Smotrich fears Palestinians will benefit from privileges he plans to grant ultra-Orthodox

Bezalel Smotrich, leader of Religious Zionism (Gil Cohen-Magen - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  December 13, 2022

The head of the Religious Zionism Party, Bezalel Smotrich, who is due to be appointed the position of finance minister in Israel’s incoming coalition government, expressed his concern and fear that Palestinian citizens of Israel will receive material privileges which are granted to other minority groups.

A report by Israel’s Channel 13 yesterday evening said Smotrich fears that “the material privileges that will be granted to the ultra-Orthodox [during his term] will apply to Arab [Palestinian] citizens.” He has “expressed his fears that there would be no choice but to give money to the Arabs as well,” the channel added.

The channel also reported that Smotrich “searched for ways to distinguish between residents.”

Smotrich is expected to hold a ministerial position in the Ministry of Security in the next government, in addition to his work in the Ministry of Finance, according to the Israeli Walla! website.

Smotrich could be appointed as a minister in the Ministry of Security, who will be responsible for the settlements, the civil administration of the occupation, and the coordinating unit of the Israeli government’s activities in the West Bank, both of which are units in the Israeli occupation army.

Senior officials in the Israeli security services stressed that granting Smotrich so much power would lead to “breaking the chain of command” in the Israeli occupation army.

Security officials considered that granting a person other than the Minister of Security the power to appoint a military commander with the rank of brigadier general or major general would “create chaos” and harm the “readiness of the forces.”