I have written several times about the serious existential issues facing the State of Israel – starting with the threat from Iran. Unfortunately, to date, Israel has been without a functioning Government for over half a year; and counting. Every day that Israel continues in a state of political limbo plays into the hands of our enemies. The security of our country is being jeopardised by politicians who care more about their narrow self-interests than what is best for the country.
The Blue and White Party campaigned on a slogan “Israel before everything”; unfortunately not enough of the voters felt the same way. As a result we have a polarised nation that has facilitated the current deadlock.
Over the weekend once again southern Israel was under rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. And once again Israeli civilians including many children had to run to shelters and have their lives traumatised because of the inaction of our political leaders. The situation in the south has long ago passed the point of being unacceptable. It has become a symbol of a failure of the national will within Israel to assert itself to resolve this threat to our national security.
Netanyahu is no Rabin so don’t expect our current Prime Minister to willingly vacate his position; despite losing two elections and twice being unable to form a coalition. We all know the reason why. And nobody to date has had the courage to openly challenge Mr. Netanyahu’s autocratic rule from within his own party. It is weakness not strength that our leader exhibits and blaming the judiciary and the media for his personal problems cannot be taken seriously by anyone who believes a Prime Minister must lead by example.
The country overwhelming supports a unity Government between the two largest political parties, Kahol & Levan and the Likud, not political blocs. Only the Likud, led by the “under threat of enditement Netanyahu”, insists an entire bloc enter into any unity Government. Of course, bringing anti-Zionist Arabs into a Government is treif but sitting with Shas and United Torah Judaism, who are also not Zionists, is okay because it is politically expedient. The real 5th column in this country are not the Israeli Arabs.
At the time of this writing Bennett and Shaked may have been offered Ministerial positions in a Kahol and Lavan Government – but won’t sit with Meretz. Israel Beiteinu won’t sit with the Arabs, Meretz or the Haredi. The religious parties won’t sit with Lapid. The Telem faction of the Blue and White won’t sit with the Arab List. And, interestingly, several polls have indicated that should Israel actually go to another election the results would not be very much different.
So where do we go from here? There appears to be only two preferable options. One, that Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit will finally show some courage and either indite or acquit Netanyahu of the serious charges before him. Or, secondly, President Rivlin will select another member of the Knesset to try and form a Government should Benny Gantz indeed prove to be unable to do so.
The people of Israel having been wanting and waiting for their leaders to come together for the best interests of the country. Too bad that has not been the priority of so many of our leaders, starting with Prime Minister Netanyahu.