ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 150

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Lapid attacks government over ‘corrupt and political budget’

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid speaks during a Yesh Atid faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on November 20, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid speaks during a Yesh Atid faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on November 20, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Leader of the Opposition Yair Lapid slams the government for including large sums of political earmarks in the 2023 budget, which is currently being amended in Knesset to cover the costs of the war with Hamas in Gaza.

“Smotrich and Netanyahu are transferring NIS 4.9 billion in coalition funds this year, 2023, and plan more billions for next year,” says Lapid at the beginning of a faction meeting of his Yesh Atid party.

Speaking earlier in the Knesset Finance Committee where the budget is being prepared, Lapid asserts that professionals in the Finance Ministry oppose the budget, describing it as “the division of spoils” among the coalition’s political parties, and “a corrupt and political budget which will take us to the void during a war after the greatest catastrophe in the history of the country.”

In the Yesh Atid faction meeting, Lapid also chastises the government for its broader policies, including activities in Jerusalem and the West Bank which he says are creating “a cycle of violence,” and for its failure to abolish what he says are extraneous ministries such as the Settlements and National Projects Ministry, the Heritage Ministry, and the Jerusalem Ministry.

“We are two months into the war and the State of Israel still has no plans for the day after the war, there is no organized diplomatic effort during the war, there is no united public diplomacy system, there is no organized economic plan to cope with the damage to the economy. There is no one who is dealing with reservist soldiers. In short: there is no government,” charges Lapid.

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