Gantz to Netanyahu: Approve Law to Postpone Budget; Netanyahu: Approve My Budget

Benny Gantz (L) and Binyamin Netanyahu (R). (Tomer Neuberg/Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to “approve the law to postpone the date of approval of the state budget within 24 hours. Remove the election threat instead of panic. No tricks and no shticks.”

Gantz was seemingly concerned that Netanyahu would only pass the law in its preliminary or first reading, and still find a way to call new elections. “The government can approve the proposal to amend the date needed for the budget tonight, the Knesset will pass it and within 24 hours. It’s possible, legal, correct and ethical,” Gantz said.

Netanyahu addressed Gantz’s request to extend the deadline for passing the state budget in 24 hours.

At the opening of the Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu said that the budget was ready to be voted on, and did not require any type of extension. Netanyahu stated that the Israeli public was awaiting the budget’s approval.

“We do not require 24 hours, we don’t even require 24 minutes. We have a budget prepared and adjusted to all the coronavirus needs, exactly what the citizens of Israel need today.”

Netanyahu said that his budget “pours money into the pockets of the citizens, also into businesses. It is ready to go and that is what needs to be passed at this stage, and it can be done immediately.”

Referring to legislation that Yesh Atid seeks to pass that will prevent a candidate under criminal indictment from running as prime minister on Wednesday, in a move seen as targeting Netanyahu, he said that “I am also not impressed by all these Iranian and North Korean laws, to trample on the will of the voter on the part of those individuals who are unable to win at the ballot box.”

It was noted that Gantz asking Netanyahu to pass by Tuesday evening the law to delay the budget is in order to reveal whether it is a political spin. Because this way, Yesh Atid’s bill that will be raised in the Knesset on Wednesday can be used as a threat against Netanyahu.

At their weekly faction meeting, the United Torah Judaism faction raised the issue of the yeshivah budget again, as part of the state budget being stalled. It was agreed that the heads of the chareidi factions, Rabbi Aryeh Deri, Rabbi Yaakov Litzman and Rabbi Moshe Gafni, will meet with Finance Minister Yisrael Katz in the coming days.

The faction also said that at this time, the right thing for the State of Israel is to raise a budget proposal on the government table immediately. “The suffering caused to the country by the lack of budget is unacceptable,” the faction said. “If a budget proposal is not immediately put on the cabinet table, the faction will convene again to decide how to vote on Wednesday.”

At the request of the chairman of the Constitution Committee, MK Rabbi Yaakov Asher and MK Rabbi Eliyahu Chassid, all members of the UTJ faction will sign a letter calling the government to correct the discrimination of the shuls under the new coronavirus restrictions.