Stephen Horenstein
Music, Arts and Society

Gantz & Lapid: 10 Essential Questions

With Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid now combining their resources, many questions still remain. If the two leaders aspire to spearhead a change in government they must provide us not only with questions but also answers. They must articulate clear concrete strategies as well as priorities. Their openness to including other left of center parties will determine if the coalition remains solid.  In addition, their commitment to a “no tolerance” approach if Bibi should be indicted is the ethical path they must both accept. Even with these major steps we should ask the following question to the new merged parties:

  1. What is your social agenda for poverty, housing, & women’s and minority rights?
  2. What is your vision for peace with our neighbors?
  3. Aside from preparedness, what is your policy toward Iranian incursion, especially the danger from the North and East?
  4. What will you do to heal the wounds between Diaspora and Israel regarding Jewish identity, tolerance for other streams of Judaism and re-confirmation of the Law of Return?  What specific initiatives will you plan?
  5. Who will be your choice for Foreign Minister and what are his/her credentials to implement this very sensitive and special role?
  6. What is your shared vision for a foreign policy for the 21st century? What new relationships with nations will you promote?
  7. How will you promote cultural projects and protect artistic freedom, now tarnished under the current government and Ministry of Culture and Sport?
  8. Will you accept the status quo (religious-secular) or work toward freeing up the current policies developed by the current/or/previous Likud-led government? How will you promote greater religious and cultural tolerance?
  9. Will you agree to a no-tolerance policy toward dishonesty, greed and manipulation which has been so prevalent in previous governments?
  10. How will you promote a spirit of shared purpose between coalition partners rather than allowing special interests to dominate?

The Israeli voters need concrete answers to these questions. Without clear answers the public will be in the dark, voting only with abstruse promises and speeches made by charismatic personalities.  We need to be voting on the specific and concrete.  The “rah rah” rallies, paid audiences, balloons, flag wavers, and misrepresentation of party agendas must be eliminated.  We must usher in a new error of democracy and clarity to achieve the next healthy stage toward the formation of a new and vibrant government.

About the Author
Stephen Horenstein is a composer, researcher and educator. His repertoire of musical works has been performed and recorded worldwide. He has been a recipient of the Israel Prime Minister's Prize for Composers and the National Endowment of the Arts (USA) and recently a Mifhal HaPais prize to produce a new album “Sounds of Siday: Side B” (orchestra).. Horenstein's teaching has included Bennington College, Brandeis University, Tel Aviv University, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance; residencies at Stanford University, York University, California Institute of the Arts, and others. He is Founder and Director of the Jerusalem Institute of Contemporary Music, established in 1988 to bring the music of our time to a wider audience.
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