Zulat-Berl Katznelson Foundation Emergency Webinar: A Budget for Israel’s Destruction

On 25 January 2024, Zulat and the Berl Katznelson Foundation held an emergency webinar titled “A Budget for Israel’s Destruction. Moderated by journalist and former MK Zuhair Bahlul, participants included MK Vladimir Beliak (Yesh Atid), MK Naama Lazimi (Labor), Berl Katznelson Foundation‘s Deputy Director for Policy and Content Aviad Houminer-Rosenblum, and Union of Social Workers Chairperson Inbal Hermoni. Berl Katznelson Center’s Director General Rami Hod and Zulat Executive Director Einat Ovadia delivered the opening remarks.

Einat Ovadia: “The state budget presented to the government hardly addresses the rehabilitation needs of Israel’s population and of the country at large. It attests to the government’s goals: to drag out this war for as long as possible, while continuing to damage the welfare and health systems, which were already affected by previous cuts.”

Rami Hod: “Israel needs to adopt an expansive approach, like Britain after World War II and Israel after the Yom Kippur War. To emerge from major crises, a country needs to invest in growth engines, education, and health. We, in civil society, need to raise the banner of the need to expand the budget.

MK Vladimir Beliak: “The budget reflects no change whatsoever in priorities. While preserving the allocations for social services even during wartime, we still need to strive to maintain fiscal discipline. In this regard, with a deficit of 6.6%, the budget is an absolute disaster. We should have sufficed with 4.5-5%.”

MK Naama Lazimi: “This is a catastrophic budget, which will haunt us and set us back for years to come. It is a budget of cutbacks that doesn’t look forward to a future of growth. Instead of unnecessary ministries and coalition funds, the budget should have significantly expanded the deficit for growth-generating services. Stopping budgets for education and welfare paves the road to crime. Instead of creating a horizon, the state is undermining national and personal resilience and cancelling allocations to the Negev and Galilee. This is a complete distortion of priorities.

Aviad HouminerRosenblum: “This is the most sectoral budget Israel has ever seen. Allocations do not go to the whole of Israeli society, but are political bribery instead. Subsequent adjustments are even worse than the original budget. Harm is inflicted on all of Israeli society, while support goes only to those who side with the coalition. It’s not a one-time cut but one that will affect us for years to come.”

Inbal Hermoni: “Social and civil budgets have been systematically drained for many years, almost regardless of the identity of the government. Even among parties that are not considered right-wing, there is a kind of fiscal perception whereby the way to deal with a crisis is to harm welfare, health, housing, employment, etc.”

Watch (Hebrew, no subtitles):




Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.