When Israel’s current Prime Minister Naphtali Bennett set up Israel’s ruling coalition six months ago, he called his newly established coalition, a government of change and unity. This should have been the first warning sign that we in Israel are about to undergo an unprecedented and deceitful political transformation in which a third rate politician with less than five percent of the public supporting him becomes Israel’s Prime Minister.
Despite all the empty promises of the need for change and unity, it seems to escape Naphtali Bennett that the very essence of Democracy is in fact being able to govern despite disagreements with your political opponents, without having to forfeit your own beliefs or ignore your political base. With no significant experience as a political leader at the national level, and with an overabundance of narcissistic condescension towards the very voters who elected him, this politician who has not kept one election promise nor succeeded in passing significant legislative achievement as a minister or Knesset member, has brought Israel to the brink of becoming just another failing Arab state.
Historically, failing Arab states have always been led by uncaring and power hungry political leaders having no sympathy nor interest to better the lives of their own citizens. Maintaining absolute political control despite the lack of public support, co-opting and corrupting the judicial system and police enforcement to serve the goals of the political leadership, using the mainstream media to instill in the wider public a supportive narrative of governmental functioning despite the general public’s understanding that something is very wrong, and that their government is not functioning.
The Muslim Brotherhood, an extreme pan-Arab consortium of Islamic religious leaders in the Middle East, has been an integral part of every failing Arab state in recent history, and has been banned in most of the Muslim nations of the Middle East. Without batting an eye, Bennett’s government of “change and unity”, lacking an overall parliamentary majority, has brought in the Islamic party Ra’am into the ruling coalition. Giving the Muslim Brotherhood the ability to bring down the government should it choose to, has resulted in an unprecedented political reality that eventually will be unsustainable, more sooner than later.
Historically, Israel’s political leaders, whether from the left or the right of the political map, have avoided becoming dependent for their political survival on the support of the Muslim Brotherhood or their sister political organizations to maintain a parliamentary majority. The Muslim Brotherhood does not nor will ever recognize Israel as the nation-State of the Jewish people nor affirm Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state. The Muslim Brotherhood and its local Israeli version, the Islamic party Ra’am, have within a few months created the political and judicial havoc that has been widespread among Arab nations that failed in the region.
Many of you who are consumers of mainstream media whether in Israel or abroad, would not be aware of Israel’s precarious political situation. Other than reporting on the recently rescinded restriction preventing Diaspora Jews from entering Israel, or the ongoing saga of the egalitarian praying section at the Western Wall, little has been written about the government being propped up by the Islamic Brotherhood and at what price.
This past week Naphtali Bennett was caught on camera during a Knesset parliamentary session humiliating for all the world to see and hear, a religious Knesset member who could be his mother in any other situation. What made this event so startling was not so much the actual heartless words that he shouted for all to hear, but the lack of control, the childishness, and the loss of personal constraint. “Losing it”, on camera for all to see and be disgusted, is not the manner in which a leader of a nation, a Prime Minister should act and behave.
Two major events transpired during those hours in which might explain why Naphtali Bennett lost has ability to act rationally and be a true leader, leaving no doubt that he is the wrong political leader at the wrong time in a nation’s history.
The “Electricity Bill” is in effect only for Arab citizens, a kind of “bigotry of low expectations” for Arab home owners. Why should Arab home owners be held to the same legal standard as Jewish citizens? Sounds like what’s transpiring in the United States over the past three years? The “Electricity Bill” was a litmus test for Bennett’s government as to how far it would go to prop up and keep the governing coalition in power, The rule of law, racist and discriminatory policies, endangering the physical safety of whole families as they continue to live in unsafe and unsupervised constructed homes and buildings all become the norm, a norm that is representative of a failing Arab state and not a flourishing advanced democratic country.
The second major event that transpired during those very hours in which Naphtali Bennett showed his lack of responsibility for the wellbeing of the people of Israel had to do with the surge in the rate of infection due to the Omicron coronavirus taking its toll among the people of Israel. With the numbers rising exponentially from hour to hour, the government has lost control; undecided as to whether to lockdown or partially lockdown, unable to provide testing centers to deal with the surge, limiting vaccinations to certain age groups due to the lack of sufficient vaccines available, zigzagging on school vaccinations, zigzagging on gathering restrictions, zigzagging as to whether to institute “Green Pass” restrictions, and worst of all, by not setting a personal example on the part of the political leadership of the government.
The underlying message of all of these examples is that the government has abdicated its responsibility to care for the well-being of the public, and that you are on your own. This lack of responsibility for the value of life, this lack of responsibility to provide a necessary medical infrastructure is a major attribute of a failing Arab states in which the health and medical facilities cease to function in a manner that we had been accustomed to until recently.
With the Prime Minister losing all legitimacy in the eyes of the public and polls showing that he and his party would not even pass the threshold of being re-elected, its no wonder that his media advisors publicized a recent article concerning Bennett’s makeup artist: 'I'm so proud that he's my Prime Minister' She has been doing PM Bennett's makeup for the past six months. 'He makes me feel at home, he's an amazing person.' Citizens who found Bennett's insulting words to MK Struk inexcusable, worry about Muslim Brotherhood power in the Knesset and on the ground in the Negev, and who watch the corona numbers shoot higher and higher are hardly likely to be impressed.
Ron Jager grew up in the South Bronx of New York City, making Aliyah in 1980. Served for 25 years in the IDF as a Mental Health Field Officer in operational units. Prior to retiring was Commander of the Central Psychiatric Clinic for Reserve Solders at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring has been involved in strategic consultancy to NGO's and communities in the Gaza Envelope on resiliency projects to assist first responders and communities. Ron has written numerous articles for outlets in Israel and abroad focusing on Israel and the Jewish world. To contact: email@example.com Website: www.ronjager.com