The crucial Issues for Israel's March elections: The economy and Area C

Which candidates and parties are going to address the pressing issues facing Israel once, hopefully, the vaccine changes reality? Op-ed..

Dr. Aaron Lerner ,

Ballot box voting poll station
Ballot box voting poll station
iStock


When we go to the polls on 23 March there is a good chance that enough of us will have been already vaccinated against COVID-19 that the ongoing handling of the virus won't be a major concern.

That's not to make light of the risk that a strain may evolve which the current vaccinations cannot handle. Just that until such a strain emerges it is not going to be something voters are going to spend much time thinking about.

A top concern may be how to jump start the economy which brings us to thorny carrot-and-stick issues.

Cutting red tape for new companies and training programs and hiring incentives geared to get Israelis back to work can make a critical difference. But is that enough? Can we afford to continue to facilitate
the choice of able bodied adult Israelis to permanently decline to be gainfully employed and/or acquire the basic abilities needed to be able to train to work in an advanced economy?

These are issues in which coalition partners could play a critical role as left-leaning parties may oppose reducing government controls while religious parties stand steadfastly for the right for able bodied men to choose not to be gainfully employed if they choose to live in poverty.

And then there is a very real danger that four years of placating a Biden Administration may result in our essentially forfeiting almost all of Area C to illegal Palestinian construction. Unfortunately, the odds are good that the situation in Area C will not get much attention in the elections, let alone the entire issue of sovereignty..

Which, if ay, of the plethora of parties and those vying for the job of Prime Minister will take up these issues and provide workable solutions?



Dr. Aaron Lerner is head of IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis, since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on Arab-Israeli relations Website: www.imra.org.il. Reposted with permission.



top