Tuesday October 13, 2015
Israel Hayom
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Sa'ar: Likud concerned about high left-wing voter turnout
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Mordechai Gilat

Israelis must think big

The campaign may have looked like one big sleeping pill, but voters are still concerned over a whole host of issues. The following is a quick rundown of some of what Israelis want as part of their desire to live in an enlightened and properly governed state.

• That this election will see a high voter turnout and that hundreds of thousands of secular Israelis would, just for a day, think about the general good, overcome their apathy and stop whining about how all hope is lost. They are wrong, and the doom and gloom they offer is unwarranted.

• That those indifferent secular people take a page from the ultra-Orthodox, who vote in large numbers. They too must realize that they can effect change, however modest, and determine their fate and the state's future. They must not forfeit that right.

• That the new Knesset will have a majority that shuns criminals and other veterans of the underworld who want access to the halls of power and that the government finally embraces the stalled legislation to close this terrible loophole.

• That the Justice Ministry, the Public Security Ministry, the Judges Selection Committee and the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee not be run by a party that takes its cues from a police suspect or a criminal defendant. Such an insane situation must not be allowed to continue.

• That the Knesset have a clear majority to safeguard the Supreme Court and preserve its independence and the independent nature of the entire law enforcement apparatus. The justice system lies at the heart of who we are: it is the chief gatekeeper of our democracy; without law enforcement, our state would essentially cease to exist.

• That the state launches an all-out war on under-the-table transactions, not just those carried out by plumbers and repairmen. The main focus should be on the white- and blue-collar crime families. The state should penetrate that jungle and lay its hands on its hidden treasures. How much money are we talking about? Billions of shekels. If we will it, we can find so much of what is needed for education, social services and healthcare. That jungle has a pool of cash so deep you won't be able to see its bottom on a clear day.

• That the new government starts slashing the extra fat that has accumulated in the defense budget and takes a courageous stance by declaring that military expenditures are not a scared cow. It's about time.

• That Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer reduces many of the outrageous fees the banks charge; that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu preside over the long-overdue overhaul in the Israel Land Administration, as he promised he would this week; the countless number of young Israelis who lack the means might then be able to buy apartments. Even if they only come closer to realizing this dream, this would still be progress.

• That top executives in the public sector won't get a monthly salary of 500,000 shekels ($133,840), a million shekels ($267,673) or 1.5 million shekels ($401,520); this insane, unacceptable, behavior must cease. The bill prohibiting the top earners from taking home a salary that is more than 50 times higher than the lowest wage should be taken out of deep freeze by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation and moved forward.

And all this is just for starters. There are other issues on the docket. A more just sharing of the military burden is needed. We need lawmakers who would prevent anti-free-speech legislation. And there are all those delirious, crazy and racist candidates that neither the Left nor the Right want to see in the Knesset. In other words, you must go out and vote. On Tuesday, Israelis can have their voices heard and influence their lives. All this is not beyond our reach.

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