Gantz needs to bring the Israeli government to an end

Gantz should refuse any compromises and any proposals to delay once again the budget.

Benny Gantz (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Benny Gantz
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz appear to once again be leading the country to a new election. This is the last thing a country in the midst of an economic and health crisis needs and will be a stain on both of their records as politicians.
That doesn’t mean both are equally to blame for Israel heading into a fourth election in the span of two years. The onus of the blame rests on Netanyahu, who violates – time after time – every political agreement that he signs with someone. Gantz was warned that this would happen, but he naively thought that due to the COVID-19 outbreak Netanyahu would behave differently. He didn’t.
In the coalition agreement that the two signed in April, they agreed to pass a two-year budget by August. Likud can make up stories and tell lies as much as it wants, but that can’t cover up a fact – Netanyahu signed an agreement that he would pass a two-year budget.
Did he? Of course not. Since then, Netanyahu has done everything possible to delay passing a budget in order to give himself an exit point from the coalition at a later date that is more convenient.
Some people might wonder why a budget is even needed and what purpose it serves. After all, on the surface it seems that the government is functioning and that services to the public are still being provided.
The government’s current budget is 1/12 of the last budget passed in the Knesset way back in 2018, before Israel embarked on a journey through three elections. What this means is that new plans, new initiatives and new ideas aimed at upgrading Israel and preparing it for the years to come, are all irrelevant.
Take the IDF as an example. The military continuously looks to the future, analyzing what Israel’s enemies are doing and what solutions it would need to effectively confront them.
When Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi took up the role of chief of staff two years ago he came with a long list of big ideas. He wanted to make the military more compact, more tech savvy and more lethal.
He also wanted to upgrade the Israel Air Force’s fleet and purchase the helicopters, refueling tankers and fighter jets that it needs to stay sharp and ready.
None of that has happened and it is questionable when and if it ever will.
If Israel goes again to an election, we can forget about the Knesset passing a budget until, at the earliest, sometime in the summer of 2021.
That is assuming that the election allows someone to form a stable coalition that can properly govern.  
Then there are welfare services, places like the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center that haven’t received government support since this political paralysis took hold of our country.
With domestic violence on the rise – last week Tamar Beeri reported how the Rape Crisis Centers in Israel have seen a 95% increase in reporting activity to its national WhatsApp hotline – this is not just wrong, it is negligent.
Israel cannot go on like this. It is time for Gantz to put his foot down and refuse to allow this state of paralysis to carry on.
Israelis need a government that works for them and for their benefit, not a government that simply exists so politicians can have titles, security guards and special access.
Gantz should refuse any compromises and any proposals to delay once again the budget.
He already did so in August which is how Israel reached the end of the year without a budget. As defense minister, he also knows how the lack of a budget is harming the state’s security.
Add to the budget the lack of appointments in the government. There is no police chief, state prosecutor, director-general of the Justice Ministry, counsel general in New York and more.
This government is not working and it is time for it to end. Israelis need politicians and political parties that represent the people and their needs. Gantz – bring this government to an end.


Tags Budget