Netanyahu's cruel game

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is callously playing with IBA employees feelings. Possible reasons for move are worrying. Commentary.

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Shlomo Pietrekovski,

Bennett and Netanyahu
Bennett and Netanyahu
Reuters

Netanyahu wants elections. Now. There is no other way to explain Netanyahu's behavior regarding the Broadcast Corporation except a conscious decision to hold elections.

Everything seems too similar to a previous episode of the same nature, the one that occurred in early December, 2014. Then, let us recall, Prime Minister Netanyahu had put an ultimatum to (then) Finance Minister Yair Lapid, demanding that Lapid give up the Zero Value Added Tax program on apartments for young couples.

This was not a cardinal issue for Netanyahu. The Prime Minister did not especially care for the plan from the outset, for good reasons, but decided to swallow it and cooperate with Lapid about it all along. Again, it should be noted, the Broadcast Corporation began as a project that Netanyahu was definitely for, despite the history he's trying to have written about it now.

Even when the Prime Minister turned on the Corporation, it was clear that he was ready to reach agreements, and those, recall, were obtained last week. The decision to accost Kahlon with the Corporation issue and present him an ultimatum has only one purpose: To lead the State of Israel to elections.

Netanyahu's essential desire to hold elections is legitimate. While you can and should ask whether it's logical for a country to go to elections every two-and-a-quarter years, but if this is what Netanyahu wants, who can tell him not to. But the way Netanyahu chose to advance this goal is already much less legitimate. Netanyahu is performing a cruel and cynical game with the feelings of IBA employees in order to achieve political gain that he doesn't really need at this point in time.

To clarify what is so terrible in what Netanyahu is doing now, we must return to his previous stunt, what he did to Lapid. Then, the outcome of the elections was eliminating Lapid's Zero VAT program. One could draw a rational connection between the alleged purpose, scrapping the zero tax plan, and the means, going to elections.

In our case, however, if we go to elections the Corporation certainly will arise, because the law for it has been already been written, as is known. In this case the Prime Minister will not even have the same degree of influence that would perhaps enable him to bring more IBA employees to be absorbed into the new corporation. Elections will not benefit IBA employees, who are supposedly the whole reason for the move according to Netanyahu's claim, in any case. So what do we have? Callous and despicable exploitation of IBA employees and their feelings for crass political motives, whose real aim are not clear to anyone.

One possibility, which the Right should actually fear, is that Netanyahu's attempt to change the coalition's composition so that it does not depend for its survival on Jewish Home. An attempt that aims to allow Netanyahu more political flexibility to carry out policy moves. If this sounds preposterous, let me remind you that Netanyahu is under investigation, which is far from over as of now. What the last prime minister of the Right who was under investigation did, we certainly needn't remind anyone.








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