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May 31, 2021

Bennett's other options

A lot of people are calling Bennett's move the greatest electoral theft in Israeli history, stealing votes form the Right and forming a government with the Left.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. He does have some stiff competition for the title though, including both Ariel Sharon (for the Disengagement) and Benjamin Netanyahu (who repeatedly formed governments with the Left even leaving some right wing parties out)...

And, Bennett does not even have that many votes. It isn't like he is taking 30 right wing seats he accrued in elections and going Left. He is taking 6. And plenty of those 6 are fine with his moves and trust him. He promised, much more than any of his other promises, to do everything in his power to avoid fifth elections, and many of his voters are fine with this move to avoid elections. Some are not, and they legitimately might feel their vote was stolen, but I am not so sure that even if you say of his 6 seats of voters 4 are feeling manipulated (and I am confident it is much fewer), I am not sure that is quite the greatest theft in history.

And I do think that anyone who voted Bennett should be amazed with what he is doing. They voted Bennett and it looks like he will actually be Prime Minister - they won!

I really don't know what anyone expects him to have done. He promised to try to avoid elections, and he had no other moves. You can say going to elections would have destroyed his party, and that is fair motivation as well, but besides for that, he still had no other options. He could not form a government with Bibi because Bibi could not form a government. The only other choice was elections (and still might be). This was his only choice.

Bennett maneuvering his 6 seats into a possible seat at the head of the table as Prime Minister is actually amazing. None of the other parties the same size or even bigger are getting what he is getting (if it goes through). Call it theft, call it anti-democratic, call it brilliant maneuvering. He came into negotiations as a small party but kept himself in the position of kingmaker more than anyone else and used it to his advantage.

Bennett had no other options, and he made the best (seemingly) of the situation that presented itself.




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  1. Part of what makes Bennett's actions unethical is that it is likely that his main motivation for trying to avoid a 5th election is that he might not even pass the Knesset threshold since early in the process he said that he was willing to join with the left.
    When it originally became apparent that Netanyahu could not form a coalition, Bennett decided to join with the left. The polls then showed that his own voters were so against it that many would not vote for him again and that he would potentially lose 3 seats and not even pass the threshold for entering the Knesset. At that time, it is likely that he realized his mistake. But then he had already gone too far, and he saw no way of saving the situation as he had already ruined his reputation. Now he feels like he has no choice – a 5th election would see him not even passing the threshold, so he is choosing to join with the left.
    This isn’t just an instance of a politician not keeping his word. By joining with the left many of the policies of the government will be policies of the left. After all, there is a reason why the left is joining. Not have a leftist government (even partially) was one of the most fundamental reasons why many of his voters voted for him – and the proof is that the polls show that he might not even pass the threshold if a 5th election were to take place.
    History will not judge kindly those who refused to have a right wing government over their insistence of not joining with Netanyahu. Whatever his personal flaws he has done an extraordinary job. The proof is that the external enemies of Israel are also excited to have anyone except for Netanyahu. Look at Netanyahu’s accomplishments for Israel’s economy, decreasing regulation, foreign policy, neutralizing BDS, strengthening our military, the U.S. embassy move, the Golan Heights, delaying Iran’s nuclear ambitions, etc. The big picture is that under Netanyahu’s leadership Israel went form a 3rd world country to a respectable nation! Not all of this was because of Netnayahu but he certainly gets significant credit. We aren’t choosing a son-in-law! We are choosing a Prime Minister. It doesn’t matter if you like him! Vote for him because he is the best for the country. Who do you think was respected more when meeting with world leaders? Peres, Rabin, Olmert, or Netanyahu? They liked Rabin or Peres the most – because they were weak. But who was respected the most? And most importantly – who accomplished the most for Israel? Netanyahu isn’t perfect and his politics don’t align with mine – but we need to be honest and realize that he is far more qualified than his competitors and Israel is in far better shape because he has led Israel for so long – you can say that this is just my opinion – but keep in mind that his politics doesn’t even agree with mine and I am saying this. Similar sentiments have been expressed by others.
    Kol Tuv,

  2. If this new government takes power what do you think the differences, if any, from what exists now would be? I'm in the states so I don't have much of a clue, other then blogs like yours, about how things work in Israel. Only thing I fear is that they become toadies of the idiots in power here in the US.

    Oh and if its as many parties as it sounds, how stable will this government be?

    1. it is important to finally get a government because for about 2 or 3 years we have not had a budget and that has affected businesses, government services and all sorts of organizations being able to provide their services. besides for that I doubt there will be too much of a difference. From what I understand Bennett is set to have a veto on a lot of aspects of governance with this new government, if it forms, so I dont expect leftist policy will get very far, though I guess how that will work in practice remains to be seen.
      there will be a lot of fighting, even though Bennett and lapid's goal is to bring more unity and less fighting among the sectors. The Likud knows how to be a fighting opposition, and the Haredi parties are threatening to be as well, so i expect a lot of fighting, at least initially.
      nobody expects the government, if it forms to last long. Stable governments havent lasted, so an unstable one is unlikely to last long. personally I think they might surprise us as they all have interests in not breaking it up. It is rare for the Left to come to any power, so they wont want to lose it and break things up over stupid and small issues. It would take a real crisis to break it up. And Bennett and Saar wont want to break it up too sooon as they cant want elections that might hurt them badly until they can come with some real accomplishments to the voter, which can take time, so if it happens, I can very well see it lasting a decent term


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