The IDF has no budget for it’s Momentum multi-year plan. Get it together Israel.

Israeli Defense Minister joins IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi for large-scale drill in the north. (photo credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE)
Israeli Defense Minister joins IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi for large-scale drill in the north. (photo credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE)


They say third time’s the charm.

As Israel heads to the polls, once again, the same issues are on the table and the same bombastic promises are repeated to the exhausted Israeli civilian.

Israelis have for years voted on how they stand on issues relating to security, and for good reason. The Jewish state is surrounded by a myriad of significant threats. But the political disaster in Israel, exacerbated by the growing divide between the Right and Left, has left Israel wide open and vulnerable to the ever growing threats posed by her enemies.

The never ending promises of a strong Israel by “Mr. Security” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or by former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz have fallen on the ears of an apathetic country. Because of the political mess made by the men who are not capable of declaring defeat, they have actually begun risking Israel’s military might.

The military rolled out the Momentum multi-year plan last month, a plan designed to increase the IDF’s lethality in accuracy and scope. The plan, which includes the purchasing of new platforms and weapons, is focused on building up the IDF to be ready for threats that it will face some 30 years in the future.

Israel’s military says that while there remains a gap between the IDF and her enemies, it is closing quickly – and Israel needs to take advantage of the strategic opportunity to stay one step ahead of the enemy by making the necessary changes to the military.

But – and it’s a big but – the budget for the multi-year plan has not yet been agreed to by the Finance Ministry because the Knesset has not approved a budget for 2020.

Now, the IDF says that there are resources available: spending on the basis of the 2019 budget, month to month; the US Memorandum of Understanding; and changes in internal priorities. But that’s not enough.

In November, the defense establishment called for a budget supplement of NIS four billion and mid-December Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi met with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and told them that the IDF needs a budget supplement of hundreds of millions of shekels.

While the two politicians recognized the pressing needs of the military and promised that they would be met, no money has yet been found. Because let’s be frank: Where will the money come from? From the already crashing health care system, which now has to deal with the panic caused by the novel coronavirus? Or from the neglected transportation or education systems?

If the hours of waiting in traffic jams or in hospitals across the country, or the outdated and failing education system are any indication of the state Israel is in, then it looks like The Start-Up Nation is crashing.

With more active and explosive fronts on Israel’s borders – and enemy arsenals turning groups like Hezbollah in terror armies – the military has warned that if the funds are not found soon, and no budget drafted, there will be a risk to Israel’s national security.

But, just as the IDF needs hundreds of millions of extra funds, those others need the funds just as badly.

So, as Israel votes once again, the weary and increasingly apathetic populace need to understand one thing. Even if a prime minister is finally chosen and the country is able to avoid a fourth election, the state of affairs is fragile.

As Kochavi warned, “the threats are not waiting for us.”

As reported by The Jerusalem Post