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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Israel's Humongous Coalition is Bad For the Country

Yesterday I posted my first reaction to the grand announcement of the "Bibi-Mofaz Elopement."  I stressed that I wasn't surprised, because PM Netanyahu had said, even before being elected Prime Minister that his aim was to bring back Kadima to Likud and Mofaz had tried to take at least some of Kadima into the coalition in 2009.

Now I'll give my opinion about this historic and humongous coalition that Bibi has constructed.  Think about it.  Out of the one hundred and twenty 120 Knesset Members over ninety, more than three quarters 3/4 are in the coalition government.  There isn't a viable opposition.  Blogger/commentators like Jameel are acting like this is a joke with the "winners and losers," but I'm worried.

Israel doesn't have American concept of a government controlled by a balance of power between the executive, legislature and judicial.  Our executive comes from the legislature and the judicial chooses itself.  Many times it's a strong smart opposition that keeps the government in line.  Menachem Begin did it brilliantly for over twenty years.  This no long exists.  Binyamin Netanyahu is much too strong.  He can pass any law he wants, yes, like a l'havdil,  dictator.  He controls too many MK's.  There is only one political party on the Right, National Union and it's much too weak to do more than flit around barely noticed.  The other opposition from the Left is mostly Arab and desperate Labor and Meretz, also incapable of mounting any serious control over the country.

I find this situation dangerous, but we have a democracy and no doubt things will change eventually.  As someone who has lived in Israel for over forty years, from when Labor totally dominated the country and Menachem Begin's party was mocked as never having a chance to rule, I see an irony it today's political situation.

But it still has me worried.

Bibi was elected with votes from the Right; ditto for Lieberman.  But somehow we've gotten a Center-Left government.  And it's the most powerful one in the history of the country.  That's not good.


Anonymous said...

Israel may be everything and anything, but it cannot be classified as a democracy. A democracy is a representative government, by the people. Israel does not currently have anything remotely like this. And it is sad that you write this gibberish, when you should no better. The people of Israel suffer because it lacks any modicum of a modern republic, with constituency elections, and checks and balances. Its supreme court is one of the most corrupt body politic, that runs amok of the peoples rights. Now, let me ask you what democracy would ever vote for the removal of its own good hard working citizens from their own property? Are you brain washed, so much that you believe people voted for this in one form or another? No, you know people voted Sharons party into government to follow a hard line. Who passed the eviction law of those people? Please stop defending this foolish nonsense, and comparing yourself to others. Why do Israelis lower themselves like this? You're not America and why do you want to always be like another country and look to others. This is the practice of someone who nebach has a "ghetto mentality" Israelis please grow up finally and learn about politics and pride and maybe one day you'll have leaders that will care too!

Shy Guy said...

Anonymous, you are confusing "democracy" and "republic".

Israel is a democracy and a tyrannical one at that.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

So what "viable opposition" would you like to see?

If Likud and Kadima were in power as a "centerist" parties only, then the right, left, religous and Arabs would be the "oppostion".

Is that the "viable opposition" you think is best?

Anonymous said...

hmm. its not the lack of a viable opposition you object to, it is the lack of your position having anywhere near enough power.
this i find deeply disturbing.

Batya said...

a1, Israel is a totally representative democracy, because we have more choices and a larger variety of elected officials.

The problem is that we have a brilliant wily politician running it now who has gathered more than 3/4 of the MK's into his coalition. He has tight control over them, so he can get any law he wants passed.

The Left/Arab opposition have relatively little to protest, because the govt is following their line.

The Right is miniscule.

Jameel, As I wrote, this is the result of democracy and law. I must accept it, but I don't have to like it.