Israel is crippled by baseless hatred. It seems to me that it’s the only thing motivating both the right and the left.
Despite the vastly different points of view held within our current government it has been able to function in a relatively stable way. Just compare this past year with the two previous years. Back then the government was made up of parties from the same “camp” on the right. In spite of their common ideals, they were not able to form a coalition and we all had to endure a few years of constant elections.
Imagine a governmental coalition made up of just the Zionist center parties (without the far-right fringes like Smotrich or the far-left fringes like Meretz, and without Labor and the religious or Arab parties). We’d have Likud, Yesh Atid, Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu, New Hope – 76 seats. This could be an incredibly stabile coalition! And what’s more all of these parties (and their voters) agree on more than 70% of the same public policies.
Yet — to the detriment of the country — this has not (and I fear will not) happen.
In my opinion, what happened this passed Monday is the biggest disgrace for our politicians. On one hand, shame on the coalition members and the rebels who did not vote for the West Bank emergency bill. On the other hand, and a much bigger disgrace, shame on the Zionist members of the opposition that did not support the bill.
I’m referring to the West Bank emergency bill which has to be renewed every five years. Its purpose is to extend Israeli law to Israeli citizens who live in Judea and Samaria. Monday night the government (for the first time since the Six Day War in 1967) failed to pass the law. This means that at the end of the month there will be legal chaos for Israeli citizens living in Judea and Samaria. And why did it fail to pass? Because some of the coalition members and the coalition rebels, and the Zionist parties in the opposition, voted against it or did not vote for it.
Practically speaking this has some very real consequences. Since I believe in offering hope above all else, let me say this: there is still a chance for the law to be passed until the end of the month. There is still time for the guilty parties to repent — do teshuva — and vote for the bill. Let’s hope that enough of them will so that the law is passed. But what will it mean if the bill does not pass? Over half a million Israelis living in Judea and Samaria will lose the rights given to them under Israeli law: healthcare, renewal of driver’s licenses, police protection, amongst other things. Many other legal issues would become even more entangled: car accident cases, politicians living in Judea and Samaria, and disputes between neighbors.
Theoretically they would be subject to the same military court rule as the Palestinians in areas under Israeli civil control. How can this possibly work? I have no clue.
But that’s not the point. Clearly this is not something that the coalition wants. Even more clearly, it is not something that the Zionist parties in the opposition want or support. Nor is it something that most of their constituents would support. The opposition as a bloc prevented the law from being passed (extending the same law that they themselves have been pushing for and passing four times in the last 20 years), just so that they can do damage to the existing government. This action says a lot.
There seems to be no good reason for the hatred extended to both sides. But it is so strong that they are willing to sacrifice their own values and even worse, the best interests of the country, just to spite the coalition.
Baseless hatred, indeed. Let us hope that we do not destroy ourselves entirely.