In an interview on Channel 12’s Meet the Press on Saturday night, July 17 , Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) said that his fraction will not support any budget “that harms Israel’s weakest citizens. We will only vote consistent with our working class values.” When asked by interviewer Rinah Matzliach whether or not he would support the budget which is being prepared by Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, Odeh responded that he would not. Matzliach cut off any attempt by Odeh to elaborate his response.
Last week, the Knesset voted to extend the deadline for the government to pass a budget, giving it three months from the beginning of the budgetary year or 145 days from the date of the formation of the government, whichever comes later. In the case of the new coalition, which was sworn in on June 13, it will have until November 4 to pass the 2021 budget. Israel last approved a state budget, the one for 2019, before it became embroiled in a two-year political crisis.
According to Israel’s major green groups, the new Bennett-Lapid government is, in the framework of the new budget, promoting plans destructive to the environment that were set in motion by previous Netanyahu-led governments. These groups made this claim last week during a press conference convened following the government’s decision to extend the life of a ministerial committee authorized to approve development plans in open areas. This was after green activists had presented a plan that would curb such control in the hands of the Environmental Protection Ministry.