Will Israel's new government get off the ground?

Israel’s dysfunctional Government cannot survive. If it does, that will be because the Rightists on it have veered left. Op-ed.

David Singer ,

Dry Bones: Dysfunctional Government
Dry Bones: Dysfunctional Government
Y. Kirschen

An amalgam of eight leaders trading insults and denigrating each other - whilst their parties have adopted policies that are totally irreconcilable on critical issues – is not the foundation for any stable Government – especially in Israel – whose enemies will become increasingly emboldened following the announcement of a cobbled-together Israeli Government comprising very different bedfellows.

A vote of confidence first needed from 61 members of the Knesset before this dysfunctional Government even begins operating is certainly not a foregone conclusion.

Either an Islamic-Arab party – Ra’am (4 seats) – or an extreme left wing party – Meretz (6 seats) which includes two Israeli Arabs – possess the ability to drag Israelis to a fifth election in 3 years.

This Government could implode in making decisions involving such issues as:

  • Hauling Israel before the International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Authorising future building in Judea and Samaria (aka 'West Bank')
  • Extending Israeli sovereignty into Judea and Samaria
  • Preventing the renewal of violent protests by Israel’s Arab population that saw synagogues burnt and attacks on Jews and their property during last month’s Israel- Gaza conflict

Fractured relations and policy differences abound:

  • Meretz leader - Nitzan Horowitz - has adopted the position that the ICC has grounds for investigating Israel for suspected war crimes.
  • Gideon Sa’ar – leader of the New Hope party - said that he would not include Meretz in any coalition he led for holding that viewpoint. “Horowitz can’t join the government with positions like that,” the MK who is only consistent in his personal hatred of Netanyahu..
  • Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked, equally consistent – echoed Sa’ar’s sentiments: “Anyone who talks like that will not be with us in a coalition,”

Sa’ar and Shaked – and it seems, the 10 other members of New Hope and Yamina parties – are ready to sit with Horowitz in coalition as the ICC probe continues and Israel’s Government has to formulate its responses.

And Bennett?

  • Prime Minister-elect Bennett repeatedly called Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas a “terror supporter” before the elections – but now opines: “Mansour Abbas isn’t a terror supporter. I met an honest man and a brave leader who is reaching out and seeking to help Israeli citizens.”

An amazing epiphany indeed for an Arab leader whose party is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and whose 4 seats could bring down this Government at any time.

  • During the election campaign – Bennett signed a pledge on TV (pictured below) – making the following commitments:

“I won’t allow Yair Lapid to be prime minister, including in a rotation (agreement.)” and “I will not establish a government based on the support of Mansour Abbas from the Islamic Movement.”


Bennett’s credibility has been shot to pieces.

“The central problem is the failure of the Israeli leadership to simply state that the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel. We have to say this to ourselves, on Channel 2 and on CNN that Israel belongs to the Jews”

“We have to tell ourselves and the whole world that his land has belonged to us for 3,000 years. The most certain path to defeat is for Israel to forget its sense of justice. This is true historically and legally. There has never been a Palestinian state here.”

Can Bennett utter one word about these historic and modern-day legal claims without the leaders of Meretz and Ra’am threatening to pack their bags and bring down the Government?

  • Bennett has argued since 2012 in his detailed “Israel Stability Initiative” that Israel needs to extend its sovereignty into Area C of Judea and Samaria and that Gaza should be separated from Judea and Samaria. Advancing Bennett’s plan could see the Government’s downfall.

Israelis deserve a Government united in policy and possessing the firm resolve to combat their sworn enemies. This rancour-ridden Government - infected by deep political differences and built on hatred of Israel's illustrious, though not perfect, current Prime Minister - is not the answer.

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.