"Meet the Press"
What should we do? Restart. Build a new beginning for the center-left camp with a leadership that is willing to fight fearlessly against the Netanyahu's government of corruption and insanity. We should be bringing back hope for Israel.
This is what I said to Rina Mazliah in an interview for "Meet the Press"
Later on, Netanyahu made sure to respond on air by lying about what I said.
Netanyahu is the one who made sure to turn deceit into a synonym for politics.
From the British Mandate soldiers he saw as a child in Jerusalem, even though he wasn’t born then, through "the Arabs are voting en masse" even though they never did, to paranoid conspiracy theories about coups and revolution even though he appointed his cronies as gatekeepers – it's sad that what will remain from Netanayhu's 10 years is a
pile of lies and delusional press releases.
Such a liar has never served in such a senior position in Israel ever before.
On the other hand, what does a prime minister who has achieved nothing have to say to the citizens? nothing. Because there is nothing.
This week I stumbled across Amos Biderman's cartoon in Haaretz. Biderman is one of the sharpest political commentators out there, but this time I felt he must have gotten mixed up, so I tried to help him:
What do public housing, whom combined own as much as 70,000 apartments, due with the money they receive from the state? How do Amidar, Amigur, Halamish etc carry out their ever so crucial role?
Well, that my friends, is a secret.
These companies, publicly funded and in charge of perhaps one of the most important issues at hand, simply do not report what is being done with the finance they receive.
While some of these companies perform rheir duties in an impressive, admirable fashion despite the many obstacles presented before them, the media never fails to report more corruption and waste of resources that were meant to serve public housing: From Minister Uri Ariel who sold apartments from the public housing stock to political organizations to apartments unlawfully converted to holiday apartments.
All of this is happening at the expense of families who cant afford to put a mere roof over their heads. Tens of thousands of households for whom, without public housing, there is no hope of a normal life. No chance at maintaing a regular job, no chance of building a new future or emerging from the cycle of poverty.
Public housing is tumbling down, and one the main reasons is the cloak of secrecy under which these companies carry out their businesses.
In a recent discussion at the Transparency committee, I asked these companies for one simple thing: Give the public the information it needs (and you hide) to understand what it is that's being done with its money. This is the only way by which we can create efficient supervision, which will in turn force said companies to better their work and make sure our money is well attended to, in order to allow our money be invested in public housing – nothing else.
Today, these companies do not report what is done with our money. They do not publicize their communications or auctions – for instance, which contractors were hired (by public money, our money), who provided what services (again, our money) and which maintenance companies were contacted – including such that sometimes leave apartments unfit for living (despite, again, paying with our money).
Why won't they publish this information despite the money belonging to all of us? And who supervises them if everything is done in the dark, in secrecy?
The answer is: no one. Between the National company authority in charge and the ministry of housing to which they are subordinated, no one really wants to decide anything: everyone just let accountability roll.
By the way, public housings companies are merely the tip of the iceberg: Governmental companies, where no less than NIS 67 billion of our taxpayers money in in play – do not report on its usage. Imagine what will happen when all of these companies' budgets are exposed.
Look what happens when I ask, near the end of the discussion, that housing companies publish their communications:
Only in a government that does not care whatsoever about abiding the law can the person in charge of enforcing the law against illegal building, live in an illegal settlement.
When Bibi talks about equal enforcement, what he really means is – those who serve me politically are free to do as they please. All the rest – I will fight you bitterly. No holding back. And without considering the national interest.
I wrote to the Finance Minister Cahlon and demanded he suspend Avi Cohen from office until he decides if he supports building laws in Israel or not. If we had a functioning government, he would have been tried long ago.
You're invited to listen to an interview on the subject with Yael Dan and read more in Haim Levnison's and Or Kashti's articles in Haaretz by pressing the photo below.
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