanisms that drive it. It will not be remedied by electing different politicians (i.e. changing drivers), but by promoting, emplacing and empowering new competing civil society elites who can challenge the incumbents and displace them from their positions of unelected influence (i.e. by replacing the backseat occupants).

    The first step in advancing this crucial revolution is to engender a total revaluation of the strategy of giving by religious or right-wing benefactors. For one cannot win a war without a war chest……

  3. The media too helped our “caring” politicians kick up a storm about the painful yet minor and inevitable price hikes.

    Even small price hikes inflict pain on the already overburdened millions of workers. Yet they are nothing compared to the inflated costs wrung from consumers by the tycoons and their monopolies, who, by Treasury estimates, bilk a full third of the miserable salaries most workers earn.

    The media have little to say about this great outrage; our watchdogs are not about to bite the hands that feed them with billions in advertising income.

    An across-the-board cut is not the best, but it’s the best we can get under our corrupting political system.

  4. ????? ?????? ?? ?????? ????? ???? ????? ???? ?????…
    ????? ????? ?????? ?????? ??? ????? ???, ????? ?????? ??????…???’…??? ?????? ????? ?????? ?????? ???”? ?????,,, ??? ??????? ??…

    ??? ??? ???? ??? ???…????? ???? ????? ???…… ????? ???? ?? ???? ..???-?????… ????. ???. ?????. ????. ?????? ,???? ???? ????? ???????, ??????? ??????? ?? ?????? ???…….

    ?????? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ????? ?? ????? ??? ????? ?????. ???? ????? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ???? ?? ????? ????.

    ??’ ??’ ??? ?? ??: ?????? ?? ??? ???? ?”?