Israel's parliament debates street protests

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Israel's parliament debates street protests

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Israel’s parliament interrupted its summer recess on Tuesday to debate protests against high living costs.

However, the majority of Israeli legislators failed to show up.

The Knesset was virtually empty and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was visiting the construction site of a new train line.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, of the centrist Kadima party, accused Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition of “foot-dragging” in tackling the protesters’ concerns about taxes and the cost of housing.

“They studied in schools and universities because their parents told them that if they excelled, they would succeed in life,” Livni said in her speech.

“So they did well in their studies, but they feel that their life has not turned into the success story they dreamed of.”

The Israeli protests have drawn hundreds of thousands to the streets since mid-July.

Netanyahu has promised “substantial changes” to help struggling Israelis. But he has also warned against expanding public spending in the midst of a global economic crisis.