Pensioners’ Plight Ignored: “Transparent Generation” Demands Action from Israeli Government

May 16, 2023

Hundreds of elderly Israeli citizens, representing the country’s one and a quarter million pensioners, staged a protest outside the Ministry of Finance in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning. Known as the “Three Transparent Monkeys” demonstration, the protest aimed to highlight the government’s failure to increase old-age pensions and the absence of provisions for pensioners in the new state budget.

The demonstration was led by Shmulik Mizrahi, chairman of the Histadrut of the Retirees, and CEO Ephraim Koren. They asserted that the government has adopted a dismissive attitude towards pensioners, who represent the founding generation of the state and its builders. The leaders likened the government’s stance to the famed “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” monkeys, implying an indifferent attitude towards the elderly as if they were “transparent” people.

Protestors made their sentiments clear by donning raincoats and transparent hats inscribed with messages such as “We are the transparent generation, we were good at fighting, paying taxes, establishing towns but they always forgot us.”

The Histadrut of the Pensioners is demanding an increase in old-age allowances, advocating for them to be linked to either the average salary or the index, while preserving the principle of universality. The organization has presented this position to members of the pensioners’ lobby, government ministers, and members of the Knesset.

The protest comes amid rising concerns about the state of elderly care and pension provisions in the country. With an ageing population and growing economic pressures, the issue of fair pension provision is becoming increasingly urgent. The “Three Transparent Monkeys” demonstration is a stark reminder of the government’s responsibility to address the concerns of this significant demographic.

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