Opinion: The right’s voters are growing increasingly disenchanted as negotiations devolve into endless horse-trading over jobs rather than the public good, and the main culprit is Netanyahu

It’s been 45 days since the right’s election win, and as time goes by, voters’ high-spirited euphoria starts to give way to bitterness and despondency.

Coalition talks with no end in sight, a request for an extension from President Isaac Herzog, the petty insistence of lawmakers in their endless demands for more power — all these circumstances leave a bitter taste among the right’s supporters.

בנימין נתניהו בהצהרה לתקשורת
Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Shaul Golan)


This constituency faced a delegitimization campaign brought about by the outgoing government and egged on by the media, and responded with a clear democratic message, stating loud and clear that they want a stable right-wing government led by Benjamin Netanyahu.

However, by no means did they wish for the chaos that is the ongoing negotiations in the Knesset. And they certainly did not expect their elected representatives to take advantage of their mandate to loot their way to abstruse government positions and titles.

The voters did not imagine that those who would be bestowed the power of decision-making would use it to instill a governmental culture that reduces the honorable and simple role of an ordinary MK to a valueless burden.

Today, diligently fulfilling the duties of a devoted MK is no longer esteemed. Instead, everyone wants to be a minister, and the more titles – the better.

הצבעה על יו''ר הכנסת במליאה
Benjamin Netanyahu and Aryeh Deri (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)


The first culprit in this absurd situation is Netanyahu himself. On the day after the elections, he could have spoken to the nation and said he had no intention to appoint more than 18 ministers due to the global economic crisis. He could

If he were to stand by his word, he would be a true leader who knows where to draw the line and not a pushover.

Some on the right may have forgotten that they were elected to govern, not to celebrate their victory.

This criticism is also directed at the ultra-Orthodox parties, which are unable to grasp the urgency of the public’s expectation that they focus on the public good and redress injustices that the previous government imposed on them.

פעילי ש"ס
Shas rally (Photo: Shalev Shalom)


Take Shas Chairman Arye Deri for example. Right-wing voters believe that he has a legal right to serve as a minister despite his criminal record and that his appointment will bear an important realization of their democratic will. But it is difficult to understand his insistence on simultaneously serving as both health and interior minister.

The healthcare system needs a full-time minister with a single, central mission — to heal the system and save lives day in, day out. The Interior Ministry also needs a full-time minister who is devoted to the welfare of the people.

What does this tell us about Deri’s faith in his fellow party members? Are they all really that incompetent, that not one Shas member can fulfill one of the ministerial roles successfully?

Imagine the public support an ultra-Orthodox party would gain if it doesn’t only insist on sectorial demands: If Moshe Gafni of United Torah Judaism were to demand more aid to released IDF soldiers; if fellow party co-leader Yitzchak Goldknopf were to demand the Construction and Housing Ministry prioritize removing barriers to construction in cities all across the country; If Shas were to lead a public campaign to increase IDF soldiers’ salaries. This would grant them widespread credibility, and maybe even justify their expectations from the coalition.

יצחק גולדקנופף במליאת הכנסת
Yitzchak Goldknopf (Photo: Shalev Shalom)


Notwithstanding all the media hullabaloo surrounding Haredi demands, I can reassure you all that the State of Israel is not going to drastically change as a result of legitimate demands for some gender-segregated beaches, promote automation in electricity production, or symbolically increase support for poor families.

But seeing this chaotic horse-trading, I was left speechless. As a voter, a citizen, as someone who is proudly part of the winning and dithering camp: Get a hold of yourself before it’s too late.

As reported by Ynetnews