Netanyahu, Trajtenberg
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, whispering to Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg. Photo by Haim Tzach
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Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, who heads the committee of experts the prime minister appointed to draft solutions to the country's socioeconomic problems, wants to hold an intensive dialogue with the tent protesters. To this end, his aides have opened Twitter and Facebook accounts for him under the name Tzevet Manuel (Manuel's Task Force ), as well as a blog on which he can share his thoughts.

Yesterday, Trajtenberg also posted a video clip on YouTube in which he responded to the protest leaders' decision to appoint their own expert panel. Trajtenberg praised the new committee, even though many of its members have criticized his own panel.

"I was very happy to hear that a team of academics, economists, sociologists and others had been set up, and that they, too, will try to think of solutions to the issues raised by this protest," he said. "No one has a monopoly on the wisdom, knowledge and data needed to cope with a complex situation like this.

"I'm closely acquainted with the vast majority of the [new] panel's members, and they are excellent people who truly want to contribute. We'll be very happy to receive material, ideas and proposals from them that could help in formulating solutions."

All questions posted to Trajtenberg's social media sites receive an answer, if not always a serious one.

"Why did you visit the tents so symbolically, in the middle of the night, with no advance notice?" one person asked. "We would have organized juice and cake." The reply: "I prefer pomegranate juice, if you're asking."

One question that remains unanswered is how could Trajtenberg hire people to man these sites given that his panel has yet to receive a budget. Minister Michael Eitan's office, which is in charge of contact with the public, said it was not funding the sites. Sources close to Trajtenberg said his own staff was manning them.