After weeks of wrangling and political horse-trading, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu finally managed to cobble together a new coalition government – one that almost certainly will not last the four years to which it is entitled. That is because the factions within the coalition do not see eye to eye on so many things.
What none of them see at all, however, is what the people of Israel seem to want. Once again, the parties bargained for their own benefit, disregarding the true result of the January election. Israel’s voters are divided on many issues, but on one issue they demonstrated an amazing unity: The system is broke and needs to be fixed. Business as usual is no longer acceptable.
This new government has an amazing opportunity rarely granted by voters in Israel. It can scrap its unity agreement and write a brand new one, creating a constitution for the country and amending the electoral process so that no future government is ever held hostage to small parties with limited constituencies. It could create electoral districts so that members of Knesset represent specific areas, rather than a single party with a set agenda that bears no relationship to the needs of the people. It can protect the rights of all Jews to practice their faith free of government interference.
It takes great courage to so completely overhaul a system of governance that works for the politicians but not for the people. The people had their say. The politicians have yet to hear them. It is not too late for them to stop positioning and start listening.