Smotrich asks for Treasury input into war cabinet decisions

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

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich attends a press conference in Jerusalem on October 19, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich attends a press conference in Jerusalem on October 19, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The war cabinet and Finance Ministry staff will meet this evening to discuss the effect of ongoing hostilities on the economy, according to Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s office, which requested the meeting.

Smotrich calls to “establish a joint decision-making mechanism” to take economic matters into account in wartime decision making.

In his November 16 letter to the prime and defense ministers requesting the meeting, Smotrich notes that while “defense and military considerations determine decision-making procedures,” the war cabinet should be apprised of Israel’s economic snapshot and budgetary considerations.

On Friday, Smotrich pushed for his Religious Zionism party, alongside other far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties excluded from the war cabinet, to be given a seat on the small council. The demand came after the war cabinet authorized small humanitarian fuel deliveries to Gaza, a policy that the broader security cabinet approved this morning over Smotrich’s opposition.

“I demand that the composition of the war cabinet be changed and that it include a representative of each party in the coalition,” Smotrich wrote in a Friday statement. “We all bear the same responsibility and we all need to be partners in its realization in decision making and policy making.”

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