Holding my nose about the ‘party of change’ and the opposition

So far, the new coalition government which claims to be a “party of change”   makes me wonder what this change is about.

I got the shivers when I learned about the scope of the major concessions made to Islamist Mansour Abbas, the head of Ra’am party, with respect to the Bedouin concerning the lands which they consider to be theirs and the annulment of the existing orders for the demolition of their thousands of illegally built houses with an explicit or implicit undertaking not to enforce the law in the future. All this and more concessions, in order to secure  Abbas’ support to secure the necessary votes to be sworn in as the government.

However, I really got the shivers when I learned that Abbas would not vote in favour of the law extending the ban on Palestinian family reunification despite the fact that he is a member of Cabinet.

In a parliamentary democracy, the fundamental rule is that a member of the cabinet, who opposes a legislative measure put forward by the government, cannot remain a member of the cabinet.

I  would even go further and say  that in matters of national security, as is the case here, the government would go so far as to  put   the recalcitrant cabinet member in the doghouses of the party or parties forming the government,  and most probably expel him  from the party to insure that he does not sit in Parliament under their banners and ultimately bar him from membership of the party or parties involved.

Of course, the catch in the present case is that the cabinet member is the head of his own party.

Some people suggested that Abbas is really bluffing because if expelled from Cabinet, he would be unable to take advantage of the many substantial   present and future benefits and advantages his cabinet membership in the government has and will offer him  in the future to advance his political  agenda.

I disagree for the simple reason that if the coalition government were to shut him out and thereby lose its majority, the government would fall.

In the premises, it is fair to say that Abbas has got the coalition parties and the government by the short hair so long as the government remains in power.

Mind, if the opposition were to support the proposed legislation, Abbas would no longer be in a position to squeeze the government by its balls as he fully intends to do. At all events, I cannot see Abbas, who is undeniably a supporter of the Palestinians and their cause would want to seriously, if not fatally, jeopardise his standing among them by supporting a legislation which is prejudicial to the Palestinians and especially to the members of Hamas and their ilk.

Most regrettably, to date, the opposition has indicated that it too would vote against the legislative measure, not because they disagree with the nature and objects of proposed legislative, when in fact they championed it when they were in power or now disagree with it, but simply by political opportunism, to take advantage of this opportunity to get rid of the present government which they loath and want to get rid of as quickly as possible in order to regain power.

In this regard the opposition is as contemptible as Abbas who, in effect is blackmailing the government.

May G-d help Israel and make see the opposition that this type of self-serving aberrant behaviour which is fundamentally contrary the paramount national security interests and needs of Israel, will amount to spitting on the government by cutting their own noses. For the electorate, save for the extreme nationalists and the supporters of the religious parties,  the voters are more than likely than not to spit on the opposition, if they have to vote, yet again in an unwanted loathsome fifth general election.

About the Author
Doğan Akman immigrated to Canada with his family. In Canada, he taught university in sociology-criminology and social welfare policy and published articles in criminology journals After a stint as a Judge of the Provincial Court (criminal and family divisions) of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, he joined the Federal Department of Justice as a Crown prosecutor, and then moved over to the to civil litigation branch . Since his retirement he has published articles in Sephardic Horizons and e-Sefarad and in an anthology edited by Rifat Bali titled "This is My New Homeland" published in Istanbul.
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