The Israeli Cabinet convened on Sunday morning to vote on across-the-board cuts to accommodate the addition of new ministries to the 35th government, the largest in the country’s history, with 34 ministers.

The ministries are being established as part of the national-unity deal between Likud, headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz, who is now serving as vice premier and defense minister.

The new ministries include: Water Resources, Higher Education, Settlement Affairs, Digital and Cyber, Minority Affairs and Community Strengthening and Advancement.

The proposed budget cuts include a reduction of approximately NIS 9.4 million ($2.7 million) to the Prime Minister’s Office; NIS 8.8 million ($2.5 million) to the Finance Ministry; NIS 1.3 million ($371,000) to the Interior Ministry; NIS 8.4 million ($2.4 million) to the Justice Ministry; NIS 11.4 million ($3.3 million) to the Foreign Ministry; NIS 14 million ($4 million) to the Defense Ministry; NIS 9.7 million to the Education Ministry ($2.8 million); NIS 3.6 million ($1 million) to the Welfare Ministry; NIS 4.3 million ($1.2 million) to the Health Ministry; NIS 5.5 ($1.6 million) to the Agriculture Ministry and NIS 3.7 million ($1.1 million) to the Transportation Ministry.

The size of the new government has been widely criticized for its having been established during the coronavirus crisis, which has left 25 percent of Israelis unemployed.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.