What’s The Difference Between Insanity and Israeli Politics?
Everybody knows that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
So far two elections have cost the Israeli public half a billion shekels in public funds and 5 billion in lost productivity and the only thing they’ve produced is speculations on a third election.
It seems that the difference between Israeli politicians and the insane is that at least the insane waste their own money.
A Government: Next Year in Jerusalem?
So here we are, in the holy period “after the chagim” (the Jewish holidays) time where all productivity goes to and it’s the question that’s on everyone’s mind:
What in the hell is going on?
So far the only thing this election has produced is losers. The latest one being Benjamin Netanyahu who for the second time in 2019 failed to form a government. With both his main rival, Benny Gantz and the main bone in his throat, Avigdor Lieberman gaining seats in the September vote, the only thing preventing Bibi from being declared the biggest loser of 2019 is the fact that he remains the Prime Minister.
What Happens Now?
Benny Gantz is poised to be given what is looking more and more like a fool’s errand: Getting 65 people to agree that he’s a better choice than a third election. The anti-Bibi crowd is taking the moment to rejoice that this is the first time in over a decade that someone other than Netanyahu is heading up coalition negotiations. Other than that though, there is little for them to celebrate. Gantz will face the same problem that Bibi did:
The Blue and White leader promised not to sit in any government with a Likud headed by Netanyahu so long as he is under indictment. It’s been one of the main factors preventing a unity government, the only kind of government Lieberman has said he’s willing to sit in.
The rest of the right-religious block that supported Netanyahu are be holding fast to their pledge at the start of negotiations to only do things together as one block.
Things like waste everyone’s time.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked posted to Twitter that if her New Right party is invited to speak with Gantz, they will probably come, but also clarified: “it is a waste of time and it would be better to begin negotiating with the bloc’s representative.
By now we should all know that a lot can happen in the 28 days that Gantz has to form a government, although it looks like very few of those things result in a government. Gantz could decide that betraying a central campaign promise is better than risking the gains he made in the second vote and agree to sit with Likud in a unity government. Gantz might become more open to the President Rivlin’s formulation of a rotation agreement where Netanyahu is officially the Prime Minister, Gantz is the “vice” Prime Minister, but with powers nearly equal to that of the PM while Netanyahu takes a leave of absence to deal with his legal troubles.
In a scenario that completely excludes Likud Blue and White forms a minority government with the pledge of support on important votes from the Arab parties and other smaller factions in the opposition.
What many are seeing as equally likely though is that Gantz will not be able to cobble together a government. In that event, any MK could present a viable government within 21 days or the Parliament could simply vote to dissolve itself, as was the case in the last election.
It seems not only that we may be headed to a 3rd election, but according to Lahav Harkov at the Jerusalem Post, that election could well fall out on the Purim holiday.
Purim is a holiday where it is a religious commandment to becomes so inebriated that one cannot tell the difference between good and evil. Also there are costumes. Think St. Patrick’s Day but dressed as Minnie Mouse. The only consolation for a third election may be that we would be treated to the sight of hungover Disney characters waiting in line to vote.
Why not? If we’re going to do it again, we might as well try it with alcohol this time anything else would just be insane.