Like in NATO countries there is propaganda for more money for
‘defence’ wars in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Mali, etc. etc. while governments attack education, arts, poor people, wildlife conservation, pro-environment measures, etc., similarly so in a non-NATO country like Israel.
From daily The Guardian in Britain:
Israel estimates cost of Gaza conflict at £1.5bn
Education sector likely to be hardest hit as Binyamin Netanyahu seeks 2% cut to government spending to offset cost of Gaza war
Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem
Sunday 31 August 2014 14.28 BST
Israel has been presented with a hefty bill for 50 days of war in Gaza, as the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, moved to slash government spending by 2% this year to offset the $2.52 bn (£1.51bn) cost of the conflict.
With only the Israeli military and domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet exempt from the sharp spending reductions, the area to be hit hardest emerged as the Israeli education system, with critics – including members of Netanyahu’s cabinet – predicting that the poorest Israelis will feel the brunt of the cuts.
Among those protesting was the welfare minister, Meir Cohen, who insisted there was no more fat in his budget to trim.
“From whom will we take? From those who have nothing to put in their children’s sandwiches for school?” he complained on Israeli army radio.
Amid estimates by some economic observers that the war may have cost Israel a decline of 0.5% in its growth in GDP, Netanyahu defended the stringent across-the-board cuts before a cabinet meeting in the country’s south on Sunday, insisting: “Security comes first.”
The proposed emergency budget reductions, amounting to about $561m, will help fund a sharp hike in the budget of Israel’s armed forces and Shin Bet amid estimates that the latest round of fighting in Gaza cost Israel $50m for each day of the war.
The Israeli budget for this year – even before the war and the latest proposed cuts – had already heralded a bout of belt-tightening that had seen a fierce fight over spending cuts, later reversed, to the Israeli defence forces.
On the Palestinian side experts have estimated that the bill for reconstruction after the conflict could be upwards of $6bn and take 20 years to accomplish under the current Israeli and Egyptian restrictions on imports of building materials into Gaza.
The Israeli budget cuts come amid evidence that Israel’s economy – which had already been slowing to a sluggish 1.7% growth in the second quarter of this year, including the key hi-tech sector – had been hard hit by the weeks of conflict, not least tourism.
Speaking ahead of the cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu insisted: “We are starting to fill in what is lacking in the defence budget. As we saw recently, defence comes before all else. …”
The new austerity programme – which had been anticipated – emerged amid continuing criticism by Israelis of Netanyahu and his government, whose approval has plummeted since a long-term cease fire with Hamas was agreed last week.
The scale of the cuts have been dictated by the insistence of Netanyahu’s finance minister, Yair Lapid, that he will not raise taxes to cover any shortfall.
The disclosure of the scope and potential impact of the proposed cuts came as Israel announced on Sunday a land appropriation in the occupied West Bank that an anti-settlement group termed the biggest in 30 years and a Palestinian official said would cause only more friction after the Gaza war.
Four hundred hectares (988 acres) in the Etzion settlement bloc near Bethlehem were declared “state land, on the instructions of the political echelon” by the military-run civil administration.
Netanyahu indicates Gaza ceasefire paves way for wider war: here.
The war on Gaza cost Israel a staggering $2.5 billion, or $50 million for each day it was waged. This is even higher than the estimates the Israeli media were making in early August before the fighting ended: here.
For six decades my friends and I have warned our people: if we don’t make peace with the nationalist Arab forces, we shall be faced with Islamic Arab forces. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will turn into a Jewish-Muslim conflict. The national war will become a religious war. National conflicts are basically rational. They concern territory. They can usually be solved by compromise. Religious conflicts are irrational. Each side believes in an absolute truth, and automatically considers everybody else as infidels, enemies of the only true God: here.
Forty-three reserve soldiers and officers in Israel’s prestigious military intelligence gathering unit, Unit 8200, have refused to take any further part in the gathering of information on Palestinian society in the West Bank: here.
In what appears to be the largest-ever joint protest by senior Israeli security personnel, a group of 106 retired generals, Mossad directors and national police commissioners has signed a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to “initiate a diplomatic process” based on a regional framework for peace with the Palestinians: here.