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Aug 19, 2020

Gafni's condition for the budget postponement

The lack of a budget has hurt much of Israeli society, including the yeshivas, kollels and avreichim. Without yet having passed the 2020 a budget. the State is operating on a budget based on numbers from 2017 - the last budget was passed in 2018, and 2019 was a year of elections that passed no new budget. Whatever is being given out now, as emergency funds, is being given out based on numbers form 2 to 3 years ago.

The law requires the budget to be passed this week, or else the Knesset is automatically dispersed and new elections called. Gantz and Netanyahu signed a coalition agreement that the government would pass a 2 year budget. Netanyahu has been insisting on passing a one year budget now, passing the budget for 2021 next year, and has refused to capitulate, and Gantz has refused to give in to Netanyahu's demands saying we have a signed agreement, honor it. Coming down to the last few days, MK Tzvi Hauser (telem - Kachol Lavan) came up with a solution to avoiding the crisis - passing a law that would postpone the requirement for the passage of a budget - this would give them all more time to fight about it without the immediate threat of Knesset dispersal.

While debating this law proposal in the Knesset Finance Committee, MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) proposed, through his proxies as he himself just underwent a surgical procedure, that the law allowing the postponement of the budget passage only be passed if it includes a clause that they immediately pass a special budget for the yeshivas to the tune of 400 million shekels. Gafni's demand and threat (he is saying he will hold up the law unless this demand is met) will be discussed and considered. (Walla News, Haredim10)

The entire country is struggling, organizations are folding, people who need services can't get them from underfunded institutions, and Gafni is working on getting the yeshivas a special dispensation as if they are the only ones suffering.

With all the things that could be said, would be said, are being said, about Gafni and his demand - one has to admire how he works for his constituents.  Where are all the other MKs fighting for special budgets for interest groups close to them, for their electorate? Sure, Gafni is in a unique position as head of the committee that debates these things, but others could have made their voices heard all along, making demands to help this organization or that institution. Gafni seems to be the only one that instead of just making do with the lousy situation and waiting, he works hard on finding ways to push his electorate's agenda forward, despite the obstacles.

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