Ben Gvir and Smotrich. Coalition Integrity Above All/Flash 90, Olivier Fitoussi
Apart from the moving and tear-jerking preoccupation with the return of the hostages from Gaza, this week was marked by the increasing economic ramifications of the war, and there was no shortage of those.
These include approving the NIS 2023.30 billion "political commercialization" budget for the remainder of 3, appointing the Governor for another term and leaving the interest rate unchanged, Finance Committee Chairman Moshe Gafni's slanderous remarks against the appointment, and the publication of the latest quarterly reports of publicly traded companies, headed by the banks.
Each of these events was directly affected by the war. Let's start with the interim budget, centered on coalition funds totaling NIS 4.8 billion, which broke the record of cynicism. Shame has been snatched away and no negotiations are underway to bring her back. They all preached that political funds not for war purposes should be abolished.
In practice, only NIS 13 billion was cut from NIS 8.<> billion. The rest of the funds, whose connection to the war is the essence of the connection between Bibi and a credit card, remain intact. Finance Committee Chairman Moshe Gafni prevented, in a show of strong threats, the transfer of aid budgets to the Takuma Secretariat if the funds were cut.
Smotrich and Barkat. The first is an economic consultant, the second positions itself as an alternative/government press office, Noga Salma
Gafni specializes in passive-aggressive: he is quiet until the vine jumps. Indeed, Smotrich was frightened. The finance minister, who has effectively become Netanyahu's economic advisor, convinced him that it is forbidden to cut funds that could anger the ultra-Orthodox and harm the integrity of the coalition. So when we are told, "Together we will win," we must remember that the slogan is valid only with coalition funds.
And yet there are also bright spots in the darkness. Benny Gantz and the state camp opposed the budget vote, but did not quit the government. These are the first signs of cracks in the coalition.
Economy Minister Nir Barkat surprised and voted against it. He is positioning himself as a state official and a possible contender for prime minister the day after. And it is impossible without Science Minister Ofir Akunis, who on a good day is a micro-imitation of Netanyahu. He did not oppose, but at least abstained from the vote. Apparently, the Likud also understands that a budget with ultra-Orthodox and nationalists outside the stretcher is on borrowed time.
Another event that was swallowed up in the current chronicle was the appointment of the governor for another five years. On the day the government approved the appointment, the Governor decided not to give in to pressure and to leave the interest rate unchanged. The decision again raised the issue with MK Gafni, whose fuse of patience is getting shorter as the war progresses. Threats to the integrity of the coalition were compounded by slurs about the governor's performance and criticism of the extension of the appointment.
"Prof. Yaron is a bad governor," said the chairman of the Finance Committee. "His term is characterized by the fact that the weak are harmed, that interest rates are rising all the time, and that the burden on the public is terrible. He is a bad governor and the government's decision to extend his term is bad."
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Governor of the Bank of Israel and Chairman of the Finance Committee. Had it not been for the war, Netanyahu would have shown the Governor the door/photo processing, Jonathan Zindel/Flash 90
MK Gafni thinks this is a Governor from Ali Express. In practice, he is angry that the ultra-Orthodox public, which includes the residents of Bnei Brak and other communities, is groaning from the mortgage burden, and in recent months, and even in the midst of the war, has exerted mafiosi pressure on the governor to take his foot off the interest rate gas.
Prof. Yaron did not give in, and in response to a cold-tempered conservative governor lost the last traces of politeness and wrote: "It would have been appropriate for the chairman of the Finance Committee to be knowledgeable about economics and not promote toxic and divisive discourse in the midst of the war." So "together we will win," they tell you, but without the governor.
In parentheses, we note that had it really depended on Netanyahu, the governor's term would not have been extended and he would have packed his bags as soon as possible on the way back to the United States. But then the war broke out and saved the governor and, in practice, the international standing of the Israeli economy.
This week, Netanyahu once again proved that cynicism, not Zionism, wins big time. The prime minister succumbs time and time again to pressure and maintains with all his might the Smotrich-Ben-Gvir-Haredi coalition. So please don't confuse our brains with passwords. Assessments that Netanyahu will step down after the war are wishful thinking bordering on fantasy.
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