Dashed Hopes?

13 Mar

Kenesset (Photo credit: heatkernel)


Nearly two months ago Israeli cast their votes for the 19th Kenesset. In a somewhat startling outcome, the political newcomer, Yair Lapid, and his Yesh Atid party garnered 19 mandates, while the ruling Likud-Beitenu faction fell to 31 mandates. Neither party conformed to the predictions that were published by pundits and analysts. The 18th Kenesset stepped aside amid cynicism and partisan infighting about issues that deeply divide Israel, often demographically. Among the issues were social justice concerns, rising cost of living, more equitable distribution of the military burden, the education system, and the necessary budgetary alterations that would need to be made in order to address those issues. Kenesset 19s election was greeted with a groundswell of hope from those who sit in the center and center-left camps, perhaps even some in center-right. The hope is waning.

A government cannot be formed until there is a coalition of 61 or more votes in the Kenesset. The past two months have been marred by bickering between the factions who will eventually have to sit together in the legislative chamber, unless new elections are called. Finger pointing, politicking, name calling, and lies have robbed Israelis of the hope. Maneuvering within a political system also generates considerable rumors and gossip mongering which must then be extinguished by those in the know who are unwilling or unable to divulge any actual information, even as they are putting rumors to rest. With each jab of the finger and each rumor, the nausea caused by the political jockeying grows worse. Heads of parties must realize that they were elected not to arm-wrangle with each other in back room dealings or get their faces on the news. Rather they have been charged to work towards a better Israel, an Israel that is strong at home and internationally, even as they disagree about the exact mechanisms by which that lofty goal should be accomplished.

So here’s to the establishing of a coalition that works for the betterment of Israel and her citizens, and not for the betterment of the careers of parliamentarians who sit in the legislative chamber.


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