The economic approach promoted by the Israeli government increased social disparities, eroded the middle class and exacerbated poverty. As of 2013, public expenditure, excluding defense expenditures and interest payments, amounts to 32.4% of Israel's GDP, while the OECD average is 44.1%. Most of the increase in poverty that was created in the last 15 years is among working families.
The initiative to establish the social alliance was born out of a strong need in many parts of the population in creating an alternative to the current socio-economic policy in Israel. Despite the fact that the socio-economic discourse has increased since the social protest of summer 2011, the debate was not expanded enough for the needs of the public. Therefore, in the past few months, the Macro Center for Political Economics, in collaboration with the Israeli office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, dealt with the establishment of the Israeli social alliance. Leading organizations in various fields will take part in the social alliance, in order to improve the socio-economic future of the country's citizens. We approached organizations and individuals from different fields, each with a touch in various fields related to Israel's society and economy.
There is no doubt that on the public agenda there are issues that require thorough treatment and we believe that it can be promoted with the cooperation of the various parties. The course of action is to create a melting pot which will bring change around a common platform. We invited people and organizations from across the social and economic political spectrum, to take part in the discussion on the future of Israel.
The defined goals of the social alliance:
- Establishing a “safe” expression space for organizations.
- Working on the basis of the broadest common denominator and shared values.
- Managing discussions within the framework, joined with other voices from the outside.
- Joint action, as part of the alliance in whole or in between several organizations.
- Creating connections between organizations with a common interest while overcoming political and personal obstacles.
The main emphasis of the alliance is identifying gaps in Israeli society and the means to reduce these gaps in order to improve the standard of living of the general population, in part by strengthening education, health, housing conditions and social services. In its first year, the alliance will seek to formulate its findings and submit them to decision makers and inform the general public, among other things, by using this book. The alliance will discuss two main issues, each of which will be dedicated a conference with many participants and high-ranking speakers.
The first conference on "The future of the Welfare State" was held on Friday the 13/06/2014 at ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The second conference was held on Friday the 05/09/2014 in the same place and discussed "The War in Gaza: Who is Paying the Price?".