The political parties with a new lease on the title of "opposition" are doing what is expected, criticizing the Prime Minister and his colleagues for what they are proposing or likely to propose. 

 
The more demagogic of opposition pols are operating at full tilt, aiming especially at the Prime Minister's proposal to expand the number of ministers he can appoint from the present legal limit of 18.
 
To be sure, what Bibi wants to do ain't pretty. It means creating a number of non-jobs at costs of millions of shekels, just to keep his party colleagues happy.
 
It's like much of politics, reminding us to stay away from details if we want peace of mind.
 
Think of the slaughter house from which the raw material comes for steaks and sausages. If we want to keep enjoying them, we should not think of what happens between the pasture and our dinner plate.
 
If the Prime Minister does again what he and others have done in the past, he may appoint one of the boys or girls to be Minister of the Negev and Galilee. 
 
The holder of that title won't have any power beyond those already in the hands of the more weighty Interior Ministry, Ministry of Housing and Construction, or Finance Ministry. The people in charge of the real ministries won't let the Minister of the Negev and Galilee do much more than make a few speeches.
 
If we look at what previous Prime Ministers, or Bibi in previous governments have created, there may also become Ministers of Strategic Affairs, Regional Cooperation, Senior Citizens, Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, and Intelligence The persons who acquire those titles will have to say "Yes Minister" to the more powerful colleagues serving as Ministers of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Welfare, or some other established service.
 
There might also become a Minister (or Ministers) without Portfolio, which will be a more honest designation of honor without responsibility.
 
We can expect that the politicians who acquire these prizes will do little more than be the Prime Minister's gofers, giving speeches that express the Prime Minister's policies, and attending international meetings where they serve as the Prime Minister's spokespersons.
 
The demagogues are shouting that great funds will be spent on this nonsense that should be allocated instead to the pressing issues of crowded classrooms and hospitals, poor families, and appropriate responses to the demands of Israel's unfortunate Ethiopians and Arabs. 
 
The multiplication of meaningless jobs does cost money, but not all that much. Along with the honorific title, most holders of these positions will get a nice car, driver, personal aide and a limited budget. Readers with a capacity in Hebrew can look for the TV comedy Polishuk to see how Israelis view these appointments. You can find episodes here, and an English language explanation of the series here.
 
A more serious explanation of Bibi's appointments starts with the analogy of health and accident insurance. 
 
Most of us have policies, and hope that we'll never have to see benefits that reach the full extent of what we pay in premiums.
 
Think of insurance as a cost of living well, while minimizing worries.
 
Likewise, the meaningless appointments of Bibi's new government.
 
The whole thing may never get off the ground, or last for a measurable length of time, given its thin majority in the Knesset.
 
It is the small size of the majority that has brought on this condition. The Prime Minister seeks to insure the survival of his government by making meaningless appointments.
 
The condition comes about as the result of small parties making big demands as their price for joining the government. Bibi provided them with more ministries and more prestigious ministries than some think they deserved, in order to get them into the coalition. The fictitious ministries to be created are necessary to satisfy enough Likudniks so they won't bolt and cause the government to fall.
 
The bottom line is that the country needs a government for keeping the budget up to date, and meeting other legal requirements.
 
Bureaucrats do the serious work of governing, with those occupying the highest professional position responsible for informing their minister what will work, and trying to keep their nominal political superior from deciding in ways that will do more harm than good.
 
Without a government, there would be a missing linkage between the people, said to be sovereign, and the civil servants who take our money in taxes and do the work that results in public services.
 
Think of those outlays for the silly ministries as Israel's cost of doing business, with its serious problems, argumentative Jews, and multiple political parties each claiming to represent a slice of a multifaceted population. It may not be pretty, but it is this country's way of being democratic.
 
If it prevents a political crisis of repeated elections that might turn ugly, all the outlays on fictitious ministries will be an efficient way to keep us afloat. 
 
We'll hold our breath, hope for the best, and expect to find a country when returning from a couple of weeks overseas.




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