Fighting the coronavirus plague after the 10 plagues? - Analysis

Why there won’t be a government until after Passover.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on the night the 22nd Knesset voted to disperse (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on the night the 22nd Knesset voted to disperse
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein remained silent on Tuesday, a day after he flexed his muscles and appeared to reject the Supreme Court’s demand to enable a vote to oust him on Wednesday.
But when Yisrael Beytenu MK Gennady Sova pressed him in the Knesset plenum, he said that his goal all along has just been to bring about a unity government and prevent a fourth election.
Edelstein didn’t care about whether his resume would say he was Knesset speaker for seven years or seven years and a few months. He genuinely thought holding onto power would put enough pressure on Blue and White to initiate serious coalition talks.
The move backfired, because it made the extremes in Blue and White and Likud angrier and louder. It gave wind to the protesters pressuring Blue and White leader Benny Gantz from the fringe Left and to the strongest critics of the Supreme Court on the extreme Right.
His own battle with the Supreme Court was a peak in the fight between the two sides that he never intended to exacerbate. In an effort to bring about the reconciliation he wanted all along, Edelstein was the only MK in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bloc who voted for the formation of Knesset committees headed by MKs from Gantz’s bloc on Tuesday.
It will take time for both sides to recover from that fight and calm down after Edelstein is (presumably) replaced by Blue and White MK Meir Cohen on Wednesday. The problem is that there is no time.
The mandate Gantz received from President Reuven Rivlin is set to end on April 13, which is during Passover. That means it really ends when the holiday starts on April 8, or maybe even a week before, due to the intense preparations for the holiday, which will be more of a challenge than ever.
Because there does not appear to be any coalition that Gantz could form, Netanyahu will likely get the mandate immediately after Passover ends and the most likely scenario is that an emergency or unity government will be built shortly after that.
If the coronavirus plague that has killed three Israelis and infected 1,656 was not enough to persuade the country’s leaders to compromise, maybe reading about 10 other plagues at the Passover Seder will be what does it.
Edelstein might come back to his post then, at least temporarily. But he honestly cares more about achieving that unity government than sitting longer in the speaker’s chair.