3. Claim: Israel’s public systems are seen as mistrusted, not transparent, and not serving the public good. – By the Israeli public
- a. Mistrust and Disappointment: There is a deep disappointment among the Israeli public that their government is not invested in their issues. The public feels that they work for their country, serve in the army, and pay taxes without knowing that their government will serve them in turn. This is a claim targeted against the State of Israel at large, not an accusation against a particular leader or government. In a survey of the Israeli public on their satisfaction with their public services, on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 being the most satisfied, 1 being the least), the average answer was 3.06, with even lower scores in areas like education, welfare, and the police force. 1.7 was the average score for trust of politicians and political parties. The fact that high-ranking Israeli officials have been tried and convicted of corruption and misuse of public trust only strengthens the mistrust and disappointment among the public.
One of the main claims of the protesters is that Israel lacks a proportionate social contract between the government and its citizens. In a state where the middle class pays high direct and indirect taxes, where the citizens are asked for a mandatory three years of army service and yearly reserve duty, in which citizens live in a constant state of security threat, the state needs to be giving the citizens more. The social contract must be mutually beneficial. The outcry raised by the protesters is fueled by a deep and long-carried frustration that they simply can no longer carry the burden of their obligations and service toIsrael without getting anything in return.
Sign reads: “Tycoons, get off my back!”Wealth = Government (הון=שלטון): The public feels that the leadership acts in the interest of select groups and unions, even when it is against the interest of the wider public, with no accountability towards transparency or reporting to the public. The strong connections between politicians, high-ranking clerks, and private entrepreneurs prevent any reform or true competition in Israeli market. (For example, the Electric Company union, the Port Labor union (פועלי הנמל), and other strong union bodies have leadership that is often connected to political parties.) This feeling is strengthened by the significant privatization of public assets. Public resources such as banks or public assets such as beaches which were built and nurtured in the early years of the State by Israeli taxpayers, have become privatized to such an extent that private entrepreneurs hold a monopoly over the entire market. In 2010, The Knesset research department issued findings that the Israeli economy is highly concentrated, with 10 large business groups owning 30% of the total Israeli market value, combined with cross holdings on major market branches (Banking, Media, Insurance and more). These wealthy individuals make tremendous fortunes on the backs of the public, without being held accountable to the constituents. (Example: the salaries of bank managers are exorbitant, while people pay fees they can’t afford on every transaction they make.)