The repeat election in September is economically, politically, and diplomatically damaging.
The electoral circus that has consumed the attention of Israelis for the last several months and which will continue to do so until September and probably beyond, has had and will have at least the following nefarious results, to wit:
- It is costing a minor fortune and worsening an already worsening financial situation, which the Bank of Israel has been warning about.
- It is worsening the social divisions within the country of ethnic and/or religious origin.
- It is coarsening the political discourse which was already bad enough and is now almost entirely at a level of personal and often scurrilous attacks having little or nothing to do with policy.
- It is entirely unclear what any of the major and most of the minor parties will do about anything of primary importance to the electorate: education, health, housing, transportation, etc.
- It is threatening to reverse years of carefully cultivated relations with some of the Arab countries, particularly Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States (except for Qatar) in the fields of intelligence-sharing and defense cooperation and now also expanding to economic and technological cooperation.
- The perception of Israel as a reliable ally and bulwark against Iranian expansionism in the US and elsewhere.
In short, the prime minister and just about every other significant political figure is busily engaged in damaging the country financially, economically, socially and internationally. If that situation does not change drastically and soon, investors beware.
Norman A. Bailey, Ph.D., is Professor of Economics and National Security, The National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, and Adjunct Professor of Economic Statecraft, The Institute of World Politics, Washington DC. He was formerly with the US National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The views he expresses are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of "Globes."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 13, 2019
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019