knesset

In recent days, headlines have been dominated by political figures seeking to topple the Netanyahu government.  Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who is responsible for the Oslo fiasco, has now formed a new political party seeking to topple Israel’s incumbent prime minister, stressing that it is forbidden for him to stay in power.   Similarly, Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid is emphasizing that his party won’t sit in a Netanyahu government under any circumstances.   And while the left is rallying against Netanyahu, Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman is spreading fake news that Netanyahu is trying to form a coalition with the Arab parties.

Indeed, instead of dealing with real political issues such as Trump’s deal of the century, Iran, the Gazan terror groups and Hezbollah, Israeli newspapers are dominated by partisan headlines as the country is once again preparing for another election.   What is wrong with this picture?  The issue remains that this election is totally pointless given that we had elections not too long ago.   The Israeli candidates already discussed the issues at hand and the people already voted for who they wanted to represent them.  If only Lieberman knew how to compromise for the national good, then this whole fiasco could have been avoided.

If he had known how to compromise, then Trump would be free to release the political component of his “Deal of the century” and the Bahrain Conference could have potentially been much more successful than it was.   After all, how can we build up momentum for Trump’s “Deal of the century” and the Bahrain workshop when the political components of the plan remain a secret?  And now with the Israeli elections and then the US elections, who knows if this plan which is more beneficial to Israel than any other proposed so far will ever see the light of day now?   While it is true that the Palestinians rejected the plan even before seeing it, Israel could have missed an historic opportunity to build up Gulf Arab support for a future plan to resolve the conflict that is more favorable to the State of Israel.  Now, with these elections, the chances of that happening are next to none.

Indeed, the national interests of the country have been sacrificed in the name of partisan politics.   And for what?   Merely so the Haredim will be forced to serve in the IDF?  If forcing Haredim to serve in the IDF is such an important issue that Lieberman felt that it was enough of a reason to prevent the formation of a right wing government, then how is he any better than a left wing political party?

As Mendi Safadi, who heads the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, stressed: “What is wrong with the Israeli politics that makes the race to topple the government from its first day the most important activity?  And how has the overthrowing of the government become the main priority before striving to raise the quality of civilian life, before the security, civilian and political interests of the country, and since when is an opposition party’s struggle against a man and not a party’s ideology?”

“We spoke a lot about values and ideology and each party created a platform during the elections,” Safadi noted, stressing:  “We argued over the division of Jerusalem and the annexation of Judea, Samaria, and the Golan Heights and on the creation of a Palestinian state.  We discussed war and peace as well as socio-economic policies.” According to Safadi, this was our custom in every election but now there are some generals under Benny Gantz who have united not for the sake of peace, the War on Terror or the Iranian threat but to overthrow one man, Netanyahu via democratic elections and they were aided by Lieberman.  And for this reason only, the democratic wishes of the Israeli people were not respected, we are heading to the polls once again and so many issues of critical importance for the State of Israel are presently being neglected.  He noted that this situation will continue to haunt us so long as small political parties that barely passed the electoral threshold have the ability to hold the entire country hostage.