By Rachel Avraham
The State of Israel has a new government and already Netanyahu’s key policies are beginning to unravel. As Ayoob Kara, who served as Israel’s Communications, Cyber, and Satellite Minister, stated: “After the cancellation of the oil agreement with the United Arab Emirates and the conflict with Dubai over the corona reports, the Jordanians cancelled the canal project with us this week. This comes after the proposed peace agreement with Oman was cancelled, and the corona virus is rising up in Israel once again.”
According to Kara, “No one understands why Lapid claims to have a better relationship with Biden. Yet unfortunately, Lapid hides the price for this, which is the revocation of the recognition of the Golan Heights as part of Israel and the tacit agreement with the US to return to the nuclear deal. The conflict with Poland and Hamas threatens to ignite the fire and leaves us wondering what will happen in two months or two years and whether there will be anything left to fix in Israel.”
This leaves us pondering, what are the ten greatest problems with this new government at this moment?
1) The greatest issue is a question of legitimacy. No democracy can govern democratically if it lacks legitimacy. Prominent Middle East scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar proclaimed: “This government, although it is legal, it is illegitimate because the voters of Bennett and Sa’ar and probably Lieberman as well would never vote for these politicians if they would know that they would form a coalition with the Muslim Brotherhood.” It should be noted that Ra’am is the Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement, which is part of the Muslim Brotherhood. “Therefore, it is illegitimate in the eyes of most Jewish people in Israel. I could only expect and could assume that this government would collapse within two months from today because of the great differences between the components of the government. This government looks like a car with its own wheels and each wheel will take Israel to a different direction. On the right side, you have Sa’ar and Bennett, and on the left, you got Meretz and the Muslim Brotherhood, who are against the mere existence of the State of Israel.”
2) Alongside the fact that Bennett, Lieberman, and Sa’ar went against the wishes of their voters by forming a coalition with Meretz and Ra’am, Bennett lacks the mandate to be prime minister, as his party only has six Knesset seats. Usually, in democracies, the government is formed by the party that has the most mandates. However, right now, the largest party in Israel is sitting in the opposition and the second largest party is also not governing. It is a party with only six mandates that hold the position of being prime minister that is governing with the support from parties on the other side of the aisle and that is not legitimate in any democracy, not even in a parliamentary democracy.
3) Ra’am and Meretz are too different from Yisrael Beiteinu, New Hope, and Yamina to permit the government to conduct coherent policies. This has been best demonstrated by the fact that a law that bars Palestinians who marry Israeli Arabs from obtaining Israeli citizenship was pulled from the agenda once again, even though it is a piece of legislation that is critical for the security of Israel. This law has been renewed every year since 2003, when the Second Intifada was at its peak, but this time, it struggles to gain a majority, as the opposition is voting against it to embarrass the new government, and Ra’am MK Walid Taha, alongside several members of Meretz and one Labor Party member stated that they will oppose it.
This makes one ponder, if they cannot even pass consensus issues, how will this government be able to coordinate the defense of Israel if the country is attacked? Indeed, the main issue with this government is that there is nothing that unites all these parties. From Lieberman, Sa’ar, and Bennett on the right to Mansour Abbas, Merav Michaeli, and Nitzan Horowitz on the left, the only thing that binds them is the slogan “anything but Bibi.” This can permit the parties to unite to remove Bibi from power. However, once that is accomplished, how can anything get accomplished? While Bennett is trying to focus on non-controversial issues, one cannot govern for any length of time without also dealing with the more difficult issues, especially when there is talk that Biden may want to revive the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
4) Another serious problem with this government is that it relies upon the support of Mansour Abbas, who is part of the Muslim Brotherhood, to get anything accomplished. This would is equivalent to the US needing to rely upon Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to pass anything in the US Congress, only worse. Because this poses an actual national security threat, not only to the State of Israel, but to the entire free world.
Mansour Abbas stated in a recent interview that he does not view himself as an Israeli, but rather as part of the “Palestinian Arab public, whose people are citizens of Israel and are part of the Palestinian public”. This is equivalent to a US secretary serving the President and saying, “I am not American” and then professing to be part of a nation that the US is at war with. Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are similarly disloyal. With such people sitting in the Israeli government, how can Israel be a bastion of Western civilization in the Middle East?
5) The great British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once stated, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” Yet sadly, this government has ministers who support doing just that. Israeli Transport Minister Merav Michaeli (Labor) stated in an interview with the Jerusalem Post that her party supports “an upgraded nuclear deal with Iran.” Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) once stated: “West Bank annexation would be a kind of apartheid.”
How can the Israeli government defend its vital security interests, when it has people like Michaeli and Horowitz, who support appeasing the enemy, when this reinforces the Muslim Brotherhood proxy Ra’am, and encourages themto veto any sane policy in the Israeli government. It is no wonder that with such a weak government in power, Biden now does not hesitate to rejoin the Iranian nuclear deal and to renege on Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights.
A few months ago, with Bibi in office, he would have thought twice before taking such steps, as Bibi was the type of leader who would have attacked Iran without caring what Biden thought, if he believed this was needed. He would have made sure that the U.S. would have faced consequences for taking such a step, especially when Syria shares a border with the Golan, and is still controlled by Assad the butcher, who has never been a partner for peace. Instead, this new government believes in coordinating everything with the United States, for they say they want “no daylight between Jerusalem and Washington,” so Biden has nothing to fear if he harms Israel’s security.
6) In addition to being weak and having enemies from within, this new Israeli government will not have the ability to enforce law and order, should riots once again erupt as they did during Operation Guardian of the Wall, when Netanyahu was still Prime Minister. During that period, there was major rioting in Arab Israeli communities as well as in mixed cities throughout Israel. Should such rioting happen now, however, the Israeli government could not clamp down upon it without causing itself to collapse, because this government only has 60 Members of Knesset in its majority, including Ra’am and Meretz, who will likely veto any steps to defend the country against the rioting.
7) Another major problem with this government is that by reaching out to appease Israel’s enemies, this government in essence will be abandoning Israel’s new allies in the Persian Gulf countries. Many of these countries just made peace with Israel, so they could stand united against Biden’s nuclear deal. However, now with the Bennett administration changing policy and even including ministers who are against making oil deals with the Persian Gulf over environmental concerns, many of the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf could feel betrayed and this will harm the peace process between Israel and the Arab countries.
8) Aside from the external threats Israel can face by having a weak government with so many members that either support appeasing the enemy or even are the enemy, the fact that Meretz, Labor, Yisrael Beiteinu, and Yesh Atid are in the coalition is a slap in the face to the religious parties in Israel. These parties are not just secular; they hate religious people. As Shas leader Arye Deri noted, “This government is throwing in the garbage all of the values that the Jewish people have sanctified for thousands of years.”
The state has traditionally respected the right of the Haredim to focus mainly on Torah study, no public transport on Shabbat, and other policies that preserved the equilibrium between the religious and secular, ever since the state was founded and these are now in jeopardy. This comes after Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman stated that the Haredim should “be put in a wheel barrel and taken out to the garbage along with Netanyahu.” Such statements do nothing but encourage tension between the secular and religious in Israel.
9) Another great problem with this government is that they eliminated the Israeli Green Passport, which enabled vaccinated Israelis to enjoy privileges that non-vaccinated Israelis did not enjoy. By doing that, the corona has risen in Israel once again and now, as Israel’s current vaccines are set to expire, the population has no incentive to vaccinate every child between age 12 and 15. This is a major problem, with the Delta strand of the coronavirus spreading across the world. This government is so intent on ensuring freedom for everyone that it neglected that the key to the success in any society is “the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.” When Israelis now have little incentive to vaccinate, this government is not protecting human lives and by letting the country deteriorate, they are not preserving “the pursuit of liberty and happiness” either.
10) A government that is not committed to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” who abandons core Jewish values, who appeases enemies and abandons allies, a government that is weak and lacks any coherent policy aside from “anyone but Bibi” risks pushing Israel out of the Western Civilization orbit and more towards being part of a Red/Green Alliance hidden underneath the façade of a right-wing nationalist prime minister. After all, the Reds (Meretz and Labor) and Greens (Ra’am) can veto any policy, so how can Israel still be part of Western Civilization with such a government in power?
Considering all of this, it is of critical importance that this new illegitimate government in Israel collapses, sooner rather than later.
Bennett aims for ‘no surprises, no daylight’ with Biden administration – The Jerusalem Post
Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working for the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, which is run by Mendi Safadi, a former Likud Candidate for the Knesset and a former chief of staff of former Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara. Since 2012, she has been working as an Israel-based journalist and writer, covering Iran, Kurdistan, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other developments in the greater Islamic world.
Her articles have appeared in the Washington Times, the Hill, Front Page Magazine, the Daily Wire, the Christian Post, the Baltimore Jewish Times, the Jerusalem Post, Israel Hayom, Ahval and many other publications across the globe. She received her MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University. She got her BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.