Yesterday, our Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein, without consulting other politicians or the courts, shut down the Knesset. Why? For the public safety? No, because he doesn’t want to be replaced. The right-center-left-Arab coalition of unlikely bedfellows, including the hawkish former defense ministers Moshe “Boogie” Ayalon and Avigdor Liberman and the Israel-hating, terrorist sympathizer Arab MK Ahmad Tibi have just enough votes to replace the speaker, which would give Blue and White more control over legislation.
I understand that Edelstein doesn’t want to lose who position (actually, he is fighting more for Bibi to keep his job, than he is fighting for himself), but we are in a national crisis. The Coronavirus in just a few weeks has done more damage to Israel than all our wars combined. Arafat and Hamas were never able to shut down Ben Gurion airport—and it wasn’t for a lack of trying. However, Covid19 did in just weeks.
Now more than ever we need our Knesset passing laws.
“The very parliament that might pass funding bills to help those desperate families, or might create meaningful oversight and limits on unprecedentedly intrusive new cyber tracking policies put in place to help stem the spread of the coronavirus causing COVID-19,” is stymied over a power struggle. (TimeofIsrael.com)
Really? Get over yourselves!
Edelstein says he concerned that with gatherings outlawed, there is no way for the Knesset to vote—which is stupid and a lie. I just had a meeting yesterday with 20 leaders using the Zoom app. There is no reason that they cannot continue the people’s business using modern technology. There is much he could be doing to open the government, but…
“None of those steps are being taken, because the current freeze is not about the virus. It’s about grinding the parliament to a halt in order to prevent Blue and White from taking it over with their 61-seat majority.” (Timesofisrael.com)
Blue and White’s Yair Lapid declared “It’s possible that it doesn’t really interest you with all this coronavirus in the air, but as of today, you no longer live in a democracy.” He was actually referring to the fact that the judiciary was closed just days before Netanyahu’s trial was to begin on charges of corruption, by Netanyahu’s handpicked justice minister Amir Ohana. Of course, most Israelis would rather Bibi be focused on the virus and not on his trial, but it sure smacked of cronyism.
Israel’s president and “grandfather” Reuven Rivlin sent a sharp rebuke to Edelman. “A Knesset that is out of action harms the ability of the State of Israel to function well and responsibly in an emergency. We must not let this crisis, as serious as it is, harm our democratic system,” the President reportedly told Speaker Edelstein.
But the plot thickens and there are no innocents. For Blue and White, the key to sending Bibi into retirement is taking over the speakership. Once they replace Edelstein, they can then pass a law saying that says no indicted MK can serve as Prime Minister. Despite the fact that they received less votes than Likud, they are seeking a power grab that would possibility end Netanyahu’s career.
What do the people want?
Clearly, most Israelis would prefer Bibi leading us through this crisis. If you take out the Arab parties and Liberman’s right wing party (who is only with the center left because he hates Bibi and doesn’t want the Orthodox in the government), the right wing coalitions outperformed the center-left by 58-39. Likud alone beat Blue and White by a vote of 36-33. My gut feeling is that Israelis want the man who has led them longer than any other prime minister to continue through this crisis.
They should put together a unity government NOW, with Bibi leading it until the crisis is over. Then he can have his trial and we can move on. But sadly, egos are coming before the Israeli public—egos on the right, left and center.
God raised up Israel from the ashes of the Holocaust and these people treat our democracy like their toy that they don’t want to give up at the playground. Grow up!