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Netanyahu — not Mr. Security, not Mr. Economy

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prefers that Israel’s growing deficit will not come up on the March election agenda.
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Israelis came in for two pieces of bad news this week. The first emanated from the Finance Ministry, whose people reported at the weekly Cabinet meeting Jan. 12 on the government’s resounding failure in protecting the public kitty. According to a forecast by the ministry’s economists, the 2021 budget deficit would reach 4.2% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Two days later, on Jan. 14, the media reported on the annual assessment by the Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence Directorate, presented recently to top political echelons, which described a crushing strategic defeat. The intelligence analysts expect Iran to have sufficient enriched uranium by the end of 2020 to manufacture one nuclear bomb, and a nuclear warhead a year later.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to reassure the public, saying, “I reiterate — Israel will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons.” He also took advantage of the opportunity to call on the West to expand economic sanctions on Iran. Netanyahu has presumably been updated on the refusal by European states, and by Russia and China, of course, to follow in the footsteps of his friend in the White House regarding tougher economic pressure on Iran. So how does the candidate for the premiership (Netanyahu) intend to prevent Iran from completing its nuclear program by the end of the year? Does the citizenry not have a basic right to know whether Israel is headed for all-out war, one expected to cost the lives of thousands of people in Israel’s unprotected heartland?

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