Opinion: Israeli politics are deadlocked and it’s the people who are suffering; both the Likud leader and his Blue and White counterpart need to make a fast and difficult decision – form a unity government and break the promises they made or go to another round of elections
Einav Schiff -www.ynetnews.com
From the reports surrounding the never-ending saga entitled “We have a country to run, but we decided to decide not to decide who’ll actually run it,” a slight panic is discernable among the supporters of the political bloc headed by Benny Gantz.
Every time the Blue and White leader is in the vicinity of Benjamin Netanyahu, one can hear a faint chuntering of terrified refrains: “He’ll cave in; he’ll fall for Netanyahu’s lies; he’s too nice; he’ll cave under President Rivlin’s pressure; he’ll sell out all his election achievements for an empty rotation deal; he’ll forfeit the Defense portfolio; he’ll back down on who has first dibs on ‘Purple Rain’ at the Knesset karaoke night.”
Even if this panic is meant to make Gantz think twice should he decide to go back on his promises, it still illustrates two things.
Firstly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still seen as unbeatable, although he certainly didn’t win the recent elections.
And even in the scenario of a total tie, which in reality is a defeat for the immunity government Netanyahu wanted to form and for which he dragged the whole country into another round of elections, his political adversaries still look at him like he’s Manchester City on a hot streak, as though he’s basically undefeatable.
Secondly, it seems Gantz isn’t suffering from overabundance of appreciation among the political camp that has him as its leader.
Although he overcame the critics that labeled him as a sleepy gray lump and showed massive improvement in his public appearances, managing to lead a ragtag party to the brink of victory, the former Israeli army chief is still treated as a helpless chick who can’t be left alone lest the conniving political fox that is Netanyahu gobble him up.
Well, If Gantz is really so tasty, so naïve and so devoid of any killer instinct, maybe there’s a greater problem at hand. For as we know, politics is no country for herbivores.
Furthermore, Netanyahu’s calls for “unity” (which automatically excludes supporters of Gantz and his partner Yair Lapid) are being viewed as him laying the groundwork for a declaration that forming a coalition has failed, and then Netanyahu will either bring Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu into the fold, or Israelis can all look forward to another round of elections.
Gantz on the other hand, is viewed like all he needs to do is to sit at home, stomp his feet and yell for Netanyahu to quit – like he doesn’t need to convince countless citizens that he actually wants to lead them out of the stalemate that has dominated a entire year of life in Israel.
The fear of Netanyahu’s unrestrained behavior and the suspicion toward Gantz (not to mention Liberman) are a logical byproduct of the unending reign of the former, and of history itself.
But above all, it seems that these sentiments are the best way to repress the truth and avoid dealing with the absurd situation created by Israeli voters.
Israel isn’t divided, it’s locked up tight, and at the most dead end of dead ends.
Gantz can be as conniving as he wants, Netanyahu can yell about his 55-seat bloc until the cows come home; neither has any choice but to break their election pledges or go to another round of elections.
The rest is nothing more than spectacular speculation that is good for nothing more than filling air time for news channels.