In a striking turn of events, Israeli Minister of Economy, Nir Barkat, has voiced his opposition to the state budget. During a Knesset Economic Affairs Committee meeting, Barkat declared that he would withhold his support unless a sum of 250 million shekels is allocated towards rescuing businesses in the northern and southern regions of Israel.
The Battle for Economic Stability
Barkat emphasized the crucial role that the survival of businesses in combat zones plays in preventing a victory for Hamas. He underscored the importance of economic stability in the peripheral areas, arguing that it is a matter of national security. His sentiments were echoed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, who, after engaging in a telephonic conversation with Barkat, agreed on the necessity of assisting these businesses and pledged to find a viable solution.
War and Budget: A Delicate Balancing Act
The budget discussion grew more heated amidst the ongoing war, with Defense Minister Benny Gantz advocating for non-combat-related budget increases to be redirected towards war efforts. Gantz asserted that leadership is put to the test in such trying times, implying that the allocation of resources could make or break the country's war strategy.
A Stand Against the Status Quo
Despite Barkat's absence from the vote on the state budget deficit law, he clarified his stance to Netanyahu, expressing his disapproval of the budget in its current form. This bold move comes amid speculations of Barkat considering a run for the prime minister's position against Netanyahu. A report by "Kan News" suggested an urgent need for change following the war. However, Barkat denied any collaboration with political figures seeking to create a divide between him and the Prime Minister.