Wednesday, February 04, 2015

  • Wednesday, February 04, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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Tel Aviv, February 4 - Opposition leader Isaac Herzog laced into incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the economic front today, citing Netanyahu's failure to bring the incomes of the bottom half of Israeli households above the national average.

Central Bureau of Statistics data indicate that during every year that Netanyahu has been in office, fully half of Israeli families failed to earn more than the median figure for all Israeli households. Herzog called a press conference to discuss the findings at the "Zionist Camp" campaign headquarters, and to trumpet what he called "Bibi's unwillingness to help struggling families."

"It is long past time for Binyamin Netanyahu to retire from politics," asserted Herzog, whose political alliance with Hatnuah leader Tzipi Livni is polling at a dead heat with Netanyahu's Likud. "Half of this country's households cannot hope to bring in more than the median income. This statistic is a searing indictment of Netanyahu's policies on the domestic front. Only a socialist-minded government that we would assemble can hope to bridge that gap."

Herzog's ally, former Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, seconded his remarks. "The math is so simple I am not entirely certain why it took us this long to notice," she said. "But as the statistics indicate, this inequality has been going on for years. "It's a documented feature of the Israeli economy that you can see right from the day Netanyahu took office."

Other Netanyahu opponents weighed in on the data, as well. "Our party has been saying for a very long time that Binyamin Netanyahu is the wrong choice to lead this country, and not only because of our opposition to his policies on the Palestinian front," said Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On. "As the Statistics Bureau data make clear, half the country's families are wallowing below the median income. This is no way to run an economy."

Meretz MK Ilan Gilon added that he had checked Central Bureau Of Statistics figures for Netanyahu's term in office during the late 1990's and found the same result. "This is not something you can simply blame on the global economy, or a recession," he said. "The late nineties were a time of economic upturn. It's when this country's tech sector really started taking off. But if you look back at the statistics from the first Netanyahu government, it stares you right in the face: back then, as well, half the families in Israel were unable to pull in enough money each month to meet the national average."

Likud representatives declined to comment on the statistics. Sara Netanyahu, the premier's wife, suggested that struggling families could collect used beverage bottles and redeem them for thirty agorot each to help defray expenses.

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