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This Strange Gov’t Will Lead to the End of Netanyahu’s Political Career

This week, the Knesset is supposed to vote on the formation of the 37th government, led by Binyamin Netanyahu. This is even though, as of the writing of these lines, the allocation of ministries and portfolios among members of the Likud – the largest party in the coalition – remains unknown. There is no doubt that these days we are witnessing the establishment of the strangest government that has been formed in the State of Israel during its 75 years of existence. A government that was born only after a marathon of illusory laws and amendments that lasted about 40 days – unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. A marathon that made it possible to establish an unkosher government, even though most of its members are distinct traditionalists. For example, Aryeh Deri, who is destined to serve in this government as interior minister, health minister, and finance minister, was convicted of financial crimes. It is clear beyond any shadow of a doubt that he is not worthy of, and cannot be, a minister. There is also Itamar Ben Gvir, a convicted felon, with eight criminal convictions, who did not serve in the military, who will be entrusted with the national security of the State of Israel. What characterizes this government is mainly the lack of trust it has in the person who is supposed to be at its head. A government whose partners refused to sign the coalition agreements until the laws and amendments they dictated to Netanyahu were passed. Imagine a bride who arrives at the chuppah and refuses to wed her groom until the latter signs a written affidavit outlining everything he promised to her. What future is in store for this couple? Sadly, we know the outcomes of this “wedding” even before it has been officiated. Netanyahu ran time and again to the American media to deny the existence of the illusory demands and laws from his partners. He was simultaneously quick to issue clarifications and rejections of the repulsive statements made by his future coalition partners. Therefore, it is not surprising that we are witnessing a growing wave of protest against this government. It started with the top high-tech people in Israel, who sent Netanyahu a letter of protest and concern about the path of his future government. This was joined by over 200 senior doctors, who signed a protest document and were very concerned about the collapse of the legal system, which in their opinion would lead to the collapse of other systems as well. They were followed by 1,198 Air Force pilots, who sent a letter to the president of the Supreme Court urging her to stop the destruction of democracy. As it seems, this is just the beginning of a big protest wave of many other parties and entities, who will join hands to fight against this government, its laws, and its intentions. All this while Netanyahu has lost control over his partners, who have an unbridled lust for power and a desire to change Israel according to their own beliefs, while trampling on existing laws. Many Likud voters share the concern about this loss of control and find it difficult to understand how Netanyahu has given in to almost all of his partners’ demands. This right-wing government started its journey on the wrong foot. It will very quickly find itself at the end of its journey. Netanyahu needs this government to extricate himself from his trial. But it will soon become clear to him that this government will not only not rescue him from the predicament of the law, but also bring him to the end of his political career. –Efraim Ganor (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)