Bill Passed to Raise Pensions for Officers in IDF Bringing an End to Coalition Crisis

In recent news, Benny Gantz, the defense minister, successfully managed to pass a bill that is going to bring about a significant increase in pensions for senior officers of the IDF. This was made possible only after the coalition of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Naftali Bennett, reached a compromise, which had been engaged in a dispute for the last week. The first reading of the bill was passed with a vote of 57-56. It received overwhelming support from the United Arab List party. Mansour Abbas and various MKs belonging to his Ra’am were especially supportive of the bill. This compromise was reached during a meeting that was attended by Gantz, Bennett, as well as Yair Lapid, the Foreign Minister. 

Two primary opponents of the bill, Merav Michaeli, the leader of Labor, as well as Abir Kara, the deputy minister, were also in attendance at the meeting. During the proceedings, it was revealed that Gantz told Michaeli to not discuss issues that she is not aware of. However, after the bill was passed, Michaeli said that she was happy to have reached an agreement regarding the pension laws. She added that these laws will now be revised by a committee comprising of members from Labor and Welfare, along with Foreign Affairs and Defense. She went on to express gratitude towards the defense minister and the members of his team for agreeing to make several changes to the laws. In her words, she was glad for the opportunity to work together to reach compromises.

The leader of Labor concluded her speech by saying that the efforts were made to ensure the welfare of the people serving in the IDF. While giving his own speech, Gantz laid emphasis on how important it was to receive funding from the government of the Jewish state. Furthermore, he pointed out that it was vital to ensure the passing of this bill to preserve the welfare and self-respect of all those serving in the IDF. The MK of Likud, Shomo Karhi, also talked about the bill, saying that its passing is an indication the MKs of the coalition are nothing more than hypocritical and disconnected from the people of Israel. In his words, NIS 1.5 billion collected from taxpayer funds will only be given out to friends of Benny Gantz.

Just last Monday, Gantz made an announcement saying that his Blue and White faction will be boycotting the legislation of the coalition to protest again the lack of implementation of the initiatives taken by his party. In his words, it was unfair that even his pension bill was not receiving approval. As a result of the boycott, the coalition lost at least a dozen votes. Consequently, the government gave its approval for NIS 1.1 billion along with an addition to the current budget for the pension of officers of the IDF in the month of August. This decision will enable the chief of staff to raise the rates of pensions in the future by around 11%.

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