Friday, April 17, 2015

Israeli Elections, 2015, 5775, Dangerous Instability of "Unity" Government

I'm not at all surprised that it has been taking Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a very long time to construct, negotiate his newest government coalition. His last one was an unstable disaster, and I am certain that he does not want to repeat such a scenario.

Vote counting in Israel, as complicated as it is, meaning you have to count all those little pieces of paper, record the numbers, add up each parties share and then calculate percentages, subtract the parties that didn't make the minimum and then recalculate to get the actual amount of Knesset seats per party.

Photo by Linda

That's child's play compared to what Bibi has been trying to do. He has to get enough like-minded party leaders to agree to work with him and compromise their ministerial dreams and promises to voters. And this year, we had the Passover holiday right in the middle of the limited time period Israeli law allocates to the possible Prime Minister. And during Passover, some party leaders won't do anything as mundane as negotiate for political gain.

And we must not forget that the previous, meaning outgoing government was a coalition nightmare, since two of the party leaders behaved unabashedly as opposition. They were Tsipi Livni and Yair Lapid. Netanyahu had no choice other than to fire them and call for new elections. OK, maybe he should have acted much, much sooner against Livni which would have given Lapid a lesson/warning, but he didn't.

So now, with the results of this more recent elections, he's pretty much left with a similar dilemma. At least he doesn't have Naftali Bennett insisting on bringing in Lapid as a "package," which meant he could not have the chareidi MKs.

But negotiations have not been going all that well for Netanyahu. And the pressure by President Ruby Rivlin to construct a monstrous "national unity government" has only been making things worse:
Israel needs a broad government as possible, given the current efforts to prevent the nuclearization of Iran, President Reuven Rivlin told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of Wednesday’s Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem, a source close to Rivlin said on Thursday.
The source said Rivlin also had spoken about the need for a broad coalition with Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog at an event last week in Ein Gedi. (Jerusalem Post)
The key slogan to Herzog's camp was "anyone but Bibi," so for him to join such a coalition without a very pricey "gift" would be problematic with his supporters. And the previous government fell apart due to conflicting aims of its supposed partners. IMHO a unity government would be a total and utter disaster. Isaac Herzog is no Menachem Begin who humbly joined the Labor Party's national unity government in 1967.

There very well may be more political stability and strength in a small, like-minded coalition, which is what some pundits say will be:
Meanwhile, Likud sources are preparing for the possibility that Netanyahu will present a 61-MK coalition that will comprise Likud, Kulanu, Habayit Hayehudi and the ultra-Orthodox parties. After the coalition is sworn in, Netanyahu could turn to Yisrael Beytenu or, alternatively, the Zionist Union. Complicating a potential deal with the Zionist Union (the Labor-Hatnuah joint list) is Labor leader Isaac Herzog's insistence on Tzipi Livni and her Hatnuah party being part of the government, something that Netanyahu adamantly opposes. (Israel Hayom)
Also take into account that Netanyahu may be faced with rebellion from his own Likud MKs if he makes a deal with the Leftist Herzog:
MKs David Amsalem, David Bitan, Jackie Levy, Miki Zohar and Abraham Naguise reacted to a Channel 1 report from Monday that Netanyahu held a secret meeting before Passover with Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog to explore the possibility of a national unity government.
“We promised out voters a nationalist government,” Amsalem said. “We have to go with those we see eye to eye with ideologically, not with [Arab Zionist Union MK] Zouheir Bahloul.”
What is being described in the party as a “mini-rebellion” by parliamentarians who have not started work yet, came amid reports that Netanyahu was not succeeding in his attempt to woo Herzog. (Jerusalem Post)
As I've said before, I'm glad I'm not in Bibi's shoes.

Shabbat Shalom to All


Anonymous said...

We, here in the US are praying for his success! Failure in this climate is not an option!!!

Batya said...

I think Bibi is more popular in the USA especially considering who is the Amerixan pres.

Anonymous said...

Bibi, Rivlin and all of them are just part of this charade because believe that from the getgo, they already were thinking of a unity government, so they can go ahead with the dismantling. This way, the pm cannot be held solely responsible. It's all a game to them, thus the citizenry winds up being the victims, as usual. But, whatever happens, H' is in control and He is leading us to the eventual, hopefully, merciful Geulah.

Batya said...

a2, I hope you're wrong, but Rivlin's public demands for a unity government are very disturbing and worrying. Begin did it by bringing in Moshe Dayan. Oy, the Likud is awful.

goyisherebbe said...

The electoral system of Israel is a disaster. The country has stayed afloat all these years only by divine providence. Unfortunately we Jews can sometimes be our own worst enemy. If we don't clean up the mess soon and have a government ruled by its people with either representatives directly responsible to the people or direct voting of the people themselves we will be in trouble. Some major statesmanship will be required to achieve this, and it will require some politicians making the sacrifice of their cushy jobs in favor of going out and doing an honest day's work. I'm not optimistic. The people of Israel are a lot better than their leaders.

Batya said...

Goyish it isn't the system it is the voters who keep voting for the same conmen who play the same tricks.
when will they ever learn.....