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