What if - military rule?

If the government continues to be ineffectual in stopping the Gaza attacks, we might find ourselves in the volatile situation that often leads to military rule.

Leonie Ben-Simon, | updated: 23:13

OpEds 'Leonie Ben-Simon'
'Leonie Ben-Simon'

Israel is not like Thailand, Sudan or Myamarwhich have military rule. It is a stable democracy.  Or is it? 

Could we see military rule in Israel, not permanently but for a short time during the next escalation if the government topples before the next elections?

In actual fact there is partial military rule in Israel, in Area C of Judea and Samaria, which has been applied to both Arabs and Jews through military courts.  This time when Hamas chose to send over four hundred rockets into Israel there was no declaration of war, so the military had their hands tied. 

The ruling party has ignored the rockets making residents of the south miserable, effectively treating them as second-class citizens reminiscent of the discrimination of the olim from Arab countries in the sixties and seventies, reminiscent of the years before 1967 when children slept in shelters in the kibbutzim below the Golan Heights from which Syrian soldiers shelled their homes.

Residents of Beersheva, Sderot and the areas around the Gaza Strip happen to be the children and grandchildren of these olim.This attitude will probably continue if more rockets hit Ashdod, Israel’s fifth largest city, which is also populated by the same demographic as well as the Russian immigrants who support Lieberman. 

The story would have been different if a few rockets fell on Tel Aviv. There would have been a full-scale and definitive retribution happening without delay aimed at solving the problem, not just agreeing to another hudna (temporary breakfor a few more years to enable the enemy to reorganise their strength for the next round.

The composition of the top brass still toes the line with the government. It will be interesting to see changes in the near future as officers from the right become upwardly mobile, representing the population growth that differs from the actions of the waning power centres in the centre of the country.

The army knows the costly drain on its finances, soldiers and equipment.  It just may be keen to finish off the problem of Gaza once and for all. 

Is the strength of Israel still in the fragmented government? Or is it in the grassroots army which has members of almost every family in the country – a true people’s army. It would not be surprising if Israel turned to military rule – even for a while.

Which institution really represents the citizens of Israel?