Netanyahu and Gantz
Netanyahu and GantzPhoto by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

Defense Minister Benny Gantz sent a scathing letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, unequivocally demanding that the Knesset approve the national budget, along with government bylaws, placing "national unity and best interests of the Israeli people before personal interests."

"The [current] system is causing fatal harm to the national economy. The state of emergency leaves us no choice. The Finance Ministry must immediately begin work on the 2021 budget. Standing in its way denotes placing personal considerations over the good of the Israeli people," Gantz wrote to Netanyahu.

The chairman of Blue and White stressed in his letter that "Israel's economy is in a state of emergency and the citizens of the country are in need of financial certainty to cope with the crisis."

"I demand that you instruct the Finance Ministry to prepare a proposal for an economic plan and state budget to be submitted to the government and Knesset for approval by no later than December," he stated.

Gantz said the unity government was in danger of collapse, adding that, "The government's behavior stands in the way of a proper, democratic, and worthy state for the citizens of this country."

"I urge you to immediately approve the government's bylaws, ordain regular Knesset meetings and begin regulating various public service appointments that have been unjustifiably delayed for a long time, undermining our ability to deal with the coronavirus crisis," wrote Gantz.

Earlier it became apparent that the Likud is still preventing the Ministerial Committee for Legislation from convening. There will be no meeting of this legislative body this coming Sunday due to opposition from the Prime Minister.

Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn (Blue and White) said that Likud refuses to discuss important laws formulated by government ministries and Knesset members. "Social and economic moves designed to improve life in Israel have been halted for weeks."

"Do not bother to search, there is no material reason or professional consideration in the decision to prevent government ministers and Knesset members from performing their duties. I will not allow this to continue. Disagreements? Fine. Paralysis? No," Nissenkorn added.

Yesterday, (Wednesday, Oct 7) members of the Likud criticized Blue and White over renewed demands to ensure the immediate passing of the state budget.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu has a long and proven track record in economic decisions that have brought Israel to record highs. The prime minister has instituted more successful state budgets than any other world leader. He is not moved by the shameful attempt by Blue and White to extricate themselves from their collapse in polls," read a Likud party statement.

"It's too bad that Blue and White are threatening elections in the midst of the coronavirus crisis because of one fake poll. Three polls in the last 24 hours show the Likud in control…"

Blue and White responded, saying: "Netanyahu's direct attack on Blue and White, owing to its insistence upon a 2021 state budget, is concerning and draws into question the PM's ability to make sound decisions under the pressures of the current situation."

"Blue and White will continue to insist that a 2021 budget be passed, in consideration with the best interests of the country, and will further protect those interests through every political means at its disposal."