Monday, January 12, 2009

Israel's Welfare Payments

Update: This is ranked high on Google searching for "Israeli welfare" and the like; I should probably just do my Israel blogging here and give up the "Yehudata" blog

Apparently without context, pointing out that both the ultra-Orthodox and Arab parties in the Knesset have generally been staunchly pro-welfare payments is racist.

So here's the context.

Israel's parliament passed an emergency economic plan Thursday, ending a three-month struggle between the Ministry of Finance and the country's main trade union federation over the future of the Israeli welfare state.

The plan, passed by a large majority, cuts $2.3 billion from the $45 billion state budget.
Particularly hard-hit are child allowances for large families - mostly ultra-orthodox Jews and Israeli-Arabs - which will fall by 70 percent over the next seven years, and public-sector employees, who will see an average 4 percent wage cut in 2003 and 2004. (Associated Press Online, May 29, 2003)

Israel had cut child allowances (which we in the United States in our strong allegiance to the free market commonly refer to as "welfare") for large families as a result of a push by Netanyahu. Large families in Israel are overwhelmingly either ultra-Orthodox Jews or Israeli-Arabs.