Home Ayoob Kara Op-Ed: Six Things This Present Israeli Governing Coalition Can’t Do

Op-Ed: Six Things This Present Israeli Governing Coalition Can’t Do



By Ayoob Kara.

The current coalition government in Israel is dysfunctional and a threat to Israeli security. Here’s why:

1) First of all, this Israeli governing coalition cannot take any action against Gaza, because in this coalition they have Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas. Abbas says loudly that if there is any action in Gaza, the government will collapse. That means that anything connected to Gaza is very sensitive. This is an absurd situation and very dangerous for Israel.

2) Hamas just sentenced six Gazans to death for spying for Israel and we cannot do anything about it.

3) According to the Iranian media, Hamas has test-fired three new missiles and Israel cannot do anything about it. During Operation Guardian of the Walls last spring, over a twelve-day period, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad fired almost 4,400 rockets at Israel, which included rocket barrages being fired at Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capitol city. If Hamas and the Islamic Jihad were to do this again, then this government could not do anything without collapsing.

4) Another point is the budget. On November 4, the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) passed the country’s first state budget in three years by 61 to 59. It was a victory for the disparate governing coalition. The Knesset still has to approve a spending package for 2022 to ensure its survival.

If the state budget had not passed, then the government would have fallen automatically. Had the government collapsed, then another round of new elections would have been required. No Israeli government can remain in power without a state budget. This is the law. Here, there can be no compromises. So while a new crisis has been averted, at least for the moment, there are other issues that are no less troubling.

5) Another issue is the need of the left wing of the coalition to start a new process with the Palestinians. They want it very much. They want the Road Map back. However, they cannot pursue it because there are different voices against this policy in the government. So now, they are not going there even though they wanted it so much in the beginning.

Under Netanyahu, they were against the Avraham Accords, but due to their difficult position in a fragmented government, they support it now. They are not professional enough to begin to take the right steps to advance the Abraham Accords, and they lack the power to move this process forward. Thus, they do not have a coherent policy and lack the mandate to create one.

6) Another issue that the Israeli government wants to address is Lebanon. They very much want to help the Lebanese people, who are facing a grave economic crisis and suffer daily under Hezbollah rule. They want to help the Lebanese people struggling against Hezbollah by attacking Hezbollah and giving aid to the Lebanese people. However, they do not have the power to do either because they are afraid that if they try, the government will fall.

In my view, the Israeli government has frozen everything and stopped dealing with the issues that matter. They do not create any new plans on anything. Ra’am, Meretz, and Labor want to support Biden’s decision to open an American Consulate in East Jerusalem serving Palestinians, but there are big problems in the coalition with that.

Biden won’t get the 61 votes he needs in the Knesset to open an American Consulate in East Jerusalem for the Palestinians. More and more members of the Knesset including members of the coalition are coming out against it. Even many members of the centrist party Yesh Atid  are against it. Defense Minister Benny Gantz doesn’t want it either. This point could be a
problem for Biden and a problem for the government.

If the Americans go forward with this plan, they are making a big mistake. The citizens of Israel don’t want it. There is going to be a big conflict between Israel and the US administration. The Americans must understand that Meretz and Ra’am don’t represent Israel. The Likud and more than half of the governing coalition doesn’t seek any action relative to the Palestinian issue. For them, it’s not relevant. And if they were to go for these steps, this it would create a big problem.

The Americans must understand that the whole purpose of this government was to begin functioning as soon as possible and focus on fighting the coronavirus and economic recovery following the last three lock-downs. So far, this government has not been successful in fighting against the coronavirus, but that is at least an issue that they can all talk about in order to improve their program.

When the Bennett government took over, there was almost no COVID-19 in Israel. Now, they have hundreds of people who are very sick. That means that they failed in this process. I don’t think the government took the right steps. They were very slow with the vaccinations and the Israelis paid a price. We were number five in the world in the struggle against the corona virus under Netanyahu, but now we are much further down on the list.

The Bennett government and the people today are merely living their lives around the coronavirus. In several years, people will forget that the coronavirus was a danger for them, but for now, no one really cares whatever else is going on beyond it.

The decision to vaccinate was correct, as one never knows, if he gets corona, whether it will cause him or her to die. Therefore, it is better to vaccinate than not to vaccinate. So, Israel is going to vaccinate everyone, including the children. It is good that they are going to do that now. But the fact that Bennett was so slow in doing it harmed many people.,

Ayoob Kara was born in the Israeli Druze town of Daliat el-Carmel in 1955. He completed his army service in the Israeli Defense Forces with the rank of major and studied business administration and public policy. He served in the Knesset from 1999 until 2006, and as Deputy Minister of Development of the Negev and the Galilee, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office for Special Functions, and as Israel’s Minister of Satellite Communications and Cyber.

In 2015, Kara recognized an opportunity for bridging diplomatic relations between Israel, the Middle East, the Gulf countries and other Islamic states in the region, and he promoted a regional economic conference between the countries. After the election of President Donald Trump, Kara met with him, which led to the economic conference in Bahrain, which concluded that there is a need for a non political body to initiate and promote the economic initiatives for the region.

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