Ben-Dror Yemini
Ben-Dror Yemini
Photo: Ynet
Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset on Wednesday for the first vote on a bill to dissolve parliament

Israel's government is terrible, elections would be worse

Opinion: If a new national vote yields the right-wing coalition that Netanyahu seeks to free him from his charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, the ultra-Orthodox parties will extort the country for budgets and legislation

Ben-Dror Yemini |
Updated: 12.02.20 , 23:40
Israel does not have a bad coalition that yielded a bad government. It has a terrible coalition that yielded a terrible government.
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  • Even so, dissolving that government and dragging the country into yet another round of elections is far worse. For what could a fourth election in two years achieve?
    בנימין נתניהו ובני גנץבנימין נתניהו ובני גנץ
    Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset on Wednesday for the first vote on a bill to dissolve parliament
    (Photo: The Knesset)
    This government has many faults, beginning with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly ignoring his coalition partners in matters of national security.
    His government has also failed in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, thwarted any efforts to fill critical senior positions due to internal bickering, and blocked vital legislation over narrow political considerations.
    Fresh elections could yield the same inconclusive results achieved in the previous three ballots, but if the public opinion polls are accurate, Netanyahu may be able to form a right-wing government that would grant him the immunity he seeks from his criminal liabilities.
    While democracy would not be destroyed, a constitutional crisis would be sure to follow, and the ultra-Orthodox parties - a vital component of any government - would extort the country for budgets and legislation at an unimaginable cost.
    ההפגנה בבלופורההפגנה בבלופור
    Protesters calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Netanyahu outside his Jerusalem residence last month
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    Furthermore, the calls for Netanyahu's removal in the months of demonstrations against him would be silenced by a popular vote in his favor.
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz was not wrong on Tuesday when he slammed Netanyahu's conduct. But bringing about the dissolution of the Knesset and an additional election would only grant Netanyahu his fervent wishes.
    The prime minister has violated his own coalition agreement by preventing a two-year state budget to pass. He claims he wants unity while disregarding his signed commitments to his coalition partners.
    Blue & White has by its own admission succeeded in blocking draconian laws promoted by Netanyahu and his allies. They prevented the annexation of West Bank land, clearing the way for peace agreements with the UAE and Bahrain.
    בני גנץבני גנץ
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz announcing Tuesday that Blue & White would back a bill to dissolve the Knesset
    (Photo: Elad Malka)
    And despite being sidelined by the prime minister, the party still controls the key foreign and defense ministries as well as the Justice Ministry.
    It also inadvertently opened the door for parliamentary cooperation with Arab factions after Netanyahu saw advantages in his budding friendship with members of the predominantly Arab Joint List, pulling the rug from under the feet of right-wing politicians who have likened cooperation with Arab legislators to treason.
    Despite the valid points made by Gantz when he announced his party would vote in favor of the bill to dissolve the Knesset, the alternative will lead to far more disastrous results.

    First published: 23:18 , 12.02.20
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