Opinion: The current coalition, which only two days ago celebrated 100 days, works in coordination, while trying to coexist with the COVID pandemic; Haredi parties, meanwhile, have for years behaved in a manner which they now attribute to Bennett

A day ago, my colleague Arye Erlich wrote an article published on Ynet, in which he viciously criticized our current government, headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

I think the opinion expressed in the article is a bit detached from reality. The truth us when our 36th government was formed, each one of us accepted it with own prejudices.

בנט ולפיד
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (Photo: AFP)


Let me tell you something, this government isn’t perfect. But the day you’ll start believing your government is perfect, that’s the day you’ll know you have a problem. Because like everything in life, there is no perfect, and you always consider alternatives.

But I’m tired of talking about the alternatives, so let me just try and express my thoughts on Erlich’s one sided observation, claiming this government is a failure.

A big part of Erlich’s article is alleged lies perpetuated by Bennett and in a way that claim is correct. Bennett formed a rotation government that relies on the Islamist Ra’am party, breaking his pre-election promises when he said he won’t establish a government with Arab factions.

Erlich, however – a supporter of Haredi parties – hasn’t wrote a single word about all the lies and false agreements that led to the formation of the current government. Lies that our former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told his associates and former allies, including our current Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

בנימין נתניהו
Benjamin Netanyahu at the courthouse in Jerusalem (Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon)


For some reason, even though the Haredi public is dedicated to telling nothing but the truth, the lies perpetuated by Netanyahu and his religious allies escape their attention. And that’s because in politics everyone lies, but some lies serve you well, while others don’t – and those are the ones you’ll speak of.

Erlich also said he expects public figures to set an example for the next generation, which is ironic considering some members of the former government are about to be tried for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, which is sure not something you want to use as a positive example for anything.

According to Erlich, Bennett doesn’t deserve to serve as a leader and a prime minister, because in his opinion, he forced his way to the position despite not winning enough votes. But that reminds me of the ultra-Orthodox parties, which have reached a grand-master level of forcing things on others. Those parties, over the years, used their political power to force their agenda and their religious priorities on the general population. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

תיש בחסידות גור
Haredi population violating COVID-19 instructions during pandemic


But, what Erlich claims bothers him the most is the way the government is handling the COVID-19 crisis.

I generally try not to look at things as black and white or right or wrong – not now and not when Netanyahu was in power – and it includes the pandemic. Erlich tries to compare this government to the old one, claiming Netanyahu managed to deal with coronavirus in a better manner.

However, I want to ask, did you feel content during endless lockdowns when our daily life was completely disrupted and hundreds of billions of shekels were spent to fund it?

The current government works better in many aspects than the previous one. There is cooperation to reach a common goal, better operational plans, agendas are being revealed to the public and there is an attempt to deal with COVID-19 not through lockdowns, but through coexistence with the pandemic to allow us to continue our daily routine.

People carry shopping bags as Israel reopens swathes of its economy, while it continues to lift restrictions of a national lockdown to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Jerusalem
People carry shopping bags in Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)


It is believed that the human mind is an unsolved mystery, and it seems like politics is also a mystery. If you’ll take two different people, and you’ll ask them about the same government, you’ll hear two different answers.

Nevertheless, in the spirit of the High Holidays, I will end this articel by wishing my friend Arye Erlich the best. Like Rabai Eliazer mentioned in Pirkei Avot – ethical teachings and maxims from Rabbinic Jewish tradition – you can be angry, you can criticize but you can’t look at reality in such a monotonous way.

As reported by Ynetnews