Netanyahu and Kahlon Tussle Over Disabled Stipends as Protests Resume

YERUSHALAYIM -

As normal traffic returned to Israel’s streets and highways after Rosh Hashana and Shabbos, so did the disabled who resumed their campaign of blocking main arteries to protest stipends below the minimum wage.

The northbound Coastal Highway was blocked by the protestors near the Yakum Interchange on Sunday afternoon. In the morning, southbound Ayalon Highway was blocked near the KKL Interchange. Traffic was disrupted for about two hours, according to Ynet.

The police, who have until now not interfered with the protesters, informed the organizers of the demonstrations that from here on they will enforce the traffic laws.

Meanwhile, representatives from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon have been at odds over the issue, according to Globes on Sunday.

For Netanyahu, National Economic Council Professor Avi Simhon argues against linking future increases in disabled pensions to the minimum wage, and is in favor of setting differentiated stipends corresponding to the degree of disability.

For Kahlon, Professor Yaron Zelekha argues the opposite; for minimum wage benefits and equal benefits regardless of degree of disability.

The two sides are expected to reach a compromise soon, as pressure on them mounts to resolve the issue, which has festered for months on the roads and in the public eye.

On Sunday, Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn announced a campaign for the disabled in nationwide billboards, newspaper and bus ads.