Prime Minister Netanyahu did it! He broke the anti-Bibi coalition that held on for a year in trying to throw him out of Israeli politics for good. Netanyahu is now finally able to put together a government, however, much of its policies won’t be the right-wing agenda his voters voted for and the media is silent about this, showing its hypocrisy. Netanyahu is spot-on about the place of the Israeli media in society.
Just last week the headline news across Israel’s mainstream media was how Netanyahu was destroying Israel’s democracy because 61 MKs wanted to pass laws that would have stopped Netanyahu from being able to be Prime Minister. They were saying how undemocratic it was that a majority was being silenced.
People were protesting in the streets with black flags, and Netanyahu’s rivals in the Blue & White party were comparing him to dictators around the world. All while Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, where people are allowed to protest in the streets and call the leaders dictators, without any punishment.
Fast forward to today. Netanyahu has a right-wing coalition block of 58 MKs, with another three who have broken off from their left-wing parties, giving him 61 right-wing policy MKs. Benny Gantz is joining with his block of 15 MKs. It seems that Israel should have a right-wing government headed by PM Netanyahu. However, the price Netanyahu is paying Gantz to join his coalition is giving him 50/50 equal status in running the government. Equal say in decisions, an equal amount of Ministers etc, the ability to rotate and become Prime Minister in a year a half etc.
The bottom line is that 15 MKs, under Gantz, now have an equal voice in upcoming policy decisions by the Israeli government, the same weight as 61 MKs in the right-wing policy block. Yup, Israel’s upcoming policies will be heavily influenced by 15 MKs. If the situation were the other way around and the 15 MKs were from a right-wing party, the media would be going wild how “undemocratic” it is that a minority of 15 “right-wingers” have hijacked a left-wing government. Yet, today, the media is silent about this “undemocratic” state of affairs where a small left-wing party has basically hijacked a right-wing government.
The truth is, that both situations are totally democratic. It was democratic for Netanyahu to use legislative filibusters last week to delay parliamentary votes, just as it is democratic for a party of 15 MKs to blackmail Netanyahu to join his government by gaining equal status. Both cases follow the rules of our democratic system. Democracy is not a perfect system, but the best imperfect system we have.
However, it is the media, the hypocrital left-wing media, that does not provide a neutral service to inform Israeli citizens. Rather, it plays a political role for the left trying to influence the Israeli public to support the left and go against Netanyahu and the right, one year after another, for decades.
Thankfully, the Israeli public is smarter than the media pundits and presenters. However, we now have to live with a situation of a Right-wing Prime Minister leading a government that will not be implementing the right-wing policies the voters voted for, because that is the democratic price we have to pay right now to have a government that will help Israel deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the crippling economy.
With it all, this is the best possibility for the challenging political situation we are in, and for that we are thankful. One year that included three consecutive elections is now over. We now have a government, imperfect that it is, but still under the experienced leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
The ultimate question that has to be asked when looking at the new government being formed is: What is better, Netanyahu leading a government that will be heavily influenced by the left-wing agenda of Gantz and his 15 MKs or a government led by Gantz, Lapid, Ya’alon, Liberman heavily influenced by the anti-Israel Joint Arab List party?