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Benjamin Netanyahu Photo: Yaron Brener
Benjamin Netanyahu Photo: Yaron Brener
 
 

No nonsense government

Netanyahu fully understands he must tackle key issues of our time

Ophir Falk
Published: 03.02.09, 11:49 / Israel Opinion

Winston Churchill was probably the greatest leader of the 20th century. Yet, while leading his people during the dark days of the Battle of Britain and on various other fronts, he earned little recognition from his constituency, losing their vote after the war. Years after the dust of World War II had settled, the British people acknowledged his feats and re-elected him for office.

 

It is no coincidence that a black-and-white portrait of the legendary British PM decorates the desk of Israel's prime minister-designate. Benjamin Netanyahu's first term as PM from 1996 to 1999 will not be remembered as Israel's finest hour, but he is determined to make his upcoming term just that.

 

Raised in an ultra-Zionist home, Netanyahu is a leader with vision and historic perspective. He fully understands that he has the responsibility and opportunity to tackle the key issues of our time, most and foremost ensuring Israel’s security and prosperity.

 

On February 10th 2009, the people of Israel spoke at the ballots. Some were at first reluctant to understand the statement made but today matters are clearer to all. Benjamin Netanyahu was given a clear mandate to form a government and steer Israel in the right direction.

 

There is a wide public consensus concerning the challenges that Israel must address immediately. Topping the list are a) confronting the Iranian threat; b) dismantling the Hamas threat; and c) preventing a deep economic depression.

 

The establishment of a Palestinian state is not on that list.

 

Any Knesset party or member who is willing and able to assist in addressing the abovementioned priorities should serve in the coalition. Whoever is unwilling or unable should sit on the sidelines. No nonsense needed.

 

The manner of confronting Iran and Hamas is well beyond the scope of these lines, so I'll settle for a humble note on a modest economic measure that illustrates a no-nonsense approach.

 

Upon forming his first government in 1996, Netanyahu's first act was a symbolic step toward economic reform. He reduced the number of ministers in Israel's inflated government. He limited by law the number of ministers to 18 and sent an economic message that the public sector needs to be leaner. With political convenience in mind, Netanyahu's successor, Ehud Barak, immediately changed the Basic Law upon taking office and increased the number of ministers to 24. His successor, Ariel Sharon, further increased the number to 27 and Ehud Olmert kept that benchmark intact.

 

Eighteen ministers is more then enough to run this small country, and the fact that Netanyahu kept to that number throughout his first term in office proves it is possible. Israel needs a no-nonsense government.

 

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