Israel: poverty on the rise

This is a 2013 video about poverty in Israel.

By Rick Kelly:

Report reveals 1.6 million Israelis living in poverty

6 September 2006

Israel’s National Insurance Institute (NII) [which had trouble with its web site as I tried to access it. UPDATE 4 March 2007: the trouble seems to be solved] last week revealed another annual rise in the country’s poverty rate.

Nearly 100,000 people fell below the poverty line last year, raising the total number impoverished to more than 1.6 million, 24.7 percent of the total population.

At 35.2 percent, Israel now has the highest child poverty rate among advanced capitalist countries.

The figures demonstrate the depth of the social crisis in Israel, which will be further exacerbated by the government’s planned cuts to social spending in the aftermath of the war in Lebanon.

The NII, a governmental welfare body, attributed much of the rise in poverty to previous government cutbacks, particularly of child allowance payments.

From Poverty News Blog:

A Holocaust survivor’s support group has said 40% of survivors in Israel are living below the poverty line, Israel Radio has reported.

6 thoughts on “Israel: poverty on the rise

  1. Struggles and strangulation

    TOI-Billboard, September 9, 2006
    The Other Israel’s email updates

    –TOI’s selection of this week’s Occupation Magazine’s daily picks
    –Today’s pics (constantly renewed)


    We are preparing this Billboard in the hours before joining Gush Shalom in an effort to get its message to a much wider audience. Tonight, September 9, there will be a demonstration in Tel-Aviv’s Rabin Square for a Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the latest Lebanon War. Apparently big numbers will show up. Gush Shalom decided to go there and distribute leaflets. “Everybody speaks about a Commission of Inquiry, but not everybody thinks of the same. We think that it should be investigated why at all this terrible war was started, a war with a purpose impossible to achieve by force, and why it was continued during more than a month with a heavy price in blood and destruction on the two sides of the border.

    Meanwhile the air- and sea blockades of Lebanon were lifted, without return of captured soldiers, but the strangulation of the occupied territories, especially the “disengaged” Gaza Strip, remains.

    Here follows TOI’s selection of this week’s Occupation Magazine’s daily picks

    Action related:

    Following a Visit to the Gaza Strip, PHR-Israel warns: Humanitarian Disaster in the Gaza Strip
    Physicians for Human Rights-Israel – Israel – ” The medical staff met patients that do not have treatment in Gaza and are sentenced to a slow death as they cannot go for treatment in Israel or in Egypt…A routine of collective punishment and killing of civilians: There were cases of people who were not critically injured but who died from loss of blood at the scene of the attack. Moreover, people who tried to help others were harmed themselves during the evacuation process. There is hunger in Gaza- the delegation met with women and children in states of malnutrition. Streets and homes were completely destroyed for no apparent reason. In the hospital morgues the delegation saw charcoaled and shredded bodies. ”

    Campaign against expulsion of foreign passport holders
    Sam Bahour/Ramesh Prakashvelu /Hilary Leila Krieger – IPCRI/Jerusalem Post – In recent months the occupation authorities are denying to Palestinian residents, holders of foreign passports the right to Entry/Re-Entry to the West Bank, including people who had lived there for decades and who have there their homes, spouses, children and in some cases grandchildren. A campaign against this blatant injustice kicked off this week.

    Peace Now demo at Gaza entrance calling for talks
    Daniel Ofir-Peace Now website – “The activists wore blue helmets, like that of the UN uniform, in order to send the message that to the Gaza Strip no international force will be coming to save the day and the government has to take it upon itself to end the conflict through negotiations.”

    Bil`in: another weekend of routine army violence
    Saed Bannoura/ISM Media office/Ilan Shalif – IMEMC/ISM/ANARKISMO -“As the 100-strong march from the mosque reached the edge of the village the army blocked the road and, after announcing on a megaphone that the area was a closed military zone, proceeded to beat with batons those who didn’t withdraw.”

    One blow to the brain (interview with 12.8 wounded Bil`in protester)
    Dalia Karpel – Haaretz – [editor`s comment: The severe wounding of activist Limor Goldstein during the weekly anti-Wall protest in Bil`in, August 12, happened during the last days of the Lebanon war when lives were thrown away to create last moment “accomplished facts”. This interview shows how the Lebanon ruthlessness spilled over into the West Bank. A.K.]

    Pedalling from Syria, `Peace Cyclysts` in trouble at Allenby Bridge
    Laura Abraham – – The cyclists left Damascus 3 days ago and toured the Palestinian refugee camps in the south of Syria before entering Jordan. In both Middle East countries, as in Europe, the group enjoyed courteous treatment and a warm welcome. The climate changed dramatically, however, once they reached the border between Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian West Bank.

    Free Dr. Rifqa elJa’abri
    Women`s Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP) Newsletter – “Right after the first kidnapping in June, all the political prisoners (women and men) were forbidden family visits. After about six weeks, …allowed visits, but only for family members over 45 or under 16 years old. This permission didn`t help most of the prisoners` families who couldn`t visit the prison anyway, because of the strict closure imposed on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

    B`Tselem and Bimkom fighting settlers at the stock market
    B`Tselem report – – Naot Hapisga, a settler-owned construction company building on the confiscated land of Bil`in and other Palestinian villages, tried to raise capital on the Tel-Aviv stock market, but the B`Tselem`s and Bimkom human rights organizations found grave “inaccuracies” in the prospectus they published. The settlers published a second prospectus, but it was not free of error, either…

    Amy Goodman on Democracy Now interviews Yonatan Shapira
    “Yonatan is a former captain in the Israeli Air Force Reserves. In 2003 he initiated a group of Israeli Air Force pilots to sign a declaration refusing to participate in aerial attacks on the Palestinian territories.”


    Israel continues banning Gazans from studying in West Bank
    Amos Harel- Haaretz – “Hundreds of Palestinian students whom Israel has prevented from continuing studies in West Bank universities for the past six years have recently petitioned the High Court of Justice to instruct the state to allow them to complete their studies. The petition was supported by Israeli professors, who protested the infringement on the students` freedom to study.”

    The First Post-Zionist War
    Roni Ben Efrat – Challenge – “If there`s a single ray of light from this war, it is that it has sharpened the alternatives before which Israel stands. Unilateral solutions, based on military superiority, are no longer viable. In the end, the country will have to decide on a direction. A peace treaty with Syria and Lebanon will not solve the conflict at its root. The question of questions, on which Israel has stumbled time and again, remains that of the Palestinians.”

    Second Madrid Conference – Now!
    Yossi Beilin – Forward – “The fate of the Middle East, over which recent events in both Gaza and Lebanon cast a foreboding shadow, is dependent on five weak leaders.

    Mind the gap
    Ghassan Khatib-bitterlemons-The differences in the two narratives are very deep and serious. They encompass the whole array of historical, religious, cultural and political facets of the conflict
    New Orientalism`s `barbarians` and `outlaws`
    Alastair Crooke – The Daily Star – “Since the “new barbarians” live outside of civilization, civilized rules no longer apply to them: if “they” win elections they can still not be part of “us” – office holders and parliamentarians can be abducted and interned without a murmur; members of “barbarian” movements can be arrested and taken away for imprisonment and torture in other countries, and barbarian leaders, whether or not legitimately elected, can be assassinated at the pleasure of Western leaders.

    Occupation Magazine (articles and action news, look at it daily – includes a useful archive)

    ISM website (informing especially about joint Palestinian-Israeli-international anti-Wall struggle in the villages)

    Robert Rosenberg’s summary of “peace” issues in the Israeli media (on workdays) (a variety of papers, followed dayly by Shadi Fadda) (Palestinian press agency, including own research) (Palestinian on-line News agency that publishes news and articles in English from it’s own as well as other sources, including from the Hebrew press)

    TOI-Billboard current issue
    TOI-Billboard archive

    TOI-Billboard is the ‘ezine’ of the independent THE OTHER ISRAEL bi-monthly peace newsletter, existing since 1983, and published by its editors Adam Keller & Beate Zilversmidt.


  2. An Invitation to the Public from the Members of the Al Okbi Tribe

    A Traditional Bedouin Sowing Day in the Negev

    Saturday, December 16, 2006 at 11:00 a.m.

    The Al Okbi tribe is honored to invite the public to take part in a traditional Bedouin sowing day on the lands of the Al Arakib family (located approximately 5 kilometers south of Rahat). During the day, we will plant 200 dunam of wheat using a traditional hand-planting method. The participants will receive explanations concerning how the planting is done, and afterwards, will be able to also take part in the planting.

    Every year, the Israel Land Authority destroyed thousands of dunam of wheat and barley crops in the fields that have belonged for generations to Bedouin families. The Land Authority claims that these lands belong to the State, after the lands were expropriated by the State in the 1950s without entering into negotiations with the families concerning their ownership of the lands.

    For generations, members of the Al Okbi tribe have lived and worked on their lands in Al Arakib (which has approximately 19,000 dunam). In 1951 the IDF announced to Sheik Al Okbi that the tribe would have to move to the Hura area, which is located 20 kilometers to the east, for “security reasons.” The tribe was promised that they would be able to return to their lands in 6 months time; that promise has never been kept. In 1953 the “Land Acquisition Law” was passed and made it possible for the State to expropriate unsettled lands. Since the Al Okbi tribe had been moved, their lands in Al Arakib were expropriated and listed as part of the Development Authority. The tribe lives in Hura to this day in very difficult condition, and in spite of the fact that State authorities moved them to Hura, their village is considered to be “unrecognized.” As a result, the village has no basic services such as electricity, garbage removal, access roads, and sewage system. The houses are pegged for demolition. The crops in the field that we will plant will provide financial support for many members of the families.

    Transportation from Tel Aviv: Arlozerov Train Station, El-Al terminal, at 9:00 a.m (please contact Amos for details – 052-6035685)

    Meeting point: Lehavim junction, in the direction of Rahat, at 11:00 a.m.

    In case that the ILA will try to stop the activity we will hold a rally in Al Arakib.

    The public is invited to participate in the planting.

    This is an activity that children can take part in as well. We recommend that you bring water and a light lunch.


  3. From the Google cache:

    3/27/06 at 8:26PM (2w2d ago)

    Mood: Looking Playing: Give peace a chance, by John Lennon

    At today’s elections in Israel, the Kadima party, of Prime Minister in coma Ariel Sharon, is expected, according to exit polls, to get 29-32 seats out of 125 total.

    This is much less than the polls and the pundits expected.

    Apparently, you can fool some people all of the time, and all people some of the time, but not all people all of the time.

    A party with no platform, no party executive, only with a party founder, who then gets into a coma, is less attractive than some people thought.

    The Labour Party, with its comparatively Leftist trade unionist Morocco born new leader Amir Peretz, gets 20-22 seats.

    Better than expectations, considering many of its Right wingers like former leader Shimon Peres, had defected to Kadima.

    Even if Labour would now betray many of its Left voters by helping Kadima’s new leader Ehud Olmert to become Prime Minister, that would in itself not be enough for a majority in Parliament.

    Ex Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, a contact with some far Rightists in the USA, failed miserably: as his Likud, which used to be biggest party, now is said to get only about 11 seats.

    Less even than in the 1950’s, when Likud’s predecessor Herut was considered a lunatic fringe party.

    On the hard Right, he was overtaken by the ethnic Russian party of Lieberman, supposed to get about 14 seats.

    The new Pensioners party is supposed to get seven seats from scratch.

    A sign that many people in Israel are fed up with runaway cowboy capitalist policies and social inequality.


  4. Uri Avnery

    What the hell has happened?

    Hebrew attached / נוסח עברי

    THE MOST dramatic and the most boring election campaign in our history has mercifully come to an end. Israel looks in the mirror and asks itself: What the hell has happened?

    On the way to the ballot box, in the center of Tel-Aviv, I could not detect the slightest sign that this was election day. Generally, elections in Israel are a passionate affair. Posters everywhere, thousands of slogan-covered cars rushing around ferrying voters to the ballot stations, a lot of noise.

    This time – nothing. An eerie silence. Less than two thirds of the registered citizens did actually take the trouble to vote. Politicians of all stripes are detested, democracy despised among the young, whole sectors estranged. Those who decided not to vote, but at the last moment relented, voted for the Pensioners’ List, which jumped from nothing to an astonishing seven seats.

    This was a real protest vote. Even young people told themselves: Instead of throwing our vote away, let’s do them a favor. Old people, sick people (including the terminally ill), handicapped people and the entire health and education systems were the victims of the Thatcherite economic policies of Netanyahu, backed by Sharon, which Shimon Peres (of all people) called “swinish”.

    That vote was a curiosity. But what happened in the main arena?

    AT THE beginning of the campaign I wrote that the whole of the political system was moving to the left.

    Many thought that that was wishful thinking, sadly removed from reality. Now it has actually happened.

    The main result of these elections is that the hold of the nationalistic-religi ous bloc, which has dominated Israel for more than a generation, has been broken. All those who announced that the Left is dead and that Israel is condemned to right-wing rule for a long, long time have been proved wrong.

    All the right-wing parties together won 32* seats, the religious parties 19. With 51 of the 120 seats in the Knesset, the rightist-religious wing cannot block all moves towards peace any more.

    This is a turning point. The dream of a Greater Israel, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, is dead.

    Significantly, the “National Union”, the party that is completely identified with the settlers, has won only 9 seats – more or less like last time. After all the heart-rending drama of the destruction of the Gaza settlements, the settlers remain as unpopular as ever. They have lost the decisive battle for public opinion.

    Netanyahu declared that the elections were going to be a “national referendum” on the withdrawal from the West Bank. Well. It was – and the public overwhelmingly voted “Yes”.

    The main victim is Netanyahu himself. The Likud has collapsed. For the first time since its founding by Ariel Sharon in 1973, it has been subjected to the humiliation of being the fifth (!) party in the Knesset.

    The heartfelt joy about this rout of the Right is tempered by a very dangerous development: the rise of Avigdor Lieberman’s “Israel our Home” party, a mutation of the Right with openly fascist tendencies.

    Lieberman, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union and himself a settler, draws his main strength from the “Russian” community, which is almost uniformly extremely nationalistic. He calls for the expulsion of all Arabs (a fifth of Israel’s population), ostensibly in a swap of territories, but the message is clear. There are also the usual hallmarks of such a party: the cult of the Leader, a call for “law and order”, intense hatred for “the enemy” both within and without. This man got 12 seats and has overtaken Netanyahu. His main slogan “Da Lieberman” (“Yes Lieberman” in Russian) reminds one of similar historical salutes.

    For those who are interested: the fascist group that called for my murder as part of their election program has failed to attain the 2% necessary to gain entry into the Knesset. But, of course, an assassin does not need 2% to follow such a call. (I would like to use this occasion to express my heartfelt thanks to all those around the world who expressed their solidarity.)

    THE JOYFUL scenes at the Labor Party’s Headquarters may seem at first glance exaggerated. After all, the party got only 20 seats, as against 19 last time (to which must be added the three of the small party led by Amir Peretz at the time). But the numbers do not tell the whole story.

    First of all, the political implications are far-reaching. In parliament, it is not only the raw numbers which count, but also their location on the political map. In the next Knesset, any coalition without the Labor Party has become impractical, if not completely impossible. Amir Peretz is going to be the most important person in the next cabinet, after Ehud Olmert.

    But there is more to it than that. Peretz, the first “oriental” Jewish leader of any major Israeli party, has overcome the historic rejection of Labor by the immigrants from Muslim countries and their offspring. He has destroyed the established equation of Oriental = poor = Right as against Ashkenazi = well-to-do = Left.

    This has not yet found its full expression in the voting. The increase in Oriental voters for Labor has been only incremental. But no one who has seen how Peretz was received in the open markets, until now fortresses of the Likud, can have any doubt that something fundamental has changed.

    And most important, when Peretz arrived on the scene, hardly three months ago, Labor was a walking corpse. Now it is alive, vibrant, hungry for action. It’s called leadership, and it’s there. Peretz is on his way to being a viable candidate for Prime Minister in the next elections. Until then, he certainly will have a major impact both on social affairs and the peace process.

    THAT IS, of course, the main question: Can the next government bring us closer to peace?

    Kadima has won the elections, but is not happy. When it was founded by Sharon, it expected 45 seats. The sky was the limit. Now it has to be satisfied with a measly 28 seats, enough to head the government but not enough to dictate policy.

    In his victory speech, Olmert called on Mahmoud Abbas to make peace. But this is an empty gesture. No Palestinian could possibly accept the terms Olmert has in mind. So, if the Palestinians don’t show that they are “partners”, Olmert wants to “establish Israel’s permanent borders unilaterally”, meaning that he wants to annex something between 15% and 50% of the West Bank.

    It is doubtful whether Peretz can impose another policy. Possibly, the whole question will be postponed, under the pretext that the social crisis has to be addressed first. In the meantime, the fight against the Palestinians will go on.

    It is up to the peace movement to change this. The elections show that Israeli public opinion wants an end to the conflict, that it rejects the dreams of the settlers and their allies, that it seeks a solution. We have contributed to this change. Now it is our job to show that Olmert’s unilateral peace is no peace at all and will not lead to a solution.

    On our election day, the new Palestinian government was confirmed by its Parliament. With this government we can and must negotiate. At the moment, the majority in Israel is not yet ready for that. But the election results show that we are on the way.
    ——————– ————-
    * All numbers mentioned in this article are those published with 97% of the votes counted. There may be slight changes in the final count.

    61033 p.o.b. 3322 Tel Aviv GUSH SHALOM


  5. Pingback: Lebanon: ‘more people will die from war pollution than from war itself’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Racism in Israel, new report | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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