ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 145

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Michaeli says government diverting billions needed for war effort to political goals

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Labor party leader MK Merav Michaeli leads a faction meeting at the Knesset, on July 17, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Labor party leader MK Merav Michaeli leads a faction meeting at the Knesset, on July 17, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Labor party head Merav Michaeli says that the government’s war budget update muddles politics with emergency needs.

The NIS 30 billion redistribution will funnel money toward the war effort, but also release about a billion shekels in frozen funds earmarked for political promises.

The updated budget only redistributes remaining funds for 2023 and does not touch the 2024 budget, including billions in budgeted coalition funds.

Speaking at a party faction meeting at the Knesset, Michaeli says that instead of redistributing the political funds for the benefit of soldiers and internally displaced persons, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “transfers money to sectoral interests” of the ultra-Orthodox and the religious far-right.

“With our money, Netanyahu is buying votes,” she continues, adding that ultimately the bill for spending will fall back on the public.

“To whoever this is not yet clear: in order to carry this [financial burden], Israel will have to raise taxes,” which she says will further hurt disadvantaged populations.

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