In a move that fueled yet more criticism from the opposition Israel’s far-right government today agreed to add another $18 million to their funding for settlements in the occupied West Bank, with Netanyahu saying the funding would “assist small businesses” in the settlements.
The move didn’t sit well with the opposition, with several MPs noting that the government is doing little to nothing to boost the economy insist Israel itself, while at the same time it keeps throwing money at an effort which is both fueling security problems and harming Israel’s international standing.
The far-right coalition’s dedication to the settlers movement has been a hot topic in Israeli politics recently, with former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni declaring that settlers’ councils are effectively dictating the entire government’s agenda, even though they are only a small minority of Israel’s population.
United ideologically and prone to acting up when they don’t get their way, Israel’s settlers have always punched above their weight as a political force, but as Israel’s government continues to shift rightward, there are fewer and fewer members of the coalition who don’t see them as their primary constituency.
Reflecting just how much the settlers can drive politics in Israel, opposition leader Isaac Herzog publicly rebuked his own spokesman for a Facebook post critical of the settlers, adding that his own Labor Party had helped build settlements in the first place.