While of course, voting is not only a right but a privilege to be taken very seriously, this time thinking about who to vote for ultimately won’t matter. The outcome of how many seats each party gets arent pre-decided, the election isn’t rigged and except for the usual dead guy voting here and there, ballot stuffing, and the regular shenanigans the election will be open and honest. So why doesn’t it matter who you vote for?
After the election, the two largest parties will most likely be unable to form a stable coalition within their respective camps. This will provide them with the excuse they need to put their differences aside and form the unity government of their dreams. While normally the concept of a broad (stable) secular government should be welcome, this time it is not.
This government will be formed by the leader of the biggest party joining with the 2nd largest party. Weather Bibi or Benny comes out on top won’t matter. Either one will bring in the New Right, after they break off from Yaminah, and Labor-Gesher to pad the coalition to allow more flexible voting for its members. The coalition will exist for the purpose of accomplishing three goals.
Charedi draft law:
If our politicians would be honest, wishful thinking, they would all admit that mass drafting of the ultra-orthodox is never going to happen. The army doesn’t want or need them, and their leadership can’t allow the infringement on their control over their sector of society. Even Lapid isn’t interested in actually having them draft, he’s looking for some fake concept of a shared burden. He fails to argue for the drafting of Arab citizens or for balancing the numbers in combat units between the national religious and everyone else in Israel. So what solution will they pass that will also stand up to the test of the supreme court?
The main goal of whatever law they pass will be first and foremost PR. It will be less import what actually happens and more import for the next election who can take credit for what. We will most likely see a bundle of positive incentives for members of the ultra-orthodox community that decide to voluntarily draft and a few “punitive” moves against the ultra-orthodox as a whole. These may include lowering monthly government payments from the Bituach Leumi, lower budgets to post highschool Yeshivas and more along those lines.
While the draft law will be for the left-leaning part of the coalition the judicial reform will be for the more right-leaning side. Of course, no real judicial reform can happen as the judges will just strike it down. There are some small changes that can be made and have broader support than is realized. The committee for choosing judges will have the balance of representatives changed to be weighted more towards the elected officials. The idea of “standing” for a complainant to the supreme will be solidified and more open judge positions will be filled. While all of those are important changes their effects will take a very long time to feel and be minimal. It is also very shy from the foundational changes that need to be made in the judicial system.
Trump/Netanyahu Peace Plan:
While the draft law and judicial reform are the distractions the peace plan will be the real reason for this unity government and the one thing that should have anyone who cares about the land of Israel concerned. As far as we know from the few leaks the plan contains recognition of Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria in return for the recognition of a Palestinian state on the rest and in parts of Jerusalem. The plan trades one Jewish community for another and is nothing more than the two-state solution in fancier language. This plan is Oslo 2 both in its misunderstanding of the conflict and most likely in its violent outcome.
Why would Netanyahu the leader of the largest right-wing party agree to such a plan? The answer is simple, Ariel Sharon, just like all of his corruption charges magically disappeared after he acquiesced to American and Israeli left-wing pressure and executed the disengagement in the summer of 2005, so too Netanyahu will magically have his indictments canceled and be able to retire from politics with his honor intact.
So go out and vote! It doesn’t matter for who but it matters that you vote. Maybe the results will surprise us all. The real question is what will the political scene look like in the era after Bibi. I am sure it’s going to fun to write about.
Happy election day Israel.
Reprinted with author’s permission from The Times of Israel