Professor Ariel Porat, the president of Tel Aviv University, called on Israeli private and public institutions and organizations to declare a general strike (reported by the Jerusalem Post, August 8).
Following Professor Ariel Porat’s call, the Jerusalem Post reported next day, on August 9, that “the Israeli universities announced a labor dispute to prepare an anti-reform strike”.
The call of the president of the Tel-Aviv University was particularly incendiary: “…the entire economy will come to a halt – until the government retracts its disobedience [of the rulings of the High Court]”
Only a professor that all his life dealt only with words (Ariel Porat is a professor of law) can believe that the economy is a switch that one can set it “off” at his will today, and then switch it “on” again at an undetermined date later. Try to sell this idea to a start-up company …
Immediately after Professor Porat’s call was made public (on Tuesday August 8, in the early afternoon hours), I began emailing letters to professors at the Israeli universities. I wrote in these letters:
Israel is drowning in extreme calls that only produce more damage. I urge you to promote only constructive proposals that can heal the wounds of Israeli’s society. I beseech you to support the formation without delay of a national unity government based on the Likud, Yesh Atid, and National Unity parties. For details see my article published last August 1st in the Times of Israel newspaper:
Jaime Kardontchik, PhD (Physics); Silicon Valley, California
I received a few replies. All of them shared the same motto: They all liked my proposal, except that … they rejected it because it included the leader of the Likud party: Benjamin Netanyahu. Their answer was: “No. Not with Bibi.”
Back to the old motif that led to the previous series of 4-5 elections: “anything but Bibi”.
* * *
My proposal is based on my life experience working in the Silicon Valley: I try to solve practical problems. Practical problems come with “boundary conditions”, conditions that determine the possible actual solutions. In the last general Israeli elections, held on November 2022, the Likud party – under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu – got by far the largest number of votes of the electorate: 32 seats in the Knesset. The Yesh Atid party got 24 seats and the National Unity party got 12 seats. There are no essential programmatic differences between these three secular Zionist parties. These are the objective “boundary conditions” that determine possible actual governments that could be formed. If these three parties want to move the country forward, they can form a coalition right now with a solid majority of 68 seats, out of 120 seats in the Knesset.
All the weekly massive demonstrations in Israel during the last several months were in the name of “Democracy” and under the main banner of opposing any change to the present Judicial system. My proposal satisfies this requirement. I proposed:
“For as long as the new Israeli government will exist (up to the normal period of 4 years), the Israeli Supreme Court’s future composition and judge selection will be made based on historical existent procedures on November 2022, when the last Israeli elections were held. In simple words: no Judicial Reform will be introduced nor implemented during the time span of this government.”
The second strong desire of the street demonstrators is to stop the imposition, through government, of religious norms on Israel’s society. My proposal satisfies this requirement: the new government will be based on these three secular Zionist parties: Likud, Yesh Atid, and National Unity. I quote from my previous article:
“All the positions in the Knesset usually adjudicated to the government coalition, as well as the ministries will be distributed between the [three secular] parties of the coalition. This does not exclude the possibility that this coalition will issue invitations to additional parties to join this government, before or after the government is formed – if these invitations are supported in advance by all the three parties of this core coalition of three secular Zionist parties.”
The fact is that, if the leaders of these three secular Zionists parties – Netanyahu, Lapid and Gantz – and their supporters, would really want, they could set aside their egos and false pretenses, humbly recognize that they are just human beings with personal limitations, give some credit to the opponent and recognize that he is also a patriot, and form this coalition, and lead the country out of the mess it is now in.
I do not live in Israel and – although I would be immensely sad – it is up to the Israelis to decide so … or let the country burn: They burnt it twice in the past. It is up to them, if they want – to burn it for a third time.