אריה ארליך
Arye Erlich
Lapid and Bennett at a Cabinet meeting last week

100 days of Israel's government: Coalition built on lies and deception

Opinion: After 100 days of grace, the failures of Bennett's government appear to be even more spectacular than feared, including its management of the COVID pandemic and its discrimination against the Haredi population

Arye Erlich |
Published: 09.22.21, 23:44
After the new government was sworn in 100 days ago, it definitely deserved to be given a chance to succeed, despite the deception that led to its formation.
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  • Now, 100 days later, the period of grace has ended and the failures of this government are evident, and they are even more spectacular than some feared they would be.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    ישיבת ממשלה
    ישיבת ממשלה
    Lapid and Bennett at a Cabinet meeting last week
    (Photo: Olivier Fitousi)
    This coalition was established with limited public support after its senior members promised one thing and did the opposite.
    It has failed in the management of the coronavirus pandemic so far and imposed draconian taxes in order to pay off coalition partners.
    Politicians lie - it is in their nature. Many prime ministers in the past executed policies that were different from their election promises. But, never has a prime minister paved his way to power with lies.
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's political party spent tens of thousands of shekels in legal fees in an attempt to block the Islamist Ra'am party from participating in the last parliamentary elections, but now Ra'am is a valued member of the coalition.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    השבעת הממשלה
    השבעת הממשלה
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Ra'am leader Mansour Abas in the Knesset
    (Photo: AFP)
    Elected officials are expected to act as role models for the younger generation. But when they lie their way to power, they cause a crisis of faith.
    In a democracy, the majority of voters determine their government. Millions of Israelis voted four times in the past two years and Bennett never emerged as a winner or even got close to it. In one of those ballots his Yamina party even failed to reach the minimum threshold required to enter the Knesset.
    But in Israel of today, public support is not a factor and when a politician claims leadership under those circumstances, anarchy is sure to follow.
    The vote of millions who supported Likud and the ultra-Orthodox parties were cast aside as if their voices held no weight.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    מצביעים לבחירות 2021 בבני ברק
    מצביעים לבחירות 2021 בבני ברק
    Ultra Orthodox men cast their ballots in the 2021 elections in Bnei Brak
    (Photo: AFP)
    Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman promised to load the Haredim on to carts and throw them away like yesterday's garbage. Now the government is bringing that commitment to fruition.on against those who live a life of faith and worship.
    Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman promised to load the Haredi parties on to carts and throw them away like yesterday's garbage. Now the government is bringing that commitment to fruition.
    But the worst of this government's failures is its disregard for human life. There is no other way to explain ministers' refusal to recognize the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic and act to mitigate them.
    "We must contain the deaths," Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked said last month. This policy of containment enabled schools to reopen and daily infections and serious virus cases to surge.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    מחלקת קורונה בבית החולים ברזילי באשקלון
    מחלקת קורונה בבית החולים ברזילי באשקלון
    A coronavirus ward at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon
    (Photo: AP)
    The government promotes none of the values that voters demanded of them. The coalition came into the world to do no more than remove Benjamin Netanyahu from office.
    He is now gone. What, therefore, will be the next step? Are the prices we are made to pay on a daily basis were worth ousting Netanyahu for? Is there not a country here that must be governed?
    The holiday of Sukkot symbolizes the unity of the people of Israel who congregate together in the traditional huts. The four species stand for different groups in our society that must be gathered together.
    It is sad that the government is set on tearing apart the delicate fabric that holds us together and deprives millions of its citizens of their civil rights.
    This is the antithesis of a unity coalition, void of any values of truth and responsibility. It must be dissolved and the sooner it is, the better.

    Arye Erlich is a journalist and editor of the ultra-Orthodox Mishpacha Magazine
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