One thing that I hope will be missing in the negotiations to cobble together a new Israeli government will be interference by well-meaning American Jewish leaders telling Bibi Netanyahu and other party leaders how to form a coalition and who to put in the cabinet.
It has been tried – and failed – in the past. The Israeli leaders felt the American activists may have been sincere in their desire to help but were so focused on protecting and improving relations between Washington and Jerusalem that they ignored the critical domestic issues that had motivated Israeli voters.
Those voters, like American Jews, have broad confidence that whichever party is elected in either country it is likely to be a good friend and continue the close relationship, notwithstanding the personalities of some politicians.
What drives elections – as we saw here in November and in Israel just last week – are domestic issues. The economy, jobs, housing, taxes. And as much as they love each other and care about the policies of the new government (in either country), they don’t want to see outsiders trying to tell them who to vote for, who to appoint to the cabinet and what the government’s priorities should be.
That goes for Jewish leaders, politicians and government officials alike. Leave all the advice giving to the pontificating pundits.