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We Were Promised Change But Got an Inflated Government
Israel's 36th government, at the President's Residence, Jerusalem, June 14, 2021. (Haim Tzach/GPO)

We Were Promised Change But Got an Inflated Government

Ma’ariv, Israel, June 22

I really hate ruining the party but the main feeling I was left with following the formation of the new government is disappointment. Don’t get me wrong: I totally thought it was time for Netanyahu to vacate his seat. I even voted for one of the parties that promised change. But precisely because Israel so desperately needs change, it was disappointing to find that the so-called “government of change” just mimicked everything we witnessed in the old government. Contrary to all of his promises to keep the government at no more than 18 ministers, Yair Lapid decided to support a coalition consisting of 27 ministerial posts – nine more than he had advocated for. But that’s not all. As leader of the opposition, Lapid nicknamed the “Norwegian Law” – which allows a minister to resign from the Knesset but remain a minister, with their Knesset seat taken by the next person on the party’s list – the “jobs law.” He vehemently attacked it by saying that “the fifth Netanyahu government breaks all records of disengagement from the public.” However, under Lapid’s new coalition, 13 ministers already resigned from the Knesset and paved the way for 13 new members who took their seats. What a waste of public funds. Then, of course, there’s the original sin of this government: the appointment of Naftali Bennett, who won a mere six seats in the recent elections, as prime minister. [Editor’s note: Bennett’s party, Yamina, won seven seats, but only six Yamina MKs voted to form the government.] This is one of the dirtiest moves made in the history of Israeli politics to date. So what did we get? A wasteful government that arranges jobs for almost every member of the coalition, and in the process violates almost every election promise, headed by a man who seems to put himself above everything else. Of course, there are those who would argue that the ends justify the means and that politics are ultimately about compromise. But “the ends justify the means” is no excuse to use any possible means. In the political culture developed under Netanyahu, we have become accustomed to the wholesale breaking of promises and the complete elimination of values. But the architects of this new government cannot claim to be those who are making politics clean again when they are so far away from living up to their very own promises and ideals. –Anat Moshe (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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