MK Azulai, "a slave of the public". Who will tell him that in the State of Israel there are hundreds of thousands of slaves who earn only 6.00 shekels a month? (Photo: Knesset Spokesperson, Dani Shem Tov)
If I were Member of Knesset Yanon Azoulai from Shas, I would go today among the homes of hundreds of thousands of my voters, many of them from the weaker strata of Israeli society - and ask them for forgiveness. Then I would go to the recipients of the old age pensions (who received a monthly increase of NIS 84) and ask I forgive them too. Then I would go to the recipients of the disability allowances and the income security - and ask them to forget the nonsense that came out of the mouth of a person who earns NIS 47,000 a month.
It will be said immediately: A person, even if he is an elected official, can certainly be a loyal representative of the weaker sections even if is not poor himself. There are quite a few examples in history of people who were established on a personal level, but socially involved in caring for the weak.
Moreover, it seems to me that there is no precedent in public history for a person who requires a lot of money, more than four times the average wage in the economy and more than eight times the minimum wage, so that he can to mobilize entirely for the sake of the poor.
This is exactly what Shas MK Yanon Azoulai did yesterday, during a discussion on the salaries of Knesset members.
He did it passionately, without feeling that he was standing on the springboard and doing it over the heads of all of us, especially his constituents, some of whom work harder than him and earn pennies, under the auspices of the government in which Azoulai is a member.
You are looking at the best workplace in the world: NIS 47,000 + expenses, there is no obligation to attend, but there are plenty of breaks (photo: official website, Knesset website)
We will soon return to Shas' history of caring for the weak, but first a few words about the salary of Knesset members, which was updated this month from NIS 45,000 to NIS 47,000. An increase of NIS 2,000.
It may be that Knesset members do deserve the increase, but it is very possible that they do not. Why not? Here are just a few main reasons:
some of them benefit, in addition to their salary, from other sources of income, such as income-generating property, active businesses, etc. There are of course also quite a few, although not in the Shas, who receive full pensions for their military service, which damage their wages as elected officials.
But these are the good ones - they at least served in the IDF, the police or the security forces for many years, what about the others? Well, they enjoy significant financial benefits in the section known as "contact with the voter".
They are also entitled to parliamentary assistants, a bureau and more. Here and there When they stay overnight in the capital, he will also find a luxurious hotel room for them at the expense of the state,
But that's not even the point: the Israeli Knesset is probably the best workplace in the world, with long breaks, no mandatory attendance (a prolonged absence will earn you at most a reprimand) and we haven't said anything about election campaigns, a matter that has become an annual event in Israel, which adds more idle days in salary
There will be those who say that the MKs work hard even when they are out of the Knesset, but even if that is true, it is a true expression of their desire to be re-elected, the main occupation of our elected officials. And what happens when they are not successful? Short tenures, the kind of conditions that we, the average citizens, will not reach even after decades of work.
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Once the jacuzzi, once the holiday home.
Two things that no poor person in the State of Israel does not know.
Shas Party Chairman (Photo: Reuven Castro)
If it was a member of the Knesset from the social right, it would be fine, but when it comes to the most left-wing party - as far as the economic-social issue is concerned, the party that boasts of being here for the weak, it is impossible not to go crazy.
Let's start by saying that you don't have to be incompetent or earn starvation wages in order not to feel disgusted by MK Azoulai's complaint that he barely earns NIS 20,000 net per month, not only because his gross salary of NIS 47,000 remains more respectable - and not even because in the case of MKs are almost always talking about money that goes directly to the bank account (after many expenses associated with their position are paid to them from other sources), not even just because all kinds of benefits such as flights abroad, for example, will always be done as part of a well-financed "parliamentary delegation" at the expense of Someone else.
Even if we treat things as they are, it's hard not to be angry with MK Azoulai: take for example a senior employee in the State of Israel, one who earns twice the average wage in the economy. Well, even he earns less than half of a member of the Knesset, so don't tell me how poor he is and how much he is a "slave" of the public" (in his own words), because if he were to take his head out of the Mishkan, he would see a lot of small wage earners and self-employed people, some of them even Shas voters, who are someone's "slaves" for a much more modest salary.
Shas members in the President's House. If this is how they talk in a party that is supposed to serve the weak here, what will they say in other parties? (Photo: Reuven Castro)
A history of "making it their home", not always within the framework of the law
But more than anything, it's hard to get rid of the impression that those who called themselves weak here, did quite well in life.
Sometimes by law, sometimes by the wrong way: Yair Levy, Aryeh Deri, Raphael Panahsi and Shlomo Benizri, are names that are familiar not only to fans of current affairs but also to crime writers.
Here they appointed close associates, there they took care of some relative - and sometimes they put their hand in the public purse.
Aryeh Deri, for example, was convicted the first time in the context of building a jacuzzi in his home and the second time in the context of the construction of Kate's house, as we know - two basic consumer goods in every poor person's home.
So let's go back to the beginning: I don't think that everyone who speaks on behalf of the poor must be poor themselves, but I'm pretty sure that in a country where there are so many wage slaves, sometimes at minimum wage, there is a reason to fault (that's the gentlest expression I could muster) a public figure who claims ( in the name of the weak!) that he deserves to earn more than NIS 47,000 a month, for a job of several months a year.
The salary of the MKs
Old age pension