Peres meets ministers 2013 coalition.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The current government was supposed to bring about wide-ranging socioeconomic
change. At least it should, based on the outcome of the election.
election victors, Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett, campaigned strongly on the
following issues: Reducing the high cost of living and housing, sharing the
burden and making structural changes to the system of government.
contrast, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s security agenda suffered a heavy
blow, as did Tzipi Livni’s campaign that focused on diplomatic
The election, though, is already ancient history. Now real life
begins. Without us even noticing, the winds of political change could take a
turn and within just a few minutes the focus on social issues could move to
diplomatic ones. If I had to commit myself, I would gamble on this
The fire could come from any place or direction and could turn
our world upside down overnight.
For example, in Syria the worst is yet
to come. At any moment some deranged al- Qaida member could get ahold of
chemical weapons and threaten someone with them (mostly likely us). This could
even happen if a stray shell were to hit a kindergarten on the Golan.
Lebanon is like a pot that has reached its boiling point.
Not to mention
Mohamed Morsi’s public policy is collapsing on all fronts, but
especially in the peninsula.
The Egyptian president has secretly offered
the Beduin there a quiet autonomy to do as they please, so long as they stop
shooting. But there is no way that could happen. The Beduin have never changed
their ways, no matter who the official ruler was. They didn’t in the days of the
Turks, and they surely are not about to begin now. The main problem in Sinai is
that the traditional tribal structure has begun to crumble, and young, radical
Beduin are looking for new sources of money.
How will the new Israeli
government deal with these developments? After the excitement over the slap in
the face Bibi experienced in the election dies down, all we are left with is an
inexperienced, right-wing government.
The security cabinet has shrunk –
it now comprises only seven members – and is devoid of experience and depth. Dan
Meridor and Bennie Begin, two former members whose significant political
abilities were put to good use, are no longer on the team.
Liberman, about whom many things can be said (and they are), and who has
tremendous experience as a statesman and handles pressure well, is also out of
the picture for now.
Shaul Mofaz, who is also not the most suave
politician, did still serve as defense minister and IDF chief of staff. But he
is also out of the government.
Netanyahu was actually the one who
demanded that Mofaz be left out – contrary to the agreement he had with
On the night the coalition was formed, Bibi banged his fist down
hard on the table and declared that this would be his red line. Mofaz was
So who’s left? The security cabinet consists of Netanyahu; Defense
Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon, who has vast experience in the sector, but
limited political experience; and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who due to hard
times is actually one of the most experienced people around; and that’s it. Yair
Lapid and Naftali Bennett are not even newbies in this arena – they’re premies
who aren’t yet breathing on their own and must remain a while longer in their
Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan is an experienced
politician, but has never been a member of the security cabinet before. Last but
not least is Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, who is representing
Yisrael Beytenu in place of Liberman.
And that’s it. This is the team
that will lead us to victories. Or at least keep us alive.Translated by