Israel’s 2022 budget approved: coalition stabilizes

FOn Friday morning at five thirty, when the Knesset had passed the budget for the coming year and thus the continued existence of the coalition in the longer term, the Likud MPs left the plenary as one. Israel’s largest opposition party refused to attend the vote results. Knesset President Miki Levi spoke of disrespect. The frustration ran deep in the party of the replaced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: It had been robbed of its most important means to replace the government of Naftali Bennett and the “alternating Prime Minister” Jair Lapid prematurely.

The budget vote was again tight with 59 to 56 votes, as was the case on Thursday when the budget for the current year was approved by the coalition with 61 to 59 votes. If no budget had been passed by November 14th, the Knesset would have been dissolved and there would have been a new election by law. Opposition leader Netanyahu, who continues to lead in polls as party leader, was looking for a budget failure.

Transitional budgets based on old numbers

Even as head of government, Netanyahu had used the lever of the missed budget to provoke new elections: for example, he had prevented a rotation in the office of prime minister agreed in the coalition agreement, which would have made former coalition partner Benny Gantz head of government. Israel has had no proper budget since March 2018. Until recently, the authorities had to work with constitutionally questionable transitional budgets based on old figures. After the budgets were passed, Bennett announced that Israel had been brought back on track. His government will have around 120 billion euros at its disposal in 2021; According to Kanal Dreizehn, around 16 billion euros of this will go to defense and 19 billion euros to education.

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The loser is Netanyahu, who sees the budget dwindling his chances of overthrowing the government and is now under pressure within the party to be replaced at the head of the Likud. “The Netanyahu era is over,” said his former employee and current construction minister of the New Hope party, Zeev Elkin.

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