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Thousands Rally for ‘Israeli New Deal’

The leaders of last summer’s cost-of-living protest have joined forces with members of the business community and academia to put together a social justice covenant.

The document features two basic principles: the elimination of inequality and poverty and gradual increases in the state budget “to get the wheels of development moving for all the country’s citizens.”

Signatories include protest leader Stav Shaffir and Histadrut labor federation chief Ofer Eini, as well as professors Yossi Yonah and Avia Spivak, who have advised the protest movement.

The covenant calls for an improvement in living standards and the environment, and seeks upgraded public services. It proposes an increase in the government’s share of gross domestic product, and greater “access to services [providing] health, education, housing, social welfare, personal safety and transportation.” It also wants to eliminate gaps between the center of the country and outlying areas, and to greatly increase the public housing stock.

“[Last] summer’s protest put key problems on the agenda such as the distribution of capital, earning a livelihood and social justice,” said Uri Matoki of the umbrella group Forum for Social Justice.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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