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In response to damning housing report, Netanyahu demands Israelis think about Iran

What do you do when facing backlash from all sides of the political spectrum? Blame it on the Ayatollah.

A much-anticipated housing report published Wednesday evening by State Comptroller Yosef Shapira blamed the Netanyahu government for failing to properly deal with the rising costs of housing in Israel. According to Shapira, poor government planning and disregard for the middle class played key roles in creating the current severe housing crisis in Israel, which could lead to the disappearance of the middle class and eventually have a devastating impact on the entire economy, he says. Netanyahu’s failure, says the report, mainly stems from the lack of any long-term strategy to ameliorate the housing situation in the country.

Immediately after the report was published, Netanyahu hit Twitter to strike back at critics of his policies. Only instead of trying to explain or defend his abysmal record on housing, the prime minister eschewed any real discussion, instead opting for — once again — warning about the threat of a nuclear Iran.

“When we talk about housing prices, about the cost of living, I do not for a second forget about life itself. The biggest threat to our life at the moment is a nuclear-armed Iran.”

But Netanyahu’s pithy response didn’t go unanswered, with both journalists and public figures lambasting the prime minister for what seems like pure contempt for any form of criticism. Manuel Trajtenberg, who was appointed by Netanyahu in 2011 to head a committee that would recommend measures to overcome the 2011 social justice protests, and who is number 11 on the Zionist Camp list for the upcoming elections, responded to the prime minister on Twitter:

“For six years you deserted the Israeli public in a devastating economic reality. If you solve Iran like you solved housing, we won’t be here in six years.”

The Zionist Camp’s Stav Shaffir also responded to Netanyahu’s tweet, saying:

“Six years, and you only have one message for me and my generation: say thanks that you are alive and shut up. Sorry, Bibi, but our lives are worth much more than these excuses.”

Even right-wing journalists were surprised by Bibi’s attempt to divert attention. Elad Raveh, a literary critic for the right-wing Makor Rishon daily, responded:

“Wow the worst response ever.”

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    1. Yeah, Right

      Well, heck, who would have suspected that Netanyahu was a One Trick Pony?

      I’m shocked! Shocked!

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Of course you forget that Netanyahu proposed a radical solution to the housing crisis in 2010 which was shot done by the left in government. Hezi Sternlicht writes

        “There’s no single voice that rises up from the report and says: enough, kick out this branch from the state and transfer it to the private market. Minimum government interference, maximum private planning and building of apartments according to public needs alone. This was a reform pushed by Netanyahu In 2010, and crushed by the left, thwarted by an army of wheeler dealers and special interests and it’s a shame, shame, shame that we didn’t get it,”

        One might also ask what the other parties intend to do to solve the housing issue? Yair Lapid did not use his position as finance minister to make things better. What did Herzog or Livni do during their turns in government?

        Reply to Comment
    2. Bryan

      And what is Netanyahu doing to address the existential threats that ordinary Israelis face? (rental costs increasing from 29% to 38% of average income in the short period 2008-2013, the continual reduction in social services, the diversion of national wealth to arms manufacturers, religious fanatics and illegal settlers). He’s contradicting his own security services’ assessment of the danger from Iran, antagonizing previously supportive nations (e.g. Turkey, France, Saudi Arabia), engaging in cheap election stunts and undermining bipartisan support for Israel in the USA. And will he be reelected for a fourth term as PM? Yes because none of the dysfunctional Israeli political parties has a policy platform that is more constructive (or less destructive) than his Likud party.

      Reply to Comment
    3. James

      It is clear that Netanyahu has totally and completely lost any sense of reality and is locked in his obsessed mind about Iran!
      This is nothing to do with any real threat, nuclear or otherwise, it is all about the financial implications of Iran being able to have a voice and be heard in the west!

      Reply to Comment