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After the Elections

Though all the results aren’t in yet, it’s very unlikely that Netanyahu and his right-wing allies will muster 61 out of the 120 votes in the Knesset to form a majority government. But it’s also clear that his rival Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party, won’t be able to form a government either. Yet, politicians close to both assure us that there won’t be a fourth-round, following the three elections within the last twelve months.

The sane and sensible answer would be, of course, for Blue and White to get together with Likud to form a unity government with a comfortable Knesset majority. This would free them from having to humor the small parties by giving them portfolios and perhaps bribes far above their station.

Ideally, this should happen when Netanyahu decides to step aside and allow his party to elect another leader. His trial on three serious criminal charges is due to start in two weeks’ time and it’s inconceivable how he could lead a government during the trial, let alone if convicted. Yet there’re no signs that he intends to do the right thing and resign. This prompts the question: What’s next in store for us hapless Israelis?

It seems impossible even to speculate, other than to assume an even more vigorous assault by Netanyahu on the instruments of justice in the land as well as on the media that will report on the trial and on his other shortcomings. In the last year, he has appointed ministers to run his errands on these and other issues. Will they now stay in office? He’ll need them more than ever also to “explain” his nasty lies and manipulations during the election campaign.

A function of the nastiness, according to latest reports, will be to lure a few Knesset Members, elected on the list of Gantz and his allies, to defect to Likud to be awarded with ministerial posts or something equivalent. Politics can be a dirty business and the craving for power a despicable ambition. Not only Netanyahu but many other politicians are affected by it.

Israel desperately needs a stable government. It hasn’t had one between the elections. Yet it’s by no means clear that it will get one soon.

Jerusalem 4.3.20                                                                                       Dow Marmur

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