Michael Boyden

Israel has only four options

Many Israelis, who watched Netanyahu’s appearance on prime time on the news programmes on Thursday evening, will have been extremely disappointed by what he had to say.

He said all the right things, but Bibi doesn’t seem to understand that people don’t trust him any longer.

If he had come forward with an operative programme on how he planned to resolve the constitutional crisis in which Israel finds itself, people might have been prepared to give him a chance. However, there wasn’t a word of that.

Instead, Bibi wants the Defence Ministry to adopt a firm stand against those IDF reservists from all branches of the military who have declared that they will not continue to serve if the government’s programme is enacted.

Getting tough on reservists isn’t going to solve the problem. What Bibi should have said is that he would put a halt to current proposed legislation and sit down with all parties to resolve the crisis.

Unfortunately, he did not do that. Presumably because he was frightened that, were he to do so, his coalition government would collapse. In adopting such a position, he placed his own political survival before that of concern for the future of his country.

Things can only unfold in one of four different ways:

1. Those of the so-called “elite” who are able to will seek their fortunes elsewhere, leaving those who voted for the current coalition to defend the country and meet its economic and other needs.
2. Likkud Ministers and Knesset Members, who recognize the danger of the current situation, will dare to stand up to Netanyahu and vote against the judicial reforms.
3. Bibi will act responsibly, and will sit down with the Opposition to agree on a compromise resolution of the current impasse.
4. The country will go to civil war.

As things stand, it is anyone’s guess which way things will go.

About the Author
Made aliyah from the UK in 1985, am a former president of the Israel Council of Reform Rabbis and am currently rabbi of Kehilat Yonatan in Hod Hasharon, Israel.