A new government has taken office in Israel. It was elected by a tiny majority of the popular vote, and a larger majority in the Knesset, due to its leader's superior knowledge of and ability to manipulate the unique Israeli political system.
At any rate, it was legally voted into office. According to some, the result of this is impending apocalypse. According to others, it is second only to the coming of the Messiah.
As with almost all such extreme reactions, the reality is likely to be neither apocalypse nor paradise. Let us take two examples:
Minister Ben Gvir's 13-minute and entirely respectful visit to the Temple Mount was neither illegal nor unethical--it was simply unwise.
Why? Because the ridiculously overblown reactions to it, as if he had thrown a bomb at the al-Aqsa Mosque during his visit, was entirely predictable and thus avoidable.
The US government should be ashamed of itself for blowing the whole non-incident totally out of proportion, condemning something that in any case was none of its business and facilitating the completely predictable UN anti-Israeli reaction.
It should not have been done, but it was not the end of days.
Second: Reform of the Israeli judicial system, particularly with reference to the staffing and the operations of the Supreme Court, is long overdue. Minister Levin's proposal addresses the issue of changing the current highly flawed and essentially secret method of choosing justices to a different, and open one.
However, his proposed reforms are flawed in two ways: the method of choosing justices would give too much power to the government in office at the time of appointment, and the ability of the Knesset to override decisions to overturn laws passed by the legislature should be by a special majority, such as two-thirds, rather than by a simple majority of 61 members.
In short, the new government is likely to try to do things and pass measures that half the populations doesn't like, but that are not necessarily unfixable. The solution is reasoned discourse by the parties to see if reasonable compromises can be reached.
Let the shouting end and the dialogue begin!
Dr. Norman Bailey is professor of Economic Statecraft at the Galilee International Management Institute, and adjunct professor at the Institute of World Politics, Washington DC. Dr. Bailey was a senior staff member of the National Security Council during the Reagan administration and of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during the George W. Bush administration.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 9, 2023.
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.