Netanyahu immediately hinted that he could use a window of calm to push back on explosive proposals to gain leverage over Israel’s sanctions, which he suspended in March in the face of widespread anti-government protests.
“Netanyahu has new powers when the budget is passed, more degrees of freedom,” said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute in Jerusalem. “Now they have to decide what they want to do with it.”
Wednesday’s vote to approve the country’s two-year budget, a part of the lower house of parliament that has been increasingly divided in the country, was a critical moment for Netanyahu’s fragile coalition. Right-wing and ultra-Orthodox groups have threatened to boycott the vote unless the government provides more funding for programs they oversee, including millions of equivalent yeshiva schools that teach religion while ignoring national math and science standards.
Failure to meet the budget deadline would have led to the collapse of the government – the tragedy that befell the union in 2020 – and Netanyahu did what he wanted, quickly committing more than $130 million to religious programs and projects sponsored by the far-right leader. Itamar Ben Gvirthe minister of national security.
Critics have criticized the last-minute deal as proof that Netanyahu is still beholden to his most loyal supporters. They criticized “Giving” to the growing Orthodox sectorwho want to influence religious and secular people.
But with the critics shouting “Shame!” dawn outside the Knesset on Wednesday, the economic package passed the threshold of four votes, giving the government a two-year window before the next budget battle.
Netanyahu praised the document as “a good, very good investment that will serve the citizens of Israel faithfully.” Opposition leader Yair Lapid described this as “fraud.”
“While you slept, the worst and most destructive budget in Israel’s history was passed. There is nothing good, nothing that will help to deal with the cost of living,” said Lapid.
Within the government, this period may signal a short-term change from the chaos that has plagued it.
Almost immediately after taking power a few months ago, hardliners announced plans to overhaul the judicial system and reduce the powers of the Supreme Court. The movement, which was launched without public planning, led to months of demonstrations, mass protests and demonstrations by the reserved army. Some Israeli ambassadors resigned, and world leaders, including President Bidenhe criticized the policy as anti-democratic.
In the midst of a conflict that is causing conflict in the union, Netanyahu issued the decree in March and agreed to negotiate with the opposition.
The government was slow to take other steps. Critics say the minister did not do anything about the growth of inflation, which rose to 5 percent, and the number of murders, especially in the Arab-Israeli region. Netanyahu failed to appoint a Likud leader as his ambassador to New York and another ally as head of the National Statistics Office. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant remains in his job, despite being “fired” by Netanyahu in a dramatic televised speech at the height of the court protests.
“After so much trouble, just passing the budget seems like a win,” Plesner said. “So far, this government has not done well, and Netanyahu understands that.”
The unrest has reached a fever pitch, with polls showing the coalition will lose 10 seats and its majority in the Knesset if elections are held now. For the first time, many Israelis say former defense minister Benny Gantz, not Netanyahu, is the “right” person to be prime minister.
Netanyahu has also been criticized by the right for not responding with sufficient force to Islamic Jihad terrorists who initially fired more than 100 rockets into Israel. following the May 2 death of Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan. Ben Gvir launched a boycott of parliamentary votes to protest the lack of conscription.
The right-wing lawmakers rejoiced a week later Israeli warplanes have killed six Islamic Jihad leaders in surprise attacks in the Gaza Strip. At least 33 people in Gaza and two in Israel have been killed a violent five-day war what followed.
Actions in Gaza bolstered Netanyahu’s right-wing support. This, with the budget dispute on the line, gives him the opportunity to regain control of the mind, amid his image that he has developed as a political master.
“For him, the important part is being able to say ‘I’m the only one who can control Israeli politics,'” said Dahlia Scheindlin, a researcher and campaign assistant in Tel Aviv.
But it is not clear that he can keep his allies in line. Israeli media reports indicate that Netanyahu wants to quietly put down the plans to control the crimes and the fierce opposition it causes. But pressure from the right to return is growing, with Justice Minister Yariv Levin reportedly threatening to resign if his actions are not revived.
Supporters of the reform see it as necessary to reestablish a court that they believe has usurped the power of the law and tends to favor Israel’s leftist elite. Critics say it’s a power grab that would undermine the long-held power between the legislative and executive branches and put the country on a path toward authoritarianism.
Negotiations between union leaders and the opposition are ongoing, with no concrete reports of progress. Asked shortly after the budget vote whether he expected the issue to return, Netanyahu said: “Of course. But we are trying to understand [in negotiations]. I believe that we will win.”
Critics of the reform of the courts said protests would return to the streets.
“After spending a lot of government money to end threats by Orthodox religious leaders and far-right extremists, Netanyahu has revealed that he wants to continue reforming the courts,” said Josh Drill, a spokesman for the protest organization. groups. “Israel is in danger, and only massive protests can stop this dangerous law.”