Photo: George Ginsburg
Kahlon the morning after elections
Photo: George Ginsburg
Ben-Dror Yemini

An open letter to Moshe Kahlon

Op-ed: Your political interests, Kahlon, are in line with our national interests; you have the opportunity to realize them, and you owe your voters hope, vision and reforms only possible in a centrist government.

Hi there, Moshe Kahlon,


I made it clear last Friday that I'd be voting for one of the three centrist parties. Kulanu is one of them. And clearly now, it is the most important of the three.



The keys are in your hands, Kahlon, and a huge responsibility rests on your shoulders. Opportunities like this don't come around every day. And one such opportunity has fallen into your lap. A historic one perhaps. In politics, anything can happen. A unity government too. But the chances of that are slim. Very slim. The two sides will court you. And the decision will be yours to make. You are the crowner of kings. And thus, it's time for some soul searching.


If such is your desire, Kahlon, we will see the establishment of a narrow government. A nationalistic-ultra-Orthodox government. Not national, but nationalistic. Not Jewish, but ultra-Orthodox. A government like that would lead us to political stagnation, a bi-national and international isolation. You know that. And you know it would also mean an end to any chance of amending our national priorities.


Even if Israel doesn't come under an international boycott, the pressure will only increase. The creeping boycott will continue. Defense spending will only grow. All your plans for social change and reform will come to naught in light of the greater national demands. A nationalistic-ultra-Orthodox government is also a government that would hand out more, a lot more, to the ultra-Orthodox sector, a significant portion of which, as you know, is also very unproductive. This means less education that includes core studies. This means more budgets to encourage idleness. This means a far less stronger economy. Is that the social-minded government that will put your reforms into practice? You know there's not a hope in hell it would.


The second alternative is a center-left government. Not exactly your heart's desire. On the other hand, at least such a government wouldn't implement even one-tenth of the frightening scenarios we've been subjected to in recent months. Jerusalem won't be divided. Hamas won't take control of the West Bank. Israel won't withdraw from the Jordan Valley. Ben-Gurion International Airport won't come under rocket fire. It's not going to happen – because a center-left government is not going to make peace with the Palestinians at all costs.


Not that it won't want to. Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni will want to very much. But you know, and we all should know by now, that no matter what they were to offer the Palestinians, the answer would be the same. They would say no. Bill Clinton made them offers, Ehud Barak made them offers, Ehud Olmert made them offers, and even Benjamin Netanyahu made them offers – and they have always said no. Thus, the main change on the political front, in the event of the establishment of a center-left government, would be that a moderate Israel would earn a great deal more understanding. The economic options wouldn't be blocked. Whether or not you'd be able to implement your reforms remains unclear, but you certainly would have a much better chance of doing so.


In other words, Kahlon, the political is the social, and the social is the political. You owe something to your voters. You owe them hope and vision and reforms. Tell me, with your hand on your heart, which of the two alternatives will allow you to deliver the goods? Which will afford you a better chance to work towards and achieve a fairer society? Which will allow you to lower housing prices and the cost of living? Which will offer the opportunity to narrow social gaps?


Your political interests, Kahlon, are in line with our national interests. You have the opportunity to realize them. It would be good not only for Kahlon. It would be good primarily for Israel. The keys are in your hands.


פרסום ראשון: 03.22.15, 08:33
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