May 9, 2012 | 9:06 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
In Israel, everyone and anyone can start their own political party, with its own agenda, and run in the elections. This makes every Knesset varied and colorful, as it is combined out of several parties. The current Knesset, for example, has delegations of 13 parties, no less.
On one hand, having many groups within the Israeli population being represented where big decisions are being made is very healthy for the people. But on the other hand, having so many parties representing so many agendas is making the Knesset very fragile, which is very unhealthy for the country. It is hard for me to remember a Knesset which stuck together for the whole four years of candidacy. It usually takes between a year and a half to three years before ministers come to the realization that they don’t get what they want, the prime minister can’t please all parties, the coalition falls apart and we go back to elections. This time we were this close to completing a full round of candidacy. Only nine more months. That is why I was thrilled to hear that the two biggest parties represented in the Knesset, Likud and Kadima, have decided to stop and think before calling it quits and made a deal to form a unity government. This announcement came as a surprise, I admit, but it wasn’t like it happened a week before the elections, after other parties spent a lot of money on publicity and advertising, etc. This decision wasn’t made on time, but definitely before it was too late. This was a last attempt to save the current Knesset, and for once, make the coalition stable and strong. A coalition this big is supposed to help decisions pass, and the country become stronger and more vital.
To me, the real problem here is Shaul Mofaz, who really showed his true, sad self. Unlike his former, Tzipi Livny, who refused to give up any of her principles, Mofaz proved he had none. Livny might have been too strict in her unwillingness to bend a little, which is what prevented her from being the current prime minister. But Mofaz didn’t even set one essential term in his deal with Bibi. A chair for him in the Cabinet and that’s that. He did absolutely nothing for the party he represents and the electors who believed in their agenda. No conditions, no nothing. This is a complete surprise, and simply very very strange. Conditions are what motivates decision making and laws passing in our colorful Knesset. “If you want me to vote pro this suggestion, give our party this and that.” This Mofaz-Bibi deal (not even Kadima- Bibi deal…), is even weirder after reading Mofaz’s statements from the day before, claiming he will never ever join Bibi and stick with his principles, yada yada yada.
So this deal seems out of place and truly killed Mofaz’s public image, but I look at the bottom line, which is that our Knesset will live to see another day. A unity government is all I could ask for: a strong, solid coalition that may actually do something for Israel, and not be based on heads of parties fearing for their seat. I hope this large coalition will be a powerful one, the kind that truly represents the electors, and work unanimously with our friends and foes from outside, and for us on the inside, as well. Even if Bibi and Mofaz thought of themselves and didn’t have the public in mind when making this deal, I want to believe the outcome will be a “win- win” scenario. I may be naive, I probably am, but I see this change as a good one in the long term. For the first time in many years, I really hope to see a government stick to the end, proving Israel can unite for its people.
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