Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog speaks to the press.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed to accomplish anything in the first 100 days of his government, opposition leader Isaac Herzog charged on Monday, marking the 100-day anniversary of the swearing-in of the cabinet.
Herzog posted the criticism on his Facebook page, because the Knesset is currently on its extended summer recess and there has not been a public event this week at which he could speak.
“Netanyahu’s government has been 100 days in power [and achieved] zero shame, zero security, zero diplomatic initiative, zero in the fight against the cost of living and housing, and zero in preventing the nuclearization of Iran,” Herzog said. “After 100 days, it is traditional to start soul searching. After 100 days and nine years, Netanyahu still has not brought security. There are no plans, only terrorist attacks.”
Herzog said that the 2015-2016 state budget, which was the main focus of the first 100 days of Netanyahu’s government, would not lower the cost of living or housing. He said preventing Iran’s nuclearization, which has been the main goal of Netanyahu’s career, also took a major step backward.
“The Iran deal will pass, the world is running to Iran to do business and open embassies, and no one is listening to Israel,” Herzog said. “Netanyahu has failed at the one issue that has been on his table the entire nine years he has been in power.”
Israel Democracy Institute president Yohanan Plesner, a former Kadima MK, also criticized Netanyahu’s handling of his first 100 days in power. Plesner pointed out that the term “first 100 days” came into parlance as a measure of the success of a new administration in 1933 in the United States, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt rolled out his New Deal program, which became the gold standard of success for future presidents.
“With a far less polarized and more right-wing government than any of Netanyahu’s last three governments, it was expected that the first 100 days of the current government would bring good tidings,” Plesner said. “At the end of Netanyahu’s first 100 days, we should be able to discuss a new strategic plan for the State of Israel. At the very least, the prime minister should have defined a minimum of two to three strategic goals for each ministry.”
Plesner said that several ministers did define goals and begin to formulate action plans and reforms in their ministries.
But he said at the end of the first 100 days of the present government, it was clear there is no guiding hand that is capable of implementing broad strategic objectives across government ministries that could drive the work of the executive branch for the next four years.
“When an elected leader is reelected for an additional term, his or her policy usually stresses continuity and perseverance, aims to achieve or promote the vision put forward in the previous term,” Plesner said. “In the work of the current Israeli government, however, not only isn’t there continuity of the main policy lines of the previous government, but we also witness the cancellation of a number of legislative reforms that had been enacted by the previous government.”
Plesner singled out the cancellation of the conversion reform, undoing the haredi draft bill, and thwarting plans in the housing and finance ministries.
“It seems as soon as the government was sworn in, Netanyahu already understood it would not be wise to present a comprehensive long-term vision, since unless there is significant political reform, it will be impossible to realize such a vision,” Plesner said. “In just under 265 days, on the first anniversary of the current government, it will be interesting to see if the government has succeeded in advancing any significant goals, despite its slow start in the first 100 days.”
A Likud source said the criticism was unworthy of a response.