Coalition factions should cease arguments about the 2023-2024 government budget and should work together to pass the necessary legislation, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Friday Jerusalem Day speech at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva.
Ahead of a week of potential crisis over competing faction budget demands, Netanyahu appealed to his coalition partners to unite in the spirit of the holiday, which celebrated the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967.“The time has come to cease threats, cease boycotts, cease getting up on their high horse – everyone needs to work together to pass the budget for the nation, for the citizenry, for the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel,” said Netanyahu.
“The time has come to cease threats, cease boycotts, cease getting up on their high horse – everyone needs to work together to pass the budget for the nation, for the citizenry, for the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel.”Benjamin Netanyahu
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir responded to the speech by saying that policy requests such as judicial reform, the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar and settlements wasn’t just “getting up on our high horse.”He said that these policies could be satisfied, as they had a right-wing government and they couldn’t miss the opportunities.Netanyahu said on Friday that with a strong government that cares about the nation’s heritage, there would not be a better government. The sentiment was also echoed by National Missions Minister Orit Struck on Friday morning.“We are in a dream government. A government that fulfills dreams in all areas,” said Struck. “True, not all dreams are fulfilled, but many dreams that we barely dared dream – yes. Whoever cuts short the life of the government, history will take account.”
Falsified statements on haredim
Controversy arose over the weekend when TV presenter Galit Gutman reacted to ultra-Orthodox party budget demands by describing the haredi community as sucking blood. Gutman retracted the statements, but was still met with a wave of condemnations by leaders across the political spectrum.“I condemn Galit Gutman’s ugly and inciting statement against the ultra-Orthodox public in Israel, which is reminiscent of slanderous statements directed against our people in the past,” said Netanyahu. “There’s no place for this – all of Israel are brothers!”Despite Netanyahu’s calls for unity, tensions remained high between coalition factions. On Thursday, it was reported that the hassidic Agudat Yisrael faction warned Netanyahu that it would act against the government over an unfilled coalition agreement pertaining to religious school funding.
"Whoever cuts short the life of the government, history will take account.”National Missions Minister Orit Struck
Demands for the budget continued to be made on Friday, as Noam MK Avi Maoz sent a letter to the cabinet secretary saying that he would not support the coalition in its vote to approve the budget. Maoz demanded changes to the budget for the Jewish National Identity Authority.