Photo: AFP
Netanyahu ad with Likud ballots on floor
Photo: AFP
Shimon Shiffer

Israel is a nation divided, and we cannot blame the voters

Analysis: Forming the next government will mean compromise on all sides, and a decision about the direction of the country.

The good news first: The election results reflect the will of the people. With the party leaders' media spins, wishes and efforts to decipher the will of the voters behind them, they now know their fates and positions, with some to become partners in the government and others to serve in the opposition.



No more talk of left or right, of mezuzah and amulet kissers, of the "threat" to Israel's existence. The distribution of power determined by the voters will require a joining of forces from the right and the left.


The next prime minister will need to decide where Israel is headed – towards a historic compromise with the Palestinians, towards rebuilding our relations with the United States, and, above all, towards a redistribution of the state budget.


The Israeli voter has imposed a cruel task on the individual who will head the government. And the parties that remain in the opposition are also supposed to play no less important a role in the fabric of Israel's democracy than those placed in charge of the various ministries.


Ad for Netanyahu's Likud (Photo: AFP)
Ad for Netanyahu's Likud (Photo: AFP)


Netanyahu will probably offer his partners anything and everything – aside of course from his own chair. Everything will be up for grabs – Defense, Foreign Affairs, Finance and chairmanship of Knesset committees too.


Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


A national unity government is virtually impossible. It's hard to imagine Avigdor Lieberman sitting alongside Tamar Zandberg and Naftali Bennett, who appears to be the election's big loser, together with several Zionist Union members. In other words, we're not dealing with the games we saw Tuesday night on the television. The game for real is tougher and more exhausting than simply assembling the digital puzzle.


Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


Ironically, the task facing Benjamin Netanyahu is tougher and more complicated than the one that Isaac Herzog would have faced. Netanyahu's "natural partners," as he defines the ultra-Orthodox parties, won't be in his pocket automatically.


And Moshe Kahlon, who overnight became the most significant figure in the coalition assembly process, has said on numerous occasions in recent months that he didn't return to politics merely to crown Netanyahu, who has deceived him in the past.


Kulanu's Moshe Kahlon (Photo: George Ginsburg) (Photo: George Ginsburg)
Kulanu's Moshe Kahlon (Photo: George Ginsburg)


Meanwhile, unlike his partner, Tzipi Livni, who revealed herself to be a bold warrior during the election campaign,

Herzog is no less qualified than Netanyahu to assemble a coalition of political lists that appear impossible to piece together.


I suggest that we don't blame the voters. Our nation is divided into tribes from which the next government will be established. Compromises, on all issues, will be name of the game. At the end of an exhausting process, and at the very last minute permitted by law, the next government will be presented.


פרסום ראשון: 03.19.15, 01:06
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