Israeli politicians must compromise for the sake of the nation


Unlike other countries, Israel is facing security threats from Iran and Gaza and serious internal challenges to its health system, but political leaders insist on standing by their principles and refuse to make the compromises needed to form a government, putting us all in more danger

Ben Dror Yemini

Israel’s politicians are busy playing a blame game, but the public does not care who is at fault. They want a government and not another election campaign.

The politicians, on the other hand, have climbed on to their high horses, oblivious to what it is their voters want and need.

Yair Lapid, who leads his Blue and White party’s opposition to participation in a government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, was proven right last month when Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced the indictment of the prime minister on corruption charges.

Lapid emerged a hero when Blue and White’s campaign promise proved morally correct.

BNetanyahu’s insistence on holding on to his position is also valid, given that he leads a political bloc of 55 Knesset members.

It is wrong for a criminally indicted politician to head a government, it is also wrong for political novice Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to go back on his word soon after his campaign and agree to join Netanyahu’s government

But unforeseen circumstances have brought us to this point, and now is not time for principles, it is time for compromise.

The message to the politicians should be that Israel’s interests must come ahead of their ill-timed stubbornness.

This country does not want or need the colossal waste of money, additional months of incitement and the criminal neglect of Israel’s failing health system caused by another election cycle.

The election results are known in advance. A change in the political map will require at least six Knesset seats to move from one side of the political spectrum to the other. A very unlikely event.

It is wrong for Netanyahu to serve as prime minister while under indictment, which he himself articulated well when he called on his predecessor, Ehud Olmert to resign even before indictments were handed down.

“A prime minister neck-deep in investigations has no public or moral mandate to make critical determinations,” he said as he promised to promote a law restricting the premier to two terms. A law he never advanced.

Netanyahu should put national interests ahead of his own, but nearly 50% of voters support him and are unmoved by his legal predicament. In fact, they see him as a victim of persecution.

This is not a statistic that can easily be brushed aside, especially when the law specifically states that a prime minister does not have to resign before his legal proceedings are exhausted.

The law must win over any other argument, so Blue and White must also agree to compromise. Though their argument is valid, stubbornness will not change the outcome if another election is held.

A political draw is not unheard of, and minority governments have succeeded in ruling for years – in Spain and Belgium for example.

But Israel is not like other countries when it comes to the existential threats it is facing.

Iran is observing our political stalemate and may decide this is an opportune time to attack.

Rockets from Gaza continue to target the southern communities because the terror groups there believe there will be no serious retribution against them at this time.

Israel needs a real government. One that can address the threats and challenges.

It is time to step up. Though principles are important, the country comes first.



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