Steinitz: IDF ‘inciting’ against gov´t in budget battle (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV KATZ 02/20/12)
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The Defense Ministry-Treasury standoff over the defense budget
escalated on Sunday as Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz accused the
IDF of inciting against the government.
“In a democratic country, the army does not incite the public against
the government,” he said. “The cabinet decided [about the defense
budget], and the army should salute and accept it.”
The Defense Ministry’s response was quick to come and warned that the
lack of funds would lead to slowdown in IDF training and procurement
of planes, and ultimately impair the military’s ability to prepare
for war and defend Israel.
“It is absurd to think that cutting the budget will not impact
training, procurement plans and the ability to conduct missions,”
defense officials said. “The defense establishment is a professional
entity but we will not be able to make do without the necessary
The disagreement centers on about NIS 4 billion that the IDF says it
needs to be able to implement its multi-year procurement plan.
The IDF says that the money was promised to the military by the
Brodet Committee that studied the defense budget and in 2007
recommended that the military be compensated for the rise in the cost
of fuel, food and property taxes that it pays for its bases, and
called for built-in incremental additions to the budgets over the
next 10 years.
Defense officials have said that the lack of funds would lead to the
cancellation of a number of programs such as the production of
Merkava tanks and the Iron Dome counterrocket defense system.
Kadima MK Nachman Shai on Sunday railed against the ongoing conflict
between the Defense and Finance ministries, saying the issue exposes
government “weakness in public.”
Slamming what he called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s inaction,
Shai said that “before the prime minister goes to deal with Iran, I
advise him to rectify the issues between two of his senior
ministers.” (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 02/20/12)
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