Israel Election Developments – Forming a United Government

  • The only way to make a government in Israel is through uniting the right and left side with Benny Gantz Prime Minister.
  • The problem of the modern democratic State of Israel is that it is a new invention in Jewish history.
  • A unified government in Israel can work if it can fit in the middle but surely it cannot satisfy Israel or Arab extremists.

The results of the Israel elections are final.  Benny Gantz of the Blue-White party has defeated Netanyahu winning 33 mandates while Netanyahu and Likud received 31 mandates.  The government consists of 120 mandates which is divided by all the various parties in the Israel coalition.  The candidate who receives the most mandates like Benny Gantz has the first opportunity to make a majority government of 61 mandates.  The President of Israel Reuven Rivlin is working to help Gantz achieve this majority.

Reuven Rivlin (born 9 September 1939) is an Israeli politician and lawyer serving as the 10th and current President of Israel since 2014. He is a member of the Likud party. Rivlin was Minister of Communications from 2001 to 2003, and subsequently served as Speaker of the Knesset from 2003 to 2006, and again from 2009 to 2013. On 10 June 2014, he was elected President of Israel.

Blue White is on the left side and Likud is the leader on the right side of the government. On the left side with Blue-White is the Joint List Arab party who received 13 mandates, Labor-Gesher led by Amir Peretz with 6 mandates, the Democratic Union also called Meretz with 5 mandates to make a total of 57 mandates. This is four less than the majority of 61 mandates.

On the right side with Likud who received 31 mandates are Shas Sephardic religious party with 9 mandates, UTJ United Torah Judaism with 8 mandates, and Zionist religious party led by Ayelet Shaked with 7 mandates. This is a total of 55 mandates, six less than the majority of 61.

Avigdor Lieberman representing Russian Jewry from the Yisrael Beitainu party received 8 mandates.  The Israel Beitainu party was always loyal to Likud until the last elections.  Again Lieberman can make the government on both sides according to his own choice. Avigdor Lieberman was aligned with Likud when Netanyahu became Prime Minister and was even for some period of time the Minister of Defense with Netanyahu as Prime Minister. He criticized Netanyahu for his leniencies in dealing with Hamas in Gaza and wanted a more aggressive policy and was subsequently removed from his position as Minister of Defense which was taken by Netanyahu until today.

Lieberman and the Russian immigrants left Communist USSR to live in Israel a democratic state and are generally more right Zionist like Lieberman. Russians are known for not taking bullsh*t (like Putin), but in a democratic world everything depends on diplomacy.  However, Russians are discriminated against in Israel because of their lack of full Jewish lineage, and most Russians love freedom and democracy after suffering Communism in Russia from where they escaped.

The Left Side parties, including Benny Gantz, are for democracy and freedom rejecting Jewish values which interfere with democracy like regulations on Sabbath prohibiting public transportation. In this way Lieberman and his party are Left.  On the other hand, Lieberman is secular extreme right Zionist. Lieberman lives in a settlement in Gush Etzion northern Jerusalem which is mostly modern orthodox Zionist. His wife and family have a Jewish religious tradition. He has no difficulty wearing a religious skull cap. Other secular leftist Zionist aligned with or in the Blue-White oppose religious values almost completely. The Arabs have big families like the Ultra-Orthodox and have similar demands regarding religious rights.

The Otzma party extreme right religious Zionist did not get even one mandate. Their votes were forfeited to Blue-White to add to their majority.  However Otzma does have support in Israel. Otzma following the doctrines of Rabbi Meir Kahane supports the Modern Democratic State of Israel but seeks an exclusively Jewish State without equal rights to foreigners including Arabs and Christians. Yitchok Rabin won the elections in 1992 and on the way to making a peace treaty with the Arabs the Oslo accord was assassinated by an extreme right religious Zionist. Rabin tried to reach a peace accord with the Arabs through accepting in his government the Arab party which gave him a majority and power to put through the Oslo accord. There is opposition amongst Israelis including Avigdor Lieberman to making a government to include the Arab parties for nationalistic reasons and Jewish ideology.

Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) is a far-right political party in Israel. The party calls for a one-state solution, including the annexation of the West Bank and complete Israeli rule of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The party is against the formation of a Palestinian state, and advocates cancellation of the Oslo accords, as well as for imposing Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount.

Likud party is mostly traditional religious like Netanyahu with democratic values. Netanyahu is supported by the religious parties who are in his right bloc. Peace is important for Israel and can only be achieved through a United Government. Yitchok Rabin tried to make peace without a united government and failed. A united government today means to include in it Likud and those religious parties which are willing to bend toward the left.  Lieberman wants a united government and will not join Benny Gantz without Likud together. Netanyahu is considering the conditions for him to join in with Benny Gantz.  He cannot completely ignore his religious supporters but knows that Benny Gantz is allied with an anti-religious element.  Netanyahu was talking about annexation before the elections which also will not be possible being aligned with Benny Gantz.

The problem of the modern democratic State of Israel is that it is a new invention in Jewish history. It has solved the humanitarian problem of giving the Jewish people a homeland.  It can never be accepted by all Jews because Judaism which is the foundation of survival of the Jewish people is a theocracy.  Judaism can never be democratic because in a democratic state there is equality, while in the Biblical State of Israel only Jews had citizenship. Judaism is against change.  The world calls the Jewish Bible the Old Testament.  Jews call it the Torah the law of God given to the Jewish people by Moses.

The world for sure has changed when Christianity and Islamic religion entered the world. The nation of Israel became disconnected to its Torah from the time that the Greeks and Romans took control of Jerusalem. In the Biblical State there was only one party in the government, the National Religious Party.  The Jewish people living in Israel in Biblical times had no free choice but to observe the Torah and its commandments which were the laws of the nation. After the destruction of the temple, every Jew has free choice and accepts being a Jew according to his own intellect and emotions. As a result the Modern State of Israel is divided into Right and Left.  The right is divided into parties and the left is divided into parties. Islamics and Christians also have a word to say in the democratic state of Israel. The Otzma party wants to turn the clock back but they did not receive even one mandate but received many votes anyway. Netanyahu is worried about civil war in Israel, Jews against Jews, which is already developing due to pressures to draft the Yeshiva religious students. These pressures also exist if Israel will decide to give the Arabs a Palestinian State which means sacrificing portions of their land.

Hamas is applying pressure on Israel from the south.  Hezbollah is an opponent in the North. The possibility of peace seems remote but the Deal of the Century of President Trump is ready to be revealed when Israel makes a government. The Ultra-Orthodox Jewish religious leaders refuse to accept democracy which means a new law for the Jewish people. The Palestinians are even more extremely religious than the Jews.  Both do not accept the New Testament. King Solomon, the third King of Israel who built the first Holy temple, relates in his book Ecclesiastes, “There is a conflict in the creation of God between democracy and theocracy. Try to fit in the middle. Stay away from extremes.” A unified government in Israel can work if it can fit in the middle but surely it cannot satisfy Israel or Arab extremists.  A theocracy or dictatorship can never fit in the middle because it is either right theocracy or left Nazi fascist or Communism. Democracy is more flexible which makes it a vessel for peace. There will always be extremists; a strong democracy can tolerate extremism in their opponents.

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David Wexelman

Author of 5 books on the internet on topics of Jewish mysticism, managing two websites. www.progressivejewishspirituality.net
http://www.worldunitypeace.org

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