Israel’s naked leadership

There’s an old joke in Israel. It takes 3 months to decide on a date to hold an election, 3 months to campaign, and 2 months to form a coalition. And when that is over, it is nearly time to start the circus all over again.

So while Bibi Netanyahu has been dallying around, trying to create a government based on a solid majority of 1 – or is it 5 – votes, the country has calmly gone through a series of crises. Hamas continues to send rockets into population centres. Stanley Fisher, the Governor of the Bank of Israel, is predicting the worst economic scenario in the country’s 60 year history. The Obama administration is looking increasingly hostile. etc etc.

Is Bibi the man to save the country? So far in coalition negotiations, he has surrendered several top portfolios to Avigdor Lieberman’s party, even though they received barely half the number of votes as him. Not a good omen for when the PM has to handle Palestinian or American pressure.

If only it would end there.

It is my wife who pointed out with pointed despair and disgust that neither Lieberman nor any of Bibi’s potential partners have sought the economics or education portfolios. She correctly observed how most people go into politics ostensibly to change things. And where better to make a mark on society than through these two ministries?

But in Israel, after over half a year of jockeying and puported idealism and electoral holier-than-thou comments, nobody at the top has the combined courage and ability to make a stand. These two jobs, which urgently need people of calibre, are being shunned by potential cabinet members.

What the hell did these people fight an election for?

Explore posts in the same categories: Israel, Jerusalem

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