Lapid: Funds will be redirected from gov't bodies for 'Ben-Gvir's private militia'

The opposition leader warned that the government will cut health, welfare and education budgets in order to fund Ben-Gvir's national guard

 Yair Lapid among those in protest (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Yair Lapid among those in protest

To finance updates to the National Guard and its move to the National Security Ministry, the government will vote on Sunday to redirect funds from multiple government bodies, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said on Saturday night.

"Tomorrow morning the government is supposed to vote on cuts in all government ministries to finance Ben-Gvir's private militia," said Lapid. "They will cut health care, they will cut education, they will cut welfare, they will cut public transportation, all to finance a private army of thugs for the Tiktok clown."

Scheduling of government agenda

According to the Sunday government agenda, the coalition is set to discuss reducing the budget of 83 government bodies by 1.5% for 2023.

 Yair Lapid interacting with protesters. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Yair Lapid interacting with protesters. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Former Israel Police chief Moshe Karadi attacked Ben-Gvir on Saturday as  a "tangible danger" to the State of Israel, saying the Otzmah Yehudit MK was seeking to implement policies of racism and "Jewish supremacy."

"We are in the midst of Israel's darkest period," Karadi claimed. "The fate of Israel Police and the IDF troubles me. Ben-Gvir poses a tangible danger to the country and must be removed from his post as minister as soon as possible."

Tensions have been high between Ben-Gvir and police brass over a dispute in which Ben-Gvir allegedly attempted to issue direct orders to units on early March in the midst of judicial reform protest operations. The Attorney-General on March 16 warned Ben-Gvir against issuing directives to officers in the field, an opinion that was later upheld by the High Court of Justice.

As part of a deal struck between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Otzma Yehudit leader will be allotted control of the national guard in return for support of a pause in the legislation of the Judicial Selection Committee bill.

Critics attacked the deal as the formation of a "private militia" for the National Security Minister. Former Defense Minister and protest leader Moshe Yaalon described the National Guard under Ben-Gvir as “revolutionary guards” in his Thursday demands for judicial reform negotiations, and called for measures to prevent such allocations of power.

 The National Guard was formed in response to the civil unrest suffered in mixed Arab-Jewish cities during Operation Guardian of the Walls. The division was previously subservient to the Israel Border Police, and consists of 900 mandatory service combat soldier and thousands more reservists and volunteers.

Eliav Breuer and Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.