web analytics
July 28, 2015 / 12 Av, 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
Beit El. early Tuesday morning,
Hundreds of Police Force Protesters out of Beit El Buildings [video]
Latest News Stories
Beit El. early Tuesday morning,

High Court ordered the “illegal” building to be torn down. Bayit Yehudi MK threatens to tear down coalition government.

French Olim

Aliyah is up 11% compared to 2014; More than 20,000 French Jews have arrived in Israel over the past five years.

Syrian rebels.

The Russians and the Syrians also discussed cooperation with Chinese companies to increase oil and gas digging in Syrian fields which are safe from rebel attacks.

Mitzvah tank in Golders Green, England

The purpose of the expedition is to bring Jewish traditions to Jews who are far from the culture.

A Magen David Adom ambulance was attacked Monday night as it traveled in the Hebron Hills.

French far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen has been indicted over his remarks about gas chambers.

US Pres. Obama exults, “I am the first Kenyan-American to become president of the US.”

This appears to be a strategic switch away from Mylan, which was fighting the Teva takeover.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Mossad to expand the investigation of the fate of the missing Iranian Jews.

Huckabee said, “It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”

The laser beams apparently originated from an Arab village in the Shomron.

Family and friends say good-bye as the young recruits show up for enlistment day at Tel Hashomer.

The IDF has launched one of its largest military drills ever, calling up thousands of reservists across the country.

An Israeli Arab MK tells a radio interviewer the two Jewish Holy Temples in Jerusalem did not exist.

Israel’s giant generic firm will withdraw its troublesome bid for Mylan.

Acting Health Minister Yaakov Litzman says it will be supervised like any other drug that is considered a narcotic.

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: