Weekly Commentary: Israel Not Heading To Civil War
Dr. Aaron Lerner 27 August 2020
I do not agree with Blue White MK Tehila Friedman that the Jewish State
today faces the prospects of civil war.
Her inaugural Knesset speech, which compared today's situation to the civil
war which facilitated and/or accelerated the destruction of the Second
Temple, received considerable attention here.
Here is a link to it with English subtitles:
Our situation today is completely different on several important counts.
First and foremost, there is no great schism in our society which is
preventing our leaders from effectively addressing the challenges caused by
COVID-19. Only petty politics and bad appointments.
Profound philosophical differences aren't behind the failure of the
government to pass a budget along with the "Arrangement Law" which could
play a critical role in accelerating our economic recovery. Instead it is
the insistence of Blue White that Binyamin Netanyahu honor the coalition
agreement and make the budget also cover 2021 thus guaranteeing that Gantz
actually does have his turn as prime minister.
Ideology was not behind a series of terrible Likud ministerial appointments,
with the most destructive being Edelstein to Health and Galant to Education.
The decisions on public restrictions to head off the virus are not the
product of one camp taking a "winner take all" approach but instead
politically driven give and take. And yes, this has hardly resulted in the
most efficient arrangements!
We are not on the edge of anarchy. Polls show that while the overwhelming
majority of Israelis think the government is screwing up on its handling of
the COVID-19 challenge, a similar majority says they will follow whatever
the government instructs them to do to address the virus.
We are going to make it through this mess.
The question is only at what cost.
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