Israeli Finance Ministry explains recent IDF-sourced Hezbollah stories
Why the sudden spate of Israeli-sourced publications on Hezbollah’s military power?
Israel’s shocking discovery of Hezballah presence in….Lebanon. Believe it or not!
This morning (July 11 2010), Maariv provided a mundane (by Israeli standards) explanation from the Finance Ministry:
“it’s interesting how every time the military budget is on the table, they release from the stocks Hezbollah’s missile array and expose sensitive classified material”
[Headline] Finance Ministry: Barak most expensive Defense Minister ever
[Sub-headline] The battle for the defense budget goes ad hominem; senior Finance Ministry officials: The IDF is even using Hezbollah to prevent cuts
Ben Caspit, Maariv, July 11 2010 [page 7; Hebrew original here and at bottom of post]
“Ehud Barak is the most expensive defense minister in Israel’s history”; “The IDF is impertinently disregarding all of the Brodet Commission’s findings, while deceiving the public”; “it’s interesting how every time the military budget is on the table, they release from the stocks Hezbollah’s missile array and expose sensitive classified material,” — these are just some of the harsh statements that were heard over the weekend among senior Finance Ministry officials and directed against the IDF and the security establishment.
A brutal struggle over the Defense Ministry’s budget is expected next week. Finance Ministry officials, headed by the finance minister versus the security establishment headed by the defense minister. A personal dual in which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is to give the final ruling. The cabinet is expected to vote on the Finance Ministry’s demand that the Defense Ministry’s budget be slashed next year, a cut, the Finance Ministry argues, that will only annul budgetary expansions and not harm the existing budget itself.
In order to promote the cut the Finance Ministry officials are stressing that the Defense Ministry’s budget has increased by dozens of percentage points in recent years. The finance minister himself, Yuval Steinitz, said in recent days that the Defense Ministry’s budget was soaring sky high like an F-16, whereas the other budgets were barely getting off the ground like a Piper plane.
At the core of the dispute are the different interpretations of the Brodet Report. According to Finance Ministry officials, the Defense Ministry has not been abiding by the cuts as required by the report, and has simply disregarded it.
Another sensitive issue: Finance Ministry sources accuse defense establishment representatives of deliberately “talking to the protocol” and insinuating that whoever approves cuts in the defense budget will be held accountable in the report in the next commission of inquiry. “They threaten us by transparently hinting that there is already a commission of inquiry in the background,” said the Finance Ministry sources, who called the move “unacceptable and unwarranted behavior.”