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Monday, April 22, 2013

Who in Israel Really Needs "Open Skies?"

My husband is one of those whose trip abroad this week may not happen.  Israel's new Finance Minister Yair Lapid campaigned to help those he calls "middle class," those making, like his Riki Cohen family, almost five times minimum wage and just over double average wage for a couple. 
Riki Cohen, a widow from Hadera, earns NIS 4,500 ($1,234) a month. She can only dream of earning NIS 20,000 ($5,485) a month, like the fictitious family of 'Mrs. Riki Cohen,' mentioned by Finance Minister Yair Lapid in his controversial Facebook post.
In his post, Lapid also said the 'Cohen family' travels abroad once every two years. "Is he serious? I've never been abroad," the real Riki Cohen told Ynet Tuesday.
Yair Lapid's concept of a "middle-class salary" is upper class, according to the real financial statistics here in Israel, especially considering that Riki Cohen's family can afford to travel abroad every two years.  Lapid doesn't consider that frequent enough and in one of this new government's first big moves is to open Israeli skies to the very competitive airfares.

In response, the Israeli airlines, including El Al are striking.  My husband, not being among the privileged, sophisticated frequent travelers didn't realize that he should have cancelled his El Al ticket and quickly bought one from a different airline. Reports are that the airport will start shutting down tomorrow.  This is not good for Israel.

Considering that another of Lapid's, and no doubt we should remember that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must certainly approve these moves,  budget changes is cutting child allowances which seriously affects the lower and true middle class families.
Those spending cuts include NIS 4b.-5b. from the civil service, NIS 3b.-4b. from defense, with an equal amount from child allotments and NIS 2b.-4b. from infrastructure spending.
Yet a representative for Lapid would disclose only that the budgetary framework includes new taxes on affluent goods such as luxury apartments and cars.
So, I guess we can conclude from those budget changes that Lapid puts children in the same unnecessary or optional category as luxury cars.  Does he expect Israelis to somehow down-size their families by "deleting" some of their children?

It seems pretty obvious that this is a Marie Antoinette  government whose theme is:
"Let them eat cake."

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who needs open skies? Those who want substantially cheaper tickets.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
Why is airfare considered a necessity? Sometimes a vacation is necessary for reducing stress, but flying?
Cutting child allowances is definitely sending a certain type of signal.
Lapid is out of touch with reality.

Shy Guy said...

Dear Batya and Hadassa.

1. Get out of my life's personal preferences, not to speak of business needs.

2. Get out of my wallet.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
Being as Lapid is an elected official whose policies effect all citizens of Israel, including their wallets, what he does is as much my business as it is that of any other Israeli citizen - no more, but no less.

Shy Guy said...

But you are asking to fill your wallet with other people's money.

Leave aside Lapid's essential ignorance for the moment. My response is to your idea of voodoo economics.

goyisherebbe said...

There is air travel and there is air travel. There are people who fly for vacations, but there are also people who fly on business, including Jews who made aliya based on the possibility of spending part of their time outside the country for necessary parnasa (livelihood). There are also people who are raising funds for worthy causes, family visits or medical treatment. The same is true of apartments and cars. A large home is not a luxury for a large family, but a necessity. A person whose livelihood depends on mobility needs a car. It is simplistic to lump them together as all luxuries. But in general we should stay away from the socialist protected economy and have as large and open a market as possible so that goods and services should be available at a fair choice of price and quality.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
I'm all for a truly open economy. I can't imagine that Lapid is, and his priorities are not what Israel needs.

Shy Guy said...

Again, I am no fan of economics flunky Lapid.

Batya said...

Ironically, When it comes to flights to the states from Israel, many times El Al does offer the best deals, because they have the most options and they want to fill the planes.
Personally I hate their sardine seats. And since I travel to AZ, the other airlines' packages are sometimes better.
There are a lot of things Israel needs more than cheaper airfares.

Anonymous said...

To "Goyishe Rebbe"

Why do you call yourself "Goyishe" when you obviously have a "Yiddishe Kop".
And, I imagine, a Yiddishe heart, too!

Anonymous said...

To "Goyishe Rebbe"

Why do you call yourself "Goyishe" when you obviously have a "Yiddishe Kop".
And, I imagine, a Yiddishe heart, too!