Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday defended his plan to provide free education for children ages three and four by enacting across-the-board budget cuts to a number of government ministries.
Speaking at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that his plan established that "education is important, and benefits to young couples and families and security is essential, and we will change our priorities accordingly.
The prime minister, who has faced resistance to the plan from many ministers in his coalition, said that "no decision is easy. Decisions like this are always difficult and painful, but that is the meaning of leadership. You cannot say that 'everything is important.'"
Netanyahu added that the defense budget would not face major cuts, given Israel's tenuous security situation amid the tumult in the region.