If Smotrich and Ben-Gvir don't blink there is good reason to believe that Binyamin Netanyahu will, with no time left to spare on the clock, form a coalition government with Bezalel Smotrich serving as minister of defense.
This will be a triple bonus for Israel:
#1. The appointment of anyone other than Smotrich will be interpreted by the world as Netanyahu's acquiescing to pressure. When Israel gives into pressure this only invites more pressure.
#2. Israel faces a dynamic unprecedented environment, both locally, regionally and worldwide that requires a minister of defense who can think out of the box untethered by a commitment to the common wisdom shared by members and senior veterans of the defense establishment. This relates to all levels and aspects of Israel's defense. Israeli ministers of defense with civilian backgrounds have a track record of making critically better choices not only regarding weapons systems but also in guiding the hammering out of operational decisions.
Smotrich took the transportation portfolio with no formally relevant training or experience. Yet despite this It wasn't long before he was asking a lot of questions no one in the room ever thought of even entertaining and the answers led to a dramatic leap forward in transportation infrastructure construction.
Granted defense is considerably more challenging and complicated then transportation. But that is exactly why it would be counterproductive to have a minister of defense from the ranks who would be tempted to find solace in embracing old approaches.
#3. The minister of defense calls the shots on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria and action against illegal Palestinian construction in Area C. The Jewish State is expected to reach a population of 15 million by 2049, and 20 million at the end of 2065. We simply cannot afford to lose Area C through inaction.
Don't blink, Bezalel. We are counting on you.
Dr. Aaron Lernerand his late father Dr. Joseph Lerner founded the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA) government accredited news organization in 1992,which provides an ongoing analysis of developments in Arab-Israeli relations.