Elections Countdown: Growing domestic discontent in Israel in lead-up to September election
Updated 22:46, 03-Aug-2019
Israel is gearing up for its second general election in five months.
But voters remain deeply divided and the country is stuck in what's being described as political paralysis.
CGTN's Stephanie Freid explains.
It's Monday night and demonstraters are blocking the city streets.
It seems every few days, disgruntled Israelis are blocking junctions and highways demonstrating against racism, government corruption, disability stipends, a plan to draft religious Jews into the army.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is blazing paths when it comes to forging new international ties and agreements at home, the report card is less favorable.
YEHUDA BEN MEIR FORMER DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, TEL AVIV "MR. Netanyahu's problems, when you want to give him an appraisal, is in the domestic area. There's no question about it."
The problems include a slowing economic output or GDP rate per person during the past half decade.
Food and cost of living expenses are twenty-five to seventy-five percent higher than the OECD average.
Critical congestion is hurting productivity.
Some of the highest car purchase and fuel tax rates anywhere.
STEPHANIE FREID TEL AVIV "Protests happen throughout the world every day. In Israel, if there's not a change now, the experts say down the pike the country is headed for serious trouble."
A key issue is education and critical defense spending - in Israel, the two are linked.
DAN BEN-DAVID, PRESIDENT SHORESH INSTITUTE FOR SOCIOECONOMIC RESEARCH, TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY "About half the children in Israel today are getting a third-world education. They belong to the fastest-growing parts of the population. When they grow up they are only going to be able to support a third world economy - a third world economy cannot support a first-world army."
Israel's leaders have a history of fixing economic, defense and political crises under pressure. That may be what's needed to maintain stability and keep protesters off the streets.