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The burden of proof lies with the unity government
By GAD ZEEVI
04/06/2012
We must believe that through constant watchfulness the new government will indeed accomplish its mission and take the required responsibility to pass the reforms and changes this country needs so much.
 
In the mid-Eighties Israel faced one of the most serious economic crises in its history, with an inflation rate of several hundred percent, and severe and ever-increasing debt.

Against this backdrop and at the height of the crisis, a national unity government was formed which set out to bring about economic stability.

It changed the Israeli economy and saved it from crashing, proving that when centrist parties join together, responsible, thoughtful government can bring about unprecedented achievements.

The current process of forming a unity government has resulted from the realization by the leaders of the large parties that without reform of Israel’s political system, there can be no future for a democratic Zionist state for the Jewish People in Israel.

This follows a successful attempt by the NGO Israel’s Hope/Yesh Sikuy to guide a majority of MKs from the Likud and Kadima, as well as Labor and Yisrael Beyteinu, onto a path of reform of Israel’s political system by making them understand the existential need to adopt this change immediately.

If the new unity government succeeds in passing the draft law as Israel’s Hope/Yesh Sikui has proposed, chances are high that these leaders will be recorded by history as reformers who ensured the continued existence of Israel and the eternal preservation of its character as a modern Zionist state for the Jewish People.

OVER THE past month there has been much criticism of the broad unity government unveiled by the Likud and Kadima. But Israelis must not allow disapproval of the process to make us forget its purpose and potential for positive achievements for the society and economy.

Such objections arise from the lack of faith and/or understanding that it is only a broad government which will be able to lead the critical change required.

First, it is important to remember that without forming a unity government, Israel would have been drawn into an early election campaign which would have shut down the political system and government ministries for many months until a new government was formed.

This would have cost the country approximately NIS 4.5 billion – including direct costs of NIS 1b. for elections and party financing, NIS 1.5b. for the “elections economy” and costly private bills. The GNP would lose NIS 1.4b., and result in half-a-billion shekels in lost tax income. Needless to say, all this money could, and should, be spent on more important and pressing national requirements.

Furthermore, a lack of political and economic stability during a time of world recession and real fear of a slowdown in the Israeli economy could be destructive and damaging to growth, causing higher unemployment and widening the financial gaps. It is precisely during such time of global economic upheaval that we need broad, stable leadership to navigate the economy responsibly and with good judgment.

We must believe that through constant watchfulness the new government will indeed accomplish its mission and take the required responsibility to pass the reforms and changes this country needs so much. Declarations and stated commitments by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his second-in- command Shaul Mofaz to reform Israel’s political system instill the hope that perhaps this new unity government will succeed where others have failed, and will bring about the new legislation necessary to preserve Israel’s democratic and Zionist character.

History has taught us that determined leaders are able to execute important decisions with significant impact on their citizens.

The burden of proof lies with the new government.

It remains only to hope that this government succeeds in fulfilling its duty to bring about fundamental change In Israel’s political system, a feat that the State of Israel needs so pressingly.

Our proposal for guidelines for the reformation of Israel’s political system is posted on the website of Israel’s Hope – Yesh Sikuy at http://sikuy.org.il.

The writer is a businessman and vice-chairman of Yesh Sikuy.
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