A wonkish TV show on Israel’s economy has struck a nerve in a country that usually reserves its fervor for debates about war and peace, giving new ammunition to opponents of government policies.
In the midst of flaring violence with the Palestinians, about one in eight Israelis tuned in to the three-part Silver Platter program, testimony to the depth of the discontent with the economy. The show’s main focus — the evils of concentrating too much financial power in a small number of hands — is a theme Israelis can warm to. Even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it’s helped to send the cost of living higher than the average in developed countries.
“Most people don’t understand the economy here but they know something is wrong, ” said Liad Gez, a 23-year-old waiter in Tel Aviv who carried a sign reading “We’re all Silver Platter” at a protest this month that drew more than 10, 000 critics of the country’s natural gas monopoly. “This show gave us some tools to understand how they’re screwing us over.”