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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Israel's Coalition Woes, Bibi Passes The Baton

Since the Jewish Holiday Season, a three week plus marathon of celebrations, prayers, food and fasting, are finally over I'm back to blogging about Israeli politics.

Prime Minister Binyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu has celebrated his 70th birthday by announcing to the even more elderly President Reuven Rivlin that he just can't get the young Knesset party leaders to work together and form a coalition with him. Yes, Bibi gave up, at least for now.

Since Yvette Avigdor Lieberman has morphed from Right to spoiler-anarchist, there's no 61+ majority of MKs on either side of the political spectrum.

Even though Likud's Netanyahu and Blue & White's multi-headed leadership are all claiming to be hoping for a "unity" government, they are defining it differently. This may be a generation gap. Those of us that includes Bibi who remember the "national unity government" that Levi Eshkol crafted as Prime Minister during the security dangers/threats leading up to the 1967 Six Days War understand the term to mean "making a coalition with people/parties for the good of the State of Israel, even if you have major disagreements with them." Inviting Revisionist Herut Head Menachem Begin to join the coalition went against Labor's principles, but for the sake of the State of Israel, PM Eshkol invited Begin to join the National Unity Government.

Bibi's offers to Blue & White are similar to Eshkol's way back when, but unfortunately the Blue & White leadership, Gantz, Lapid and Ya'alon aren't in tune. They claim to want a broad coalition aka national unity government but insist that chareidim be banned from it. The truth is that they want a narrow Left-Center coalition which would even include Arabs, but not the more Torah observant Jews.

Of course, now that Bibi has given up and the ball is in Blue & White's court, there may be serious changes. The MKs who had pledged allegiance to Bibi may already be negotiating with Gantz and partners.

These coalition negotiations will definitely be interesting. And Gd willing it will be good for the State of Israel and the Jewish People.

May this be the dawn of a new age in Israeli politics/government


Esser Agaroth said...

On the radio news this morning: "Gantz wants Peretz but not Smotrich."

Not sure sure what he thinks about Shaked or Bennett. But, they've gone their separate ways, so who knows?

Gantz could pull it off, without the Arabs. Netanyahu may cave in enough on his promises. Or other Likud members may withdraw their support from him, pulling a fast one.

But, let us not forget that Shas has served in Labor governments. Will Shas be willing to compromise enough for Gantz? On the draft bill perhaps?

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Batya said...

Obviously the BWs want to create as much disunity as possible on the other team. Let's just refer to those who want Bibi out as BW, since I highly doubt that Gantz was the original instigator...
Shas and the other chareidim are the "new NRP" in that they need to be in the coalition to support their institutions.
Likud needs some shaking up, and this will help.
You probably don't follow my son's football team/coaching, but in his second season as head coach they had been unbeaten until they lost the last game of the season. Actually, I thought that was the best thing that could happen, and I was right. They went into the semi-finals and finals without the feeling that they were invincible. Since that loss they've won every game, three championships and two entire seasons.