Demonstrators attacked by police near Netanyahu's home in Caesarea (publication under section 27a of the Copyright Law)
Against the background of the economic crisis and rampant price increases, the government will approve today (Sunday) at its weekly meeting the establishment of a ministerial committee to combat the cost of living, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is the fifth government committee in the past decade to deal with the cost of living – a testament to the failure of all governments to deal with the cost of living in Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the establishment of the committee last week, only after the approval of the state budget for 2023-2024, which included almost no reforms or in-depth solutions to the price increase crisis. Netanyahu will head the ministerial committee, and besides him, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who also serves as acting chairman, Economy Minister Nir Barkat, Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter, Environmental Protection Minister Idit Silman, Energy Minister Israel Katz, Health Minister Moshe Arbel, Welfare Minister Yaakov Margi, Religious Affairs Minister Michael Malkieli, Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf, and Negev and Galilee Minister Yitzhak Wasserlauf. The government already has a socioeconomic cabinet, also headed by the prime minister and comprised of a similar composition of ministers, which is responsible for dealing with socio-economic issues and national projects. The Cost of Living Committee is expected to operate in parallel with it.
The fifth committee to be established on the subject within ten years (Photo: Roni Knafo)
The proposal that will be submitted to the government for approval does not specify binding timetables for the ministerial committee. According to the proposal, the committee "will set a uniform government policy and coordinate the activities of government ministries on dealing with the cost of living, inter alia through measures to increase competition, reduce concentration, improve and reduce regulation in the various sectors of the economy, and remove restrictions on imports."
In addition, the committee will examine the legal and regulatory arrangements that affect the cost of living, formulate proposals for structural changes and reforms, and monitor and monitor the implementation of previous reforms and decisions. Against the background of the impeachment attempt led by Economy Minister Nir Barkat against the Commissioner of Competition, Michal Cohen, the government decision states that the Ministerial Committee may apply to the Commissioner of Competition with a request to conduct an examination regarding the level of competition in various industries, and that the conclusions of the examination be presented to the Ministerial Committee.
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The authority over the handling of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu's disciplinary case will be transferred to Minister of Religious Affairs Michael Malkieli (Photo: official website, none)
At its weekly meeting, the government is also expected to approve another resolution transferring authority over the disciplinary case of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu from Justice Minister Yariv Levin to Minister of Religious Affairs Michael Malkieli. Eliyahu, the rabbi of Safed and father of Minister Amichai Eliyahu of Otzma Yehudit, is known for his racist and inciting remarks against Israeli Arabs, and two and a half years ago, the High Court of Justice ordered disciplinary proceedings against them. Since then, however, several governments and justice ministers have changed, and disciplinary proceedings against him have not yet been initiated.
Former Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar began work on the draft complaint against Rabbi Eliyahu, but it was not completed, and Justice Minister Yariv Levin has not dealt with it in the five months since taking office. The government will now approve the transfer of the authority to submit the complaint in his case to Minister of Religious Affairs Malkieli, who will commit to a government decision on the matter within 45 days.
In September 2020, the Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, ordered the government to discipline Rabbi Eliyahu following a petition filed against him back in 2016 by the Reform Movement, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Tag Meir, and the Anti-Racism Bureau. This was due to Elijah's racist remarks. Among other things, Elijah has said in recent years that: "Arabs are harmful wherever they see Jews"; "It is important to ensure that the law is regulated so that it will be clear to everyone that a terrorist who came to kill Jews is obligated and commanded to remove them from the world."
- Benjamin Netanyahu