The consequences of the recent coalition crisis - analysis

The notion that from now on, any MK can extort the government to help their pet cause by professing independence and get away with it.

 PRIME MINISTER Naftali Bennett sits in the Knesset this week.  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
PRIME MINISTER Naftali Bennett sits in the Knesset this week.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The coalition crisis in the government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett lasted only 75 hours; only 50 if Shabbat does not count.

The apparent financial impact of the crisis is next to nothing, if Bennett is to be believed. He said no new allocations were promised to bring Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi back into the fold of his coalition.

All she got for her four days in the limelight was a promise to implement previous allocations and ensure greater oversight for the funding already guaranteed in next year’s state budget that may or may not pass.

Rinawie Zoabi did not emerge unscathed from her fruitless political show. She lost whatever credibility she had in her Arab sector, she became persona non grata in her Meretz Party and she lost an appointment as Israel’s consul general in Shanghai.

But what will be the lasting impact of the Rinawie Zoabi crisis for the country?

Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi seen after a meeting with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid outside the Foreign Ministry offices in Jerusalem, May 22, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi seen after a meeting with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid outside the Foreign Ministry offices in Jerusalem, May 22, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The notion is that from now on, any MK can extort the government to help their pet cause by professing independence and get away with it.

The coalition numbers 61 Knesset members. Now they all know that to get what they want, all they have to do is initiate a little tantrum.

For instance, Israel Beytenu MK Eli Avidar wants to pass bills that would prevent opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu from forming a government in the future. He might decide he will not support the budget or any other bill until he gets what he wants.

Blue and White MK Michael Biton has his own pet causes. The MKs in Yamina have their ideological redlines. Meretz MK Yair Golan is a loose cannon who can start his own fight at any time to build his credentials for the next Meretz leadership race against the party’s badly bruised leader, Nitzan Horowitz.

The irony is that this was supposed to be a “government of change,” which removed a prime minister under indictment for fraud, bribery and breach of trust.

Instead of fighting corruption, this government has encouraged it among its own Knesset members. Instead of replacing bribery, the coalition members are each taking their turn trying it out for themselves.

This does not bode well for a government to last very long.

Bennett’s government will continue going from crisis to crisis until the Knesset is dissolved or the coalition is defeated. However, it can still make it mercifully to the July 27 Knesset recess, beleaguered and battered.

If it can make it that far, there will be three months before the Knesset returns, when there will once again be crises, real or imagined, that will come and go.

Perhaps the next crisis will have a more significant impact on history, long after Rinawie Zoabi is forgotten.