Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich sent a threat to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during the meetings held in order to resolve Agudat Israel’s budget demands that, “If you transfer the money to Agudat Israel, I will not be finance minister.”
Smotrich thinks at this stage that there is no need to transfer an additional budget to Agudat Israel, and it is against this background that his clear threat to Netanyahu comes. This was reported in ‘Khan Havod’.
At the same time, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s entourage exerted heavy pressure during the week on the professional echelon of the Ministry of Finance, including Yogev Gerdos, the head of budgets at the Treasury, demanding a meeting with Agudat Israel representatives with the goal of examining their demands, when Netanyahu personally spoke with Gerdos.
In the meantime, Agudat Israel is also exerting heavy pressure on Netanyahu. The party made it clear to the Prime Minister that if the crisis is not resolved by the beginning of next week, one of the ministers Agudath Israel will resign from the government and return to the Knesset to regain the majority of 4 h“Kim to the Israel Association.
A similar message was also delivered to the Chairman of the Finance Committee, MK Moshe Gafni.
At the cabinet meeting this week. Photo: Yonatan Zindel, Flash 90.
As I recall, the Minister of Housing, Agudath Israel Chairman Yitzhak Goldknopf, sent a letter this morning to Degal HaTorah Chairman Moshe Gafni – in which he demands that until the budget promised in the coalition agreement is settled, the entire Torah Judaism faction will oppose the budget in the Knesset plenary.
The letter comes after a meeting that took place last night, in which Gafni was required to show up for the fight and make his voice heard on the issue.
The letter reads: “In the negotiations that took place with the Likud faction, we jointly discussed a number of key issues such as the status of yeshiva members, the conscription law that has not been settled so far, the yeshiva budgets and including retroactively, Mokshaar institutions, exempt institutions and rent payments.”
It was also written that “this is a clear and painful violation of the coalition agreement that was signed only a few months ago between Torah Judaism and Likud. An agreement that should give the electorate what we promised them on the eve of the elections.” Goldknopf noted that success was recorded in some subjects, but this is not sufficient for the other subjects that were not achieved.
“We warn in advance that the failure to implement the full agreement concerning the yeshiva and kollel processes will, God forbid, harm the financial capacity of the Torah world and may directly affect hundreds of thousands of workers and Torah students in kollels and yeshivas. Therefore, our request and our firm demand that all of us – the Torah Judaism faction – will not lend our hands to such a budget “, Written.
“Until the expected amendment of all the aforementioned sections, we will be forced to vote against the budget,” added Goldknopf. “We must make it clear to the Prime Minister that he does not have a mandate to ignore the coalition agreement.”