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Social Inequality in Israel

By       Message Stephen Lendman       (Page 1 of 6 pages)     Permalink

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Social Inequality in Israel - by Stephen Lendman

An earlier article explained neoliberalism's impact on Israeli Jews, beginning in the 1980s. In 1985, the Knesset amended the Bank of Israel Law, prohibiting it from printing money to finance industrialization, full employment, and immigrant absorption.

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It was part of a neoliberal takeover, embracing a massive power shift from various government agencies to the Finance Ministry and central bank (the Bank of Israel), similar to American financialization that empowered Wall Street, the Federal Reserve it controls, and US FIRE sector overall (finance, insurance, and real estate). 

In 1985, Israeli policy included:

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-- efforts to reduce budget deficits to near balance; and

-- dampen inflationary pressures by cutting wages, prices, credit, the currency's value, public benefits, pensions, and union power to establish a secondary, exploitable, temporary worker market.

The same year, the Arrangements Law established an emergency Economic Stabilization Plan. It sidestepped the normal legislative process, became a permanent budget adjunct, and kept Knesset members from debating its destructive effects on democratic values and social justice.

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As a result, a race to the bottom followed, especially since the 1990s, as evidenced by mass privatizations, cutting welfare and social benefits, and, like in America, shifting wealth to the rich. The results were predictable. Israel not only flaunts democracy, it's a land of extreme and growing inequality.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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