Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Just Call Me A Cockeyed Optimist or a Pragmatic Extremist


For the past few years, the State of Israel hasn't had a stable government. We've been bouncing and rolling from elections to elections. Even the brilliant political magician Bibi Netanyahu has failed. OK, one of the reasons is that his tricks have worn thin, and not too many party leaders are willing to trust him anymore. I can't keep up with all the elections in the past couple of years, so I checked on the internet.

Wikipedia 


Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, whose sum total of Knesset Members is less than that of the Likud, managed to gather other political parties across the Israeli political spectrum and form a coalition. Gd willing it'll be voted in next week. 

I've shocked many friends, real life friends and facebook acquaintances/followers with my enthusiastic support of this proposed unity government. 

On one hand I really am a political extremist, but I'm also an activist and pragmatist. I've been following Israeli politics for just over half a century. I know perfectly well that only the coalition can really get anything done. 

If you just want to criticize and demand from the outside, that's one thing, but if you really want to improve life in Israel you have to work within the system. During the past few years, when we've been in and out of election mode, the sitting, interim or whatever the title is Prime Minister has had a lot of power. You can't vote him out of office, because he's already out of office, and all the time that there isn't a new coalition, the old one is in charge.

When this whole mess started, I was not one of those calling for Bibi's ouster. In many ways he had been doing a great job. I think the "corruption cases" against him are trumped up political shenanigans. But Bibi's treatment of Naftali Bennett and his crazy over-stuffed failed coalition with Gantz and his public interference in other political parties has shown a very dangerous side of Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu. He's also damaging the Likud party by not giving a chance to the younger generation. 

If Bibi had retired at seventy 70, like most government workers are forced to do, he would have left with his reputation glowing and untarnished. But in the past year and a half, even many of his supporters feel it's time for him to retire from the job. 

Actually I can't promise that the new Bennett-Lapid-Saar government will succeed or last terribly long. It may do very well, and then we'll see the chareidi parties trying to finagle their way in to preserve their institutions, the way the old NRP National Religious Party used to. 

I like the fact that Right-Left, Religious-Secular, Jew-Arab are all talking and looking for ways to make the State of Israel a better country for all of us. Gd willing these youngsters will teach us old fogies how to work and live together.

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