Billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak on Wednesday announced the formation of a new social movement, named “Social Justice,” which he said could turn into a political party at any time, “based on the circumstances.”
During a press conference, the Russian-born business tycoon called for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government to be replaced, saying Israelis should support Likud leader Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu.
“Don’t vote for Olmert, don’t vote for Peretz – don’t even vote for Gaydamak. Vote for Bibi [Netanyahu],” Gaydamak said.
Why would I call this gesture obscene? Because to suggest that Benjamin Netanyahu is a progenitor of social justice is to stand reality on its head. Netanyahu’s economic policies have led to record poverty levels, including the highest rate of child poverty in the West, and levels of wealth inequality that come second only to America’s. Currently, 16 Israeli families control 20% of the nation’s wealth, while 22% percent of Israelis live below the poverty line, including 1 in 3 children. Netanyahu’s privatization schemes have, ultimately, failed to trickle down to the public. He is also responsible for the recent cuts in Holocaust survivor benefits, despite Israel’s ever-increasing piece of the reparations pie, as well as tax-cuts for the wealthiest members of Israeli society.
Two weeks ago I had the er…pleasure…of attending a dinner of the Conference of Presidents here in Jerusalem. There were all sorts of remarkable statements made by the likes of Irwin Kotler, Martin Kramer, Abe Foxman and Mort Klein that I’d looooove to tell you about, but refrain from doing so, so as to spare the employment of the young woman who unwittingly granted me access to the event (suffice to say, by the end of the evening I concluded that America’s Jewish leadership is going to get us all killed).
One gentleman who addressed the group, an Israeli general who has been in public service for several decades, stressed — with a wavering voice — that the greatest threat to Israel’s stability today is income inequality, and warned that if the current trend persists that it will tear the society apart from the inside out.
Sadly, our friends at the COP were much more interested in discussing Iran, Hamas and Jimmy Carter. However, I took his words to heart.
Economic growth is a golden calf. At the end of the day, it accomplishes little more than further padding the bank accounts of the egregiously wealthy. Bibi has helped make the rich richer at the expense of the working class, and has thusly driven Israelis into both deeper poverty and deeper debt.
If that’s social justice, I’m a monkey’s friggin’ uncle.
Gaydamak, mind you, is wanted in France for illegal arms trading, tax evasion and money laundering. None should stand idly by while this corrupt billionaire douchebag perverts the meaning of social justice.