Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday said that the Defense Ministry should share the burden of fiscal cuts despite ongoing threats to Israel.
“Nobody thinks there isn't fat to cut from the Defense Department,” Bennett said at a Knesset Finance Committee Meeting as the cabinet met over the budget.“I know the threats against Israel are real threats, but for 65 years Israel is under threat – first it was Nasser, then Saddam Hussein, then Nassrallah,” he said. “It’s not an economic discussion but a discussion of values,” he said.
The cabinet is discussing NIS 4 billion in planned cuts to the defense budget ahead of a Monday vote on Finance Minister Yair Lapid's budget proposal
Bennett defended Lapid’s budget, saying that although it didn’t address the primary problems of the Israeli economy, it was the first step in a series of planned reforms. “I know we didn’t touch the ports, the public sector—and there are still places to make the private sector more efficient—the electric corporation. But in 45 days you can't solve the problems of 65 years.”