Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said that the economic and political turmoil in the Middle East since the start of the so-called Arab Spring will allow Israel to reduce its defense budget.
Speaking to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (FADC) in Jerusalem, Steinitz said "the Arab states surrounding us have become significantly weakened in their economic and military sectors.
"Some are on the verge of bankruptcy. Not talking about Iran, the ability of Middle Eastern countries to manage an accelerated arms race against us in the next five years has depreciated," he said.
The finance minister told the FADC that now was the time, "once and for all," to settle Israel's defense budget.