A state in decline

Yossi Melman, Washington Post Post Global, January 2:

Globalization’s influence on Israel is rarely mentioned in the international media but is of great interest to the Israeli public – far more than Iran or the troubles with the Palestinians. The trends of globalization -the taking over of state assets by Israel’s “Robber Barons”, the widening gap between rich and poor and the widespread corruption at all levels of society – are affecting our daily life for the worse.

Israel’s Social Security Institute defines the poverty line as an income of 1,744 shekels (US$400) per month per individual, or 4,361 shekels (US$1100) per family of four. One and half million people, or 20 percent of the population, live under the poverty line. That means that thirty-four percent of Israeli children live in poverty.

Fewer and fewer financial resources are allocated to public education, health, transportation and infrastructure. More and more go to the wealthy through tax cuts and other benefits aimed to protect capital gains.

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