ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Smotrich engages in shouting match with opposition MKs, accuses them of hating Haredim

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

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich shouts from the podium in the Knesset in Jerusalem, December 3, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich shouts from the podium in the Knesset in Jerusalem, December 3, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich taunts opposition lawmakers, accusing them of trashing his wartime budget update because of prejudice against the ultra-Orthodox.

“I’m proud of my economic policy,” says Smotrich, and “I am sad for you because of a few pennies here for the Haredim,” he says, waving his hands, that “you won’t vote” for the budget, which includes previously pledged funds for Haredi education.

“You can’t get over a little bit of cynical hate for Haredim?” he continues. “You’re not embarrassed?”

Opposition MKs engage in a screaming match with Smotrich from the Knesset benches.

“You’re conducting politics on the backs of the evacuees,” yells Yesh Atid MK Yorai Lahav-Herzano, implying that the budget is taking money that could have been used to support internally displaced people and giving it to political interests.

“Be embarrassed,” echoes Yesh Atid MK Meir Cohen, from the Knesset podium, in comments directed toward Smotrich.

“What fight do I have with the Haredim?” Cohen says, adding “why do we need this today?” in the middle of the war.

“It’s permitted for us to argue with you and say that in the middle of a war, we don’t need coalition funds,” Cohen adds.

Smotrich leaves the plenum in the middle of Cohen’s remarks.

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