web analytics
March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Israel Celebrates Yom Ha’Atzmaut As Challenges Mount

JERUSALEM – Even as millions of Israelis celebrated the country’s 65th birthday with prayers, lavish barbecues and star-studded entertainment in city squares, many citizens expressed worry about troubling domestic and foreign developments.

Within the next week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government and the Knesset, which have been on spring vacation for nearly a month, will return to work and likely deal with a variety of pressing internal and external issues. How those issues are dealt with could determine Israel’s fiscal, diplomatic and military fates in the months ahead.

Finance Minister and Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid has recommended a series of tough austerity measures as part of closing the government’s $10 billion deficit. His plan calls for slashing the defense budget, trimming the salaries of public sector employees, and decreasing monthly child stipends. He would increase the VAT (value added tax), the state income tax and municipal tax rates.

Lapid has also recommended a nearly 10 percent salary cut for MKs and government ministers. His severe proposals are meeting stiff resistance from Netanyahu’s Likud colleagues and leaders of the opposition Labor Party and the Shas Party. Many have vowed to fight Lapid’s plan in both the Knesset and the local media.

Likud Mks have told Netanyahu that Lapid’s budget cuts and tax hikes would harm the already overtaxed middle class and put the nation’s defense at risk. Opposition Leader Shelly Yachimovich said that the proposed austerity measures and child tax cuts would decimate lower-income-earning families and dramatically increase Israel’s poverty level. According to government statistics, nearly a quarter of the nation’s eight million people already live below the poverty level.

Israel’s new budget must be ratified by July 31. Without a formal budget, the government would fall and new elections held. Sources report that Netanyahu will attempt to pass the budget by mid-June, allowing himself some time if the first attempt to pass it is rejected in the Knesset.

On the diplomatic front, the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process was dealt a blow earlier this week when Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The former premier, with extensive experience in global finance, was able to curb incessant corruption within the Fatah-controlled PA, earning him praise from President Obama for his prudent fiscal policies.

Fayyad, a political independent, is known to staunchly support the restarting of peace negotiations with Israel. Arab newspapers have reported that Abbas considered Fayyad a political rival, while Hamas publicly lambasted him for his “Mr. Clean” image and his pro-American political stance. Haaretz said that if Abbas continues to allow Fayyad to leave government service, it “could spell the beginning of the end of the Palestinian Authority.”

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon criticized any attempt to slash hundreds of millions of dollars from the nation’s defense budget at a time when Syria and Lebanon are on the verge of imploding, and while Iran continues its uranium enrichment and its building of intercontinental missiles (with North Korea’s help). Additionally, Israel’s security services are reportedly waging a clandestine global battle against Hizbullah, Hamas and Iranian Revolutionary Guard terrorists who are deliberately targeting Israeli citizens and Jewish sites across the world.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Israel Celebrates Yom Ha’Atzmaut As Challenges Mount”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Iran's nuclear enrichment facility at Fordow is in an underground bunker.
Congressmembers: No More Money for Talks With Iran
Latest News Stories
Iran's nuclear enrichment facility at Fordow is in an underground bunker.

Congress is ‘fed up’ with being left in the dark on the Iran negotiations

Mount Hermon cable lift to the top of the mountain.

While there’s not much snow left, there are bike trails, hiking trails and extreme mountain sleds.

The White House says another foreign policy failure proves Obama is doing something right, but it not clear exactly what.

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he supports Saudi Arabia’s attack on Iranian-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen Saudi Arabia has been joined by other oil-rich states, including Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the Gulf States, all of whom said that “they “have decided to answer the call of President Hadi to protect Yemen and his […]

The former US envoy to the United Nations writes in the NY Times that bombing Iran is the only way to stop a nuclear arms race.

Sappers blew up the bomb, and security forces are trying to track down who placed it there.

The method developed by these Israeli scientists overcomes the network isolation challenge by identifying the computer’s operating temperature.

Authorities have ruled out terror but don’t know of the co-pilot’s motives.

in a new report, Amnesty International charges “Gaza armed groups’ with war crimes in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.

After failing to replace Netanyahu, the Obama administration wants Ambassador Ron Dermer removed.

PA Chairman Abbas congratulated the Arab party on its success in the March 17 Israeli elections.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, had contacted French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to complain about the project.

Sunni countries in the Gulf have been accusing Iran of interference through several Shi’ite proxies in the region.

The time difference between New York and Israel returns to Israel being 7 hours ahead.

More Articles from Steve K. Walz
: Israeli soldiers leave Gaza late Monday. A three-day cease-fire brokered by Egypt put an end, at least temporarily, to the fighting. See story, above.

As of Tuesday, all IDF forces operating in Gaza withdrew and redeployed to holding positions around Gaza.

Walz-080114-Map

The operation against the tunnels is a first and necessary step in the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.

The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.

“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.

Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”

If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.

Netanyahu brushed aside Lapid’s political threats, saying that he was either too politically inexperienced or unaware of the true nature of the peace negotiations with Abbas.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/israel-celebrates-yom-haatzmaut-as-challenges-mount/2013/04/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: