Speaking Monday at the Israel Business Conference, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that he will not allow the government to cut the defense budget. Such a cut, he said, would “border on irresponsibility.”
Barak said that the Treasury's desire to keep to its budget was untenable, and that the government would have to spend more than it planned in order to pay for the benefits demanded by Israelis seeking a lower cost of living. Regardless, he said, cutting the defense budget was not the way to pay for these benefits. “Reducing the defense budget borders on irresponsibility, and failing to spend enough on social needs will cause us to miss an opportunity to improve society, and evidences a lack of understanding of macroeconomics,” Barak said.