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Friday, August 26, 2011

Poor little rich girl coming into conflict with more sensible protesters

For six weeks, the media has done its darnedest to keep a lid on a simmering conflict between Kfar Shmaryahu poor little rich girl Daphne Leef and her friends, on the one hand, and the real social protesters who have something at stake aside from a Tel Aviv luxury apartment rental on the other hand. The real social protesters seem to be quite sensible and don't believe that the country's budget has to be busted and its defenses gutted to fix what's wrong. But Israel's Leftist media (much of which is controlled by the 'tycoons') is only interested in Leef and her friends.
Nonetheless, 44-year-old Attorney Yaniv Moyal of Tel Aviv said that the social issues movement has suffered because of the emphasis placed upon 26-year-old Daphni Leef and her friends, after Leef started the protest with a call she put out on Facebook group she created on July 14th.

One of the founders of an alternative tent protest leadership group called “Protest Tents: The National Leadership,” Moyal said the group was founded in the second week of the protests because "we felt that there should be some sort of sane voice to the protests. Other people in the movement are saying that they won't talk to the government t they just want to yell slogans like 'social justice', but how do you calibrate that? They need to speak logically and with more content to what they're saying. We believe that the way is to talk with decision makers and not to say that we won't talk to them."

Though as the member of a rival protest group Moyal would have a vested interest in criticizing the Leef-led core of protesters, his criticism is based largely on what he says has been the media's anointing of Leef and her close circle of friends as some sort of protest royalty in spite of what he says is their lack of experience or clearly defined goals or demands.

"Ever since week 2 of the protests we've had a set of concrete steps laid out and the media has decided to ignore us because they thought we'd ruin the momentum by coming out against the people who started the protests."

"They've [the media] made her [Leef] out to be some sort of god and then this movement broke out all over the country dealing with the government decisions affecting the entire country. The problems we're dealing with are about a worldview in regard to society."

In regard to whether or not Leef and others are inexperienced for the task at hand, he said "just because a child can yell that the emperor is naked doesn't mean that same child has the ability to sew the emperor a new set of clothes."

He also said that he didn't trust the decision-making process or motivations of Stav Shafir and Regev Kuntas two members of Leef's inner circle, saying "I have no idea what their interests are but I think they're just to bring down the government and if we do that, we'll have elections again and woe unto us."

When asked about Leef's announcement that the Trajtenberg committee should resign, he said "this is the approach of a little girl who wants all of these people to resign. The Trajtenberg committee said they won't recommend breaking the national budget, and you can try to influence them or talk to them, but not just call for them to be dissolved."

He added that while it has been his experience in Israel that founding a committee is typically a way for the government to shut up an issue, he does not believe that is the case with the Trajtenberg committee.

Moyal said he and his organization do not stand alone in their dissatisfaction with Leef and her inner circle, saying "no one supports the fact that we are in the sixth week of these protests and haven’t demanded anything or achieved anything and laid out any real demands."

"There are more than a thousand sources of money in this country that we don’t implement because of the financial interests of the wealthy. We are being run by oligarchs. There is NIS 32 billion that we could raise each year by changing the tax code for the w3ealthy. We don’t need to break the budget.
The government and the Finance Ministry should be talking to these people and not to the poor little rich girl, the New Israel Fund filmmaker Daphne Leef. There's probably a deal to be had and it may even be for the good of the country.

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