Liberman: When budget passes, Israel will be a normal country

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman said that the budget will pass by the end of the week.

 Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (photo credit: YISRAEL BEYTENU)
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman
(photo credit: YISRAEL BEYTENU)

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman expressed confidence on Monday that the state budget will pass into law by the end of the week.

In a speech to his Yisrael Beytenu faction at the Knesset, he lashed out at former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for preventing the passage of the budget while initiating four elections in two years.

“By Friday, Israel will go back to being a normal country with a budget after the anomaly of three and a half years without a budget due to the personal interests of one person,” he said.

Liberman said he did not expect any problem in passing the budget, but he made a point of not ruling out negotiations with Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi and his party colleagues as a last resort.

“I have met with every MK in the coalition, and I didn’t find anything broken,” he said.

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, October 17, 2021. (credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY / POOL)Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, October 17, 2021. (credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY / POOL)

Liberman said the coalition was united around four issues: the need for stability; lowering the cost of living; fighting crime in the Arab sector; and fighting traffic jams.

“As long as the coalition focuses on these issues, the coalition can last its entire term,” he said. “Other issues, like the Palestinians and whether an American consulate will open up for them in Jerusalem, must wait.”

Liberman repeatedly called the budget “the most socioeconomic budget ever.” He rejected charges that key elements of the budget singled out and purposely harmed the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) sector.

“We want to help the haredim and not harm them,” he said. “That means strengthening moderates and encouraging them to join the workforce. This is the true Jewish tradition, and what Shas and United Torah Judaism preach is idol worship. The Talmud doesn’t say it’s forbidden to work or to serve in the IDF.”

No budget in Israeli history has had as large a scope, Liberman said.

“This is a budget with growth engines never seen here,” he said. “We approved a supplement for health, a supplement for security, a supplement for Holocaust survivors and a supplement for informal education so that they do not have to collect donations from MKs and lobbyists. All this and more will be financed through the budget base, something that has never happened before.”

The budget also encourages growth by promoting the Tel Aviv Metro project, energy and water infrastructure projects and facilities for energy, science and communications worth billions of shekels, Liberman said.