Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week presented his plan to stimulate the flagging Israeli economy by passing out grants to all citizens. Families with at least three children will receive 3,000 shekels ($872), those with one or two children will get 2,000 ($581), and everyone else will have 750 ($218) deposited in their bank accounts.
The idea is for Israelis to quickly spend this cash at local businesses to inject billions in revenue into the economy.
But Netanyahu was harshly criticized for the scheme by those who claimed it was a populist move ahead of possible early elections, and one that the state treasury could hardly afford. Many, including Calcalist reporter Etty Aflalo also skewered the prime minister over granting the same amount of money to everyone, including those Israelis who are already too wealthy to care.
“Money for everyone…” Aflalo tweeted derisively along with a link to her report on the plan.
But the idea was not actually Netanyahu’s. A week earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has similarly decided to distribute 500 pounds to every UK citizen to quickly blow on impulse purchases in order to stimulate their economy.
And when news of Johnson’s move hit social media, Aflalo seemed in favor, tweeting: “How do you restart the wheels of economy? This is how it’s done in the UK.”
In Netanyahu’s own post, he compared Aflalo’s two posts, which came less than a week apart, with the captions “When Britain does it” verses “When Netanyahu does it.” The prime minister sarcastically told his followers to “look surprised.”
תיראו מופתעים… pic.twitter.com/vEMQwi3Ygm
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) July 16, 2020