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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Liberal Freak-Out About Trump Missing PDBs Stems From Fear He May Actually Be Successful

Monday, December 19th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, The Lid}

The left is having a cow because President-Elect Trump chooses not to get the President’s Daily Briefings (PDB) every day. The truth is they their freak-out has nothing to do with the PDB, or even the fact that he beat their corrupt nominee to win the election. Donald Trump scares the hell out of liberals.

The liberals say that because the doesn’t get the PDB daily the PEOTUS was proving he will be unprepared for the presidency, some add the President-Elect’s Sunday comment to Chris Wallace demonstrated extreme hubris:

“I get it when I need it, I’m, like, a smart person…I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years.”

But Trump wasn’t exhibiting the kind of hubris seen in Shakespearian tragedy. Having spent much of my adult life in major corporations such as Interpublic, Disney and Viacom, the President-Elect’s statement was recognizable immediately. Perhaps because many of Trump’s critics on this issue are either lifelong politicians or broadcasters, who have only set foot in major corporate offices for things like requesting campaign donations, or news interviews they didn’t recognize why Trump answering that way. After all, these are people who never had to deal with the extreme real-world pressure of delivering the EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes and amortization) promised to stockholders

The President-Elect’s answer was similar to what would come from the mouth of a quality CEO of any major corporation, “Come back when you have something new.” And I wouldn’t worry, because as this type of Manager the first time someone doesn’t come back when there’s something new, Trump will (using the technical b-school jargon) rip them a new one.

Even his “I’m, like, a smart person” was not an indication of hubris. He was assuring voters that he’s smart enough to recognize when things begin to change, and when more frequent meetings become necessary.

The MSM still hasn’t figured out the reason Trump doesn’t act like the typical politician is because he’s not supposed to act like a typical politician. America voted for a strong successful business manager to be their next president–and that is exactly what they got.

Successful managers only receive “regular” updates from their senior staff when there is something new for them to present.  Even if daily meetings were limited to the managers of the most critical of departments, those meetings would prevent a CEO of a major corporation from providing a vision, and managing the vast expanse of the rest of their company. If that kind of management style is important for the CEO of a major corporation to be successful, imagine how necessary it is for the POTUS–an executive managing the massive federal bureaucracy, to manage that way.

Some say one of the reasons the Carter administration had so much difficulty (okay was so lousy) was his very hands-on management style. Conversely one reason President Reagan may have been so very successful was that like a CEO he didn’t need daily meetings, nor did he need to be involved in every little decision. Reagan absorbed new information, set the vision for his administration, and was very involved in only the most important decisions.

Bubba Clinton was also very hands on…but what he had “hands on” had very little to do with the country or his management style

As it turns out, the Reuters report of last Friday, that Trump only receives one intelligence briefing per week was “fake news.”

Per the RNC’s chief strategist and communications director Sean Spicer, “three times a week” he receives the official PDB briefing, but “every single day, he’s getting a briefing.” Those every-day briefings come from his national security adviser, United States Army Lt. Gen. Ret. Michael Flynn. Even though Spicer didn’t say it, one may be able to assume that Flynn’s briefings are more “bottom-lined” than the very detailed PDB and expandable of course, when necessary.

Funny thing is those same liberals didn’t have a D.C. Beltway freak out in September 2012 when it was reported that  Obama missed many of his PDBs:

The Government Accountability Institute, a conservative investigative research organization, examined President Obama’s schedule from the day he took office until mid-June 2012, to see how often he attended his Presidential Daily Brief (PDB)….During his first 1,225 days in office, Obama attended his PDB just 536 times — or 43.8 percent of the time. During 2011 and the first half of 2012, his attendance became even less frequent — falling to just over 38 percent

Last week Obama said that U.S. intelligence agencies failed to warn him promptly about the rise of ISIS. But 2011 and 2012 President Obama was averaging about between 11-12 PDBs each month (38%). What he didn’t recognize (or want to recognize) is when the situation began to change. During the period when he was only attending 38% of the briefings, Obama was pulling our heroes out of Iraq and ISIS was beginning to gain strength and fill the vacuum.

Interestingly during much of that same period as he was attending only 38% of PDB (from April 2011-July 2012) President Obama wasn’t attending his daily economic briefings either. As one might expect while President Obama was playing hooky from his daily economic and PDB meetings, the liberal media and the progressives in Congress didn’t object. On the other hand, Trump is getting slammed and he isn’t even President yet. However, the real reason for the Trump-bashing is that he’s a major threat to traditional way of doing things, and I’m not talking about daily briefings.

The traditional way is for a president to take a position look like he’s standing strong but then at the last-minute find a way to appease his opposition and back off. But Donald Trump isn’t acting like that.” Even worse from the liberals’ point of view, Trump is already changing attitudes about the economy and he’s trying to talk to, and work with leaders of their traditional base.

At times, it’s amazing to watch cable news and see the march of people going into the Trump Tower elevator especially when it’s people who a month ago vehemently opposed Donald Trump and everything he represented, and it’s not only the politicians like Mitt Romney.

Bill Gates like most people in “Silicon Valley” is a huge supporter of Democratic Party causes and candidates. Gates went up that elevator yesterday. When he came down the elevator and spoke to the press Gates compared Trump’s desire for technological innovation to JFK’s push for the moon landing.

Jim Brown who was greatest running back in NFL history has dedicated post-NFL his life to advocating for and helping minority communities.  Brown was a featured guest at Hillary Clinton rallies in Ohio (in the NFL he played for Cleveland) and he publicly endorsed Clinton as his choice in 2016. When Jim Brown came down that Trump Tower elevator after his meeting with the President-elect, he was effusive in his praise. Saying that Trump did his research and seemed to really understand the issues facing minority communities, the football legend added that the President-Elect sounded just like him.


You see that’s the real reason for the criticism of Trump missing the PDB. It’s also the real reason the liberals are trying to de-legitimize the nascent Trump presidency with things like the Russian hacking story. Sure, they wanted Hillary to win but it’s more than that.  They don’t even really believe their campaign rhetoric that Trump isn’t qualified to be President. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. The liberals are freaking out because they are worried that Donald Trump will be very successful.

Look what he’s done so far. The predictions were that if Trump were elected the stock market would fall into a tailspin. Yet excited about the prospect of lower corporate taxes and reducing the oppressive regulations of recent administrations the stock market has soared, and that’s only from the “institutional investors,” the individual investor market hasn’t joined in on the fun (yet).

In a little over a month since the election, while working on picking a cabinet and his transition team, the PEOTUS has proved that he will be a jobs president. He picked up the phone saved 1,000 Carrier Jobs, convinced a Japanese banker to invest $50 Billion in the U.S. which will create 50,000 jobs, and the day before Mr. Trump’s technology summit, perhaps out of fear as well as the anticipation of a better environment for business, IBM announced it will spend a billion dollars over the next four years to generate 25,000 jobs.

Donald Trump doesn’t take office for another month and he’s beginning to establish a real optimism about the American economy, an optimism that’s been missing during the economic melancholy of the Obama years. Granted it’s only a beginning, and the economy is still in a quagmire, but Americans are beginning to believe Trump will make America great again.

Put together the good economic announcements with the fact that Trump is working hard to reunite the country after the divisiveness of Obama years, and that he’s trying to reach out to minority communities like no GOP POTUS in recent history–it’s no wonder many liberals are adding adult diapers to their wardrobe, while working tirelessly to de-legitimize a president who hasn’t yet taken office.

Jeff Dunetz

Do Israelis Fear Trump?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

When it comes to Israel, we know the majority of American Jews are not one-issue voters. But the assumption is that Israelis view American elections solely through the prism of their own security. That’s why a new poll from the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University showing that a large majority of Israelis think Hillary Clinton will apply greater pressure on their country to do things they don’t like than Donald Trump would. Yet the same poll also shows that a sizeable plurality would prefer she be elected.

The poll shows that 57.2 percent of Israelis said Clinton would pressure Israel more and were split as to which candidate would be “preferable from Israel’s perspective with 34.5 percent giving the Democrat the nod while 34.3 said it was Trump. Yet they favored Clinton over Trump by a 41.8 to 24.3 percent margin. This seemingly contradictory result isn’t solely the function of Israelis sharing the negative view of Trump’s misogyny, nativism and the influence of the Breitbart.com alt-right within his campaign that colors the attitudes toward the billionaire on the part of liberal American Jews. Though it’s likely that many Israelis are also appalled by his rhetoric, it’s not clear that cultural issues are driving opinion in the Jewish state. The assumption on the part of Republican Jews is that a Clinton victory would be a third term for President Obama, who has been consistently viewed with distrust, if not hostility, by the majority of Israelis for the last eight years. Clinton was Obama’s first secretary of state and spoke of being the “designated yeller” at Prime Minister Netanyahu in a series of fights with Israel that were ginned up by the administration specifically in order to create more “daylight” between the two allies. While her husband was very popular in Israel, Hillary can’t count on the memory of Bill Clinton’s ability to share the pain of Israelis such as his moving “Shalom chaver” tribute to Yitzhak Rabin. Clinton’s defense of the Iran nuclear deal is another strike against her.

This contradiction can be partly explained by the fact that many, if not most Israelis agree with Clinton’s statement (discovered in the Wikileaks document dump) that even the pretense of a peace process with the Palestinians is better than nothing. The poll shows they’d like their government to keep trying to talk with the Palestinians — as Netanyahu has done with his repeated invitations to Abbas to return to direct negotiations — even if they have very little confidence that anything will come of it.

But the reluctance to embrace Trump has to frustrate those Republicans who point to his statements saying he would not pressure Israel, would recognize Jerusalem as its capital, and see him as a rejection of Obama, whose threats to betray Israel at the United Nations after the election have Jerusalem worried.

The problem for Trump is that his unpredictable nature has convinced many in Israel that he can’t be trusted to maintain the alliance. This goes beyond various statements in which at times he has said he would be “neutral” between Israel and the Palestinians. The contradictions in Trump’s foreign policy statements and clearly don’t count on him keeping faith with them in a way he won’t with other U.S. allies.

On Iran, which is Clinton’s weak point on Israel, Trump also has problems. Though he is in accord with most Israelis on the Iran deal, they have noticed that he is also willing to approve of Tehran’s involvement in Syria. There’s no way Trump can crack down on Iran on the nuclear question while viewing it as an ally against ISIS and no guarantee that he won’t wind up thinking he can do business with the Islamist government.

More to the point, Trump’s isolationist tendencies would seem to work against the idea that he would be helpful to Israel. Obama’s determination to abandon the Middle East to Russia and Iran already has some Arab nations scared enough to tentatively embrace Israel. If Trump acts on his isolationist views it might produce problems as great as those created by Obama’s lead from behind strategy.

But the bottom line is that many Israelis may prefer the devil they know in the person of Clinton to a leap into the unknown with Trump. They understand where Clinton stands and what they can expect, both good and bad, with her. But Trump’s unpredictability reads like a recipe for instability to Israelis. The leaks that assert that Netanyahu views Clinton as “more instinctively sympathetic to Israel” than Obama may be not so much as an effort to ingratiate the prime minister with the likely winner as a sincere evaluation of the possibility that Clinton may not prove nearly as hostile as the incumbent.

Other than those Americans who maintain dual citizenship, Israelis can’t vote for president of the United States. But it appears that at least with respect to attitudes toward Trump, most American and Israeli Jews may be in accord.

Jonathan S. Tobin

Huge Majority of Europe’s Jews Say They’re Staying Home for the Holy Days

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

A survey conducted last week by the European Jewish Association (EJA) and the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE) shows that a huge percentage of Europe’s Jews are afraid to leave their homes and attend High Holy Day services this year.

Despite the increased security arrangements around Jewish institutions in Europe, 70 percent of Europe’s Jews do not intend to visit synagogues on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The survey was conducted on September 12-15, 2016 among a representative sample of 700 capital cities and communities in the periphery throughout Europe, from Britain in the west to Ukraine in the east.

The findings showed that more that 50 percent of Jewish communities across the continent reported a decline in the number of active members of the Jewish community, as a direct result of an increase of anti-Semitism.

Only about 11 percent of communities across Europe reported an increase in members, and 39 percent of the communities reported that there was no change in the number of registered community members. EJA and RCE General Director, Rabbi Menachem Margolin said that 75 percent of the communities reported an increased vigilance by various governments to the dangers faced by Jews in light of the growing Anti-Semitism since last year’s High Holidays.

The vast majority of community leaders also reported having to increase security and policing measures around Jewish schools, synagogues and other affiliated institutions of the community. “The challenge for most of the Jewish communities has doubled in recent months,” noted Rabbi Margolin.

“On one hand, violence against Jews increased significantly — against individuals, institutions and communities (among other reasons by immigrants and Muslim refugees). On the other hand, as a result of the refugee crisis, there is an actual increase in the power of the far right across the continent as well. “Currently the focus of the extreme right and their activity is focused on Islam, but testimonies of rabbis and community leaders show a great deal of concern about the growing of nationalism and xenophobia (hatred of foreigners)” warns Rabbi Margolin. The rabbi also called for the European Union and governments across the continent to increase educational efforts and the fight against anti-Semitism as part of the curriculum in schools.

“Counter terrorism is of course an important measure to save lives – but not enough to solve the problem from the root. As long as there will not be an educational effort focused on the elimination of anti-Semitism, the problem will continue,” he warned.

Hana Levi Julian

‘What’s Changed about Being Jewish in Scotland?’ Fear, Study Finds

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities recently issued the final draft of a report titled, “What’s Changed About Being Jewish in Scotland,” the catalyst for which was the huge spike in anti-Semitic incidents in August 2014 (the time of the Gaza War), when SCoJeC received almost as many reports in a single month as in the entire previous year:

“The large increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Scotland during the third quarter of 2014 following the war in Gaza came as an unwelcome shock, not only to the Jewish community, but to civil society at large. During august 2014 alone, SCoJeC received more than 25 reports relating to at least 12 separate anti-Semitic incidents, almost as many as in the whole of 2013, and police in Scotland advised us that they had received reports of threatening phone calls and e-mails, graffiti on synagogues, and two cases of incitement to break the criminal law. In addition, many people told us that they now felt uncomfortable, anxious, and in some cases even afraid, going about their day-to-day activities as Jewish people in Scotland. Although these absolute numbers may not seem high, the most recent Scottish government figures reveal that, when the size of the different faith communities is taken into account, Judaism is almost 8 times, and Islam 3 times as likely as Christianity to be the victim of religious hatred,” SCoJeC related on its website.

Like the 2012 study, the new report provides a comprehensive overview of what Jewish people in Scotland are thinking, feeling, and experiencing, based on responses from a significant cross-section of the Jewish population of Scotland, spread across the entire country “from the Borders to the Shetlands, from members of the larger Jewish communities in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the smaller ones in Dundee and Aberdeen, and also from Jewish people who live very many miles from the any Jewish facilities.”

“We heard from Jewish people whose families had lived in Scotland for generations, and people who had very recently arrived in Scotland from other parts of the world,” the organization says, adding, “We heard from members of the Orthodox, Reform, and Liberal Jewish communities, as well as from people with no connection to formal Judaism, from people who had no interest in the Jewish religion or Jewish ritual, but who, in a wide variety of ways, felt connected to Jewish culture or for whom particular foods or melodies evoked their childhood, as well as from people who only found out they were Jewish as adults.”

The following are quotes from the new report. For the full report click here.

“As a child and teenager growing up in Edinburgh, I was proud to say I was Jewish and it was viewed positively by Edinburgh people who often had memories themselves of growing up alongside Jewish people and spoke enthusiastically of that. I am very wary now to be up front about being Jewish in certain circles, and especially after the events this summer [2014].” (F, 60s, Edinburgh)

“As far as the children are concerned we are telling them to be less open about being Israelis. Two years ago it wasn’t like this. It is a question of safety now.” (M, 40s, Edinburgh)

“As more and more of my friends have moved away, I increasingly feel like a minority. I am not aware of any other Jews in my workplace (it is a large organization). I think this has made it even more important to me to represent my race in Scotland. It has also changed in the last year due to the Scottish reaction to Operation Protective Edge, in particular the raising of the Palestinian flag. I am using social media much more regularly to try and educate friends about the situation in the Middle East. (F, 30s, Glasgow)


Shooting Medic to Prosecutor: ‘They Threw Me to the Dogs Because of their Fear of the Media’

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Sergeant Elor Azaria on Monday faced cross examination by the Military Prosecutor, Lieutenant-General (Ret) Nadav Weisman, and from the start accused his company commander of being a liar, and his battalion commander of forgetting things.

The cross examination began with a question from Weissman, one of Israel’s top litigators who has been conscripted by a military eager to convict its own soldier, regarding Azaria’s own assertion the day before, that his company commander, Major Tom Naaman, had slapped him. “Did you review the videos from your interrogation?” Weisman asked. Azaria said he didn’t. “In the video you are asked if Tom was angry at you and you answered No. How can a company commander slap you twice and you don’t report it?”

Azaria answered: “My latest version is the truth. Witnesses have forgotten to say a few things here.” As the prosecutor pressured him, he elaborated: “I don’t know why the paramedic testified the way she did. As I was hearing the testimonies I recalled images from the incident. I don’t think that the soldier who testified for the defense is a liar.”

The prosecutor went down the list of witnesses against Azaria and asked if they were all liars. “Absolutely,” the defendant answered, “the company commander is a false witness. A big part of the battalion commander’s testimony didn’t reflect everything that happened. I can’t say the that battalion commander is a liar, but on some of the things he lied. He forgot to say a few things… As to being slapped, absolutely the company commander slapped me in the field and I’m still under psychological care [as a result].”

The prosecutor accused Azaria of inventing the slaps, Azaria said he was in shock after the incident and that’s why he didn’t report the slaps at the time.

When Weisman told him, “In front of the battalion commander and your attorneys you first said the company commander told you, Let this stay between us, but you didn’t mention the slaps. And suddenly you added them.” Azaria answered, “I recalled only parts of the event.” At which point the judge interfered and asked Azaria, “When your company commander tells you to keep this between you, what did he mean?” Azaria answered: “My entire treatment throughout the event. He probably knew he made a mistake with me when he screamed without trying to understand why I did it. On the way to the trial he also told me, ‘Say that you’re sorry and it’ll be OK, you know I love you.’ His behavior towards me wasn’t good and he wanted to come out good.” The Judge asked, “Good with whom?” and Azaria answered, “With the whole event.”

Azaria testified that he was asked to remove the body of the dead terrorist, which he said shocked him. “The company commander told me, Good luck, pick up the terrorist’s brains.”

He also said, “They took me to court to appease the world and the media. I felt betrayed. The company commander humiliated me. Meanwhile I’m hearing the defense minister (Yaalon) and the chief of staff condemning me and not even waiting until the end of the process, to hear my version of things, and they come out with announcements. I’ve lost my entire faith in the IDF brass and the defense minister. They threw me to the dogs because of their fear of the media.”

David Israel

Analysis: Should Israeli Settlers Fear Trump’s Peace Negotiations? [video]

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Donald Trump’s website mentions only two foreign countries by name: in its Positions section it deals with “Reforming The US-China Trade Relationship To Make America Great Again,” and in its Issues section, which is a series of videos with the candidate spending about a minute speaking forcefully on the issues, the one country that’s mentioned as an “issue” is, you guessed, Israel.

Should Israelis and US Jews be concerned that the Jewish State is so clearly a burning issue for Trump? Not if you believe the opening, where Trump straightens his gaze at the camera and declares, “I love Israel, I’m very pro-Israel.” He hasn’t said it about any other country in quite this total fashion.

But what to Trump is the Israel issue begins and ends with what he considered, back in March, when he shot this video, a challenge to his skills as negotiator. You can be a Trump supporter and still be perplexed by the amount of personal prestige the candidate has invested in being that one American president who finally brought peace to “Israel and the Palestinians.”

“Trump is plainly the best bet for the Jews,” Seth Lipsky wrote in the NY Post Wednesday, citing neoconservative Norman Podhoretz, who berated Hillary for the 2012 rejection by the Democratic convention of restoring both God and Jerusalem to the DNC platform.

True enough, but Trump was booed at his AIPAC appearance last December when he, too, refused to commit to moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

“Trump’s also the candidate siding with religious Americans whose rights are in jeopardy from the proliferating series of laws and court rulings in which religious persons are being asked to bow to a liberalism hostile to religious law,” Lipsky argued.

But religious Jews are not under attack by the liberal government anywhere in America: unlike in Europe, Jewish rituals are not under attack anywhere, with the possible exception of the Bay area; why even the latest NYC policy on oral suction in circumcision is restricted to educational pamphlets, rather than court orders.

The problem with Trump regarding Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria (and, possibly, eastern Jerusalem) is the candidate’s eagerness to make a difference in the age old Israeli-Arab conflict.

Here is what Trump said on tape in March, which the campaign has chosen to keep up there as one of his key concerns:

“I would love to see a deal be made between Israel and the Palestinians. It’s probably the hardest negotiation there is. Great negotiators have tried and they failed. It’s just so deep seated, the hatred, the level of distrust.

“But I’m going to give it an awfully good shot. I want to remain as neutral as possible, because if you’re not somewhat neutral the other side is never going to do it.

“But just remember, Israel, I love you, we’re gonna’ see if we can get something done, it has to be done for both sides, it cannot continue to be the way it is. Let’s see what we can negotiate, let’s see if it can be done.”

Does the last paragraph strike you as something you might tell your child before taking him for his booster shots? It’ll hurt, for sure, but remember, Daddy loves you very much and when the doctor is done poking you Daddy will buy you an ice cream cone.

There’s no doubt that presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is easily as worrisome when it comes to Israel. She is surrounded by anti-Israel advisors, one of whom is a radical Muslim. It is a tough call to make — which Roman emperor will bring more trouble to tiny little Judea: Hillary, who might end up just talking the talk but avoid the actual walk; or Trump, who might just, God forbid, decide to test his skills — and then what would Israel do when the Arabs agree to some of his proposals and a victorious Trump turns to Netanyahu and says, Brother, I got you a great deal, just hand over control of eastern Jerusalem and take the Jews out of the “territories.”

We welcome a civilized discussion of the concerns raised in this article.

David Israel

Knesset Committee Slams Finance Minister on Fear of Fighting Monopolies

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

“Five years have passed, and prices have not gone down, and in certain cases they have gone up,” members of the Knesset Finance Committee told government representatives during Monday’s meeting marking five years since the summer of 2011 popular social protest in Israel.

The committee members slammed Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon for “being afraid to fight the monopolies,” but members of Kahlon’s Kulanu party said in response, “We are advancing many reforms, and we can already see the results on the ground.”

Finance Committee Chairman MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) said that “with all due respect to the Finance Ministry and talks of reform, in practice the prices have not gone down.”

MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) said, “Five years after the ‘cottage cheese’ protest, not only have the prices not gone down, in real terms they have increased, because the prices of commodities around the world have dropped 30-50%, and this is not being reflected in the Israeli market. Prices are 20% higher, on average, than in Europe. The prices of inputs have also decreased, as has the price of gas and energy, but this has not had any effect. What happened is that the monopolies and chain stores have gained huge profits at the consumers’ expense.”

MK Manuel Trajtenberg (Zionist Camp) explained that “the expense basket of a young family has three main components: housing, education and food. In housing the prices have only gone up; in education there has been some progress regarding ages 3-4, but not a week goes by that we are not asked to answer questions regarding family expenses related to education. An average family with three children spends some $1,300 a month on education, day care, afternoon child care, camps, and more. As far as food is concerned, some positive steps have been taken, but that nut has not been cracked and, ultimately, too much power has been left in the hands of a small number of companies.”

MK Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas) charged that the Trajtenberg Committee, which examined and proposed solutions to Israel’s socioeconomic problems, was established only to “ease tensions” and “take the wind out of the social protest’s sails.” In practice, he said, “nothing has been done.” Vaknin called to restore price controls, saying “in the absence of competition, this is the solution.”

MK Oren Hazan (Likud) said the problem is “greed.” The chain store owners and the major wholesalers “earn tens of millions on the public’s back,” he stated. “And meanwhile, here in the Knesset, people are strong at talking. The finance minister can make bold decisions and change the market without fearing his friends the tycoons. Here in this committee we have the power to advance a plan to dissolve the monopolies. We will enact a law to that effect.”

MK Roy Folkman of Kulanu said, “We have waged an all-out war on the monopolies. In Israel there is a very high concentration of market controls, and a finance minister who does not fear them has now arrived. We launched reforms in the importing of fresh meat and the prices have dropped. With fish as well, we created parallel importing. For years no one has dared to deal with the monopolies, which maintain a stronghold on Israeli politics, and we have started doing so. A change can already be seen in toiletries, food items, children’s toys and other items. The fight takes courage and ability. Increasing competition is the only way. Price control does not work; [corporations] would only raise the prices of other items. The business sector is more sophisticated than the regulator.”

MK Rachel Azaria, also from Kulanu, said “We are making great efforts, but every issue that reaches the Knesset gets stuck there. Every reform encounters objections, and it is nearly impossible to pass anything, including the fight against black market capital. I belong to the finance minister’s faction and it is my job to pass things, but nothing can be advanced; there are always dramas here; in some cases it’s the kibbutzim, in others kashrut – everybody has an interest. We have to be brave and deal with the basic problems: monopolies, quotas and interested bodies that prevent change. In the Arrangements Law we will introduce important reforms, and then we will see if all those who are yelling here will support them. We are the cause of the high prices. We have an opportunity to lower the cost of living, and I hope everyone here will support [the measures].”


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