Israel needs a good shakeup

Supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chant slogans and hold up signs in support of him during a rally held under the banner “protesting the coup” in the coastal Mediterranean city of Tel Aviv, on November 26, 2019. - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can stay on in his post although he has been indicted on corruption charges, Israel's attorney general said. Avichai Mandelblit, in a statement, said "there are no legal obligation for the prime minister to resign". Under Israeli law, while ministers cannot keep their posts after indictment, a prime minister is not legally required to step down unless convicted and with all appeals exhausted. (Photo by Jack GUEZ / AFP)

Opinion: The powers that be are completely dysfunctional, campaign budgets are skyrocketing and there is still no leader in sight to bang on the table and demand that if we’re going into another election cycle, for everyone’s sake, at least make it a quick one


The events of the past year prove that Israel desperately needs a shakeup and the way our elected officials conduct themselves indicates that this penny is yet to drop.

There are more and more signs appearing that point to the fact that politicians do not understand the impossible situation in which the State of Israel is mired.

In December 2018, exactly a year ago, Knesset willingly dissolved itself.

Everything still looked relatively normal back then. The Knesset and the government were supposed to finish their four-year tenure by April anyway.

We’ve been caught in a tailspin ever since and it doesn’t appear that those who could influence the situation are actually doing anything about it.

Forget about a unity government – this political solution was buried six feet under a long time ago, and it seems that no one is going to dig it up again before the deadline to form a government expires on Wednesday night.

There is a lot to be done on the road to this bizarre third consecutive election, even if just for show.

Starting next January, Knesset members will get a raise of NIS 1,400 to their monthly salaries. Party funding is also expected to grow in the upcoming elections.

The NIS 1.3 million in funding each party receives for each seat it has will become NIS 1.9 million shekels for the apparently upcoming general election – an increase expenditure of NIS 72 million.

What is this money intended for? Short answer, campaigns. Longer answer, to allow politicians to keep venomously bashing each other on a growing scale and to spread it to more and more social networks.

Want more? After countless pleas, this election is set to take place sooner than the customary 90 days between announcing the vote and holding it.

This time around, we’ll only have to wait 83 days between the dissolution of the Knesset and Election Day. Another joke from our dysfunctional system.

This raises a number of issues, primarily the inability of the Central Elections Committee to stage an election in less than three months.

On the opposite end of the spectrum stands Britain, a country whose population is seven times greater than that of Israel, but which somehow needs just 45 days to organize a national ballot.

The significantly larger number of voting citizens and the greater geographical area did not interfere in Britain executing such a large-scale operation on time.

But our authorities are completely dysfunctional, campaign budgets skyrocket and there is still no leader in sight to bang on the table and demand that if we’re going into another election cycle, for everyone’s sake, at least make it a quick one.

Actually, no lawmaker has any reason to do that. After all, even though they haven’t done anything for a year, their salaries will still go up in January.

Something has to change.



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