Gantz refuses to grasp new reality

Unlike the baseball movie with its famous meme “If you build it, they will come,” Gantz will find that he cannot build a government, and they will not come.

By Rabbi Dov Fischer, ISRAEL HAYOM 03-11-2020 22:16

For all the talk and theorizing about how Blue and White leader Benny Gantz might be able to form a government without Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud buy-in, the reality is that Gantz is living in a field of dreams.

Unlike the baseball movie by that name, with its famous meme “If you build it, they will come,” Gantz will find that he cannot build it, and they will not come.

Blue and White won only 33 Knesset seats in this election. Amid all his frenzied activity to form a government on his terms, trying to corral a majority of Knesset members to recommend him to President Reuven Rivlin, few observers seem to ask where this “minority government” that he is negotiating is going to come from.

Yes, he can begin assembling his coalition by drawing seven allies from Labor-Meretz-Gesher. That could bring him to 40. However, if he attracts Avigdor Lieberman’s seven Yisrael Beytenu seats, too, then he inexorably writes off support from several Arab Knesset members who have explicitly stated they will not sit with Lieberman.

Meanwhile, the Balad section of the Joint Arab List has announced that they will not support Gantz as prime minister regardless of Lieberman’s place in negotiations. On yet another front, Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauser of the more right-wing Telem faction within Blue and White will not participate in endorsing a government that relies on the Joint Arab List’s cooperation to let it stand.  Most recently, MK Orly Levy-Abekasis has announced that she and her Gesher Party (which caucuses with Labor and Meretz) will not be part of such a government either.

Gantz’s reaction to all the splintering is to demand party discipline. Thus, if Hendel and Hauser will not vote as he demands, he has conveyed that he wants them to resign. Really? If he spits those two out of Blue and White, he practically will deliver them to Likud’s 58-seat coalition of religious and other right-wing Knesset members. And then if he pushes and alienates Levy-Abekasis hard enough, he practically will deliver Bibi a government of his own.

Gantz is blind to reality. He cannot form a government on his terms. The pieces he wants to use in forming his minority-government coalition jigsaw puzzle simply do not fit with each other.  It always has been inevitable that at least some Arab MKs from the Joint List would refuse to be associated with the same Avigdor Lieberman.

How could Gantz imagine that all Arab MKs on the Joint List would compromise so shamefully on their own self-respect that they would sit with Lieberman? And how can Gantz believe that he can enforce a “party discipline” that compels right-leaning Knesset members to vote against conscience and agree to support a government that relies on Arab anti-Zionists who even include several Joint List MKs with histories of justifying and otherwise apologizing for Arab anti-Jewish terror and murder?

As soon as a mythical Blue and White government finally would have to act meaningfully in the face of rocket attacks, the entire Joint Arab List would bring down Gantz’s government, paralyzing national security.

He could be out in a week. Or if he starts lobbying European Union nations to accept some kind of extension of Israeli sovereignty in the Jordan Valley, the Arab MKs would bring him down.

Gantz thinks he can form a government on his own terms because his party secured only three seats fewer than did the Likud, while the Likud and its religious allies fall short of an outright majority in the Knesset.

However, Gantz confuses Likud’s own challenge of coalition-building with the mirage that Blue and White somehow can offer an alternative coalition plan that can govern cohesively without Likud dominance.

When the pilgrims of Psalm 137 ascended to the Land of Israel to rebuild Zion after the Babylonian expulsion, the Biblical poem tells us that they “were as dreamers.”

But at least their dream had a basis in reality, as the subsequent history of the restored Jewish Commonwealth attested. By contrast, Gantz’s dream reflects a significant inability to grasp the reality that the Israeli Jewish electorate cast nearly two-thirds of their votes on March 2 for Knesset members who are to the right of center.

No Israeli government that relies on the anti-Zionist Joint Arab List for its existence can stand – and therefore cannot even be formed. Yet Gantz cannot form a government without them either. That is the reality he still cannot grasp two weeks since the elections.

March 12, 2020 | 5 Comments » | 687 views

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5 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. Avigdor lieberman is accomplishing what hamas, hezbollah, Iran and all of Israel’s enemies the world over could only dream of doing; destroying Israel from within. Talk about being a Russian agent. This is an evil, degenerate, low life Russian pig. He ought to be investigated as a spy and punished for treason. May the wrath of God come down upon avigdor lieberman, Gantz and the rest of the cabal trying to take down Bibi at the expense of Israel.

  2. Fischer overlooks the fact that Israel’s laws make it very difficult to remove a government from office once it is formed, even if it loses majority support. A vote of no confidence cannot bring down a government under current law. It requires 61 MKs to sign a petition to the president specifying who they want to replace the current prime minister with. Even then, the proposed new prime minister must win a vote of confidence. The only other ways to bring down the incumbent prime minister is a)for the Knesset to refuse to pass budget, or b) it votes to dissolve itself and hold new elections. In either case, though, the incumbent remains in office until the new elections are held and someone else is able to get a vote of confidence after the election. This is why Bibi has remained in office since December 2018 even though he doesn’t have majority support. At least, not yet. But if Gantz does manage to replace him over the next two months, he will acquire these same advantages.

    In any case, though, I don’t think Gantz is interested in halting rocket attacks, unless he can succeed in persuading both the PL groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad to halt them in return for whatever political price they demand. He is a true Chamberlainian and won’t scruple to bargain for a Munich.

    Of course, even Chamberlain never actually asked the British Union of Fascists to join his government.

  3. “Netanyahu to Gantz: Supporters of terrorism will not be part of the government
    PM invites Gantz to meeting with the goal of forming a national emergency government.
    Elad Benari, 13/03/20 00:37

    “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke on Thursday night with Blue and White chairman MK Benny Gantz.

    Netanyahu invited Gantz to an immediate meeting with the goal of immediately establishing a national emergency government, and stressed that “in light of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the world and in Israel, it is time for decisions of leadership.”

    The Prime Minister made clear in the conversation that supporters of terrorism cannot be part of the government – neither during times of routine nor during times of emergency. Netanyahu’s office said “the Prime Minister is awaiting Gantz’s response.”

    For his part, Gantz suggested to Netanyahu that a meeting between the negotiating teams be held tonight to examine the establishment of a broad national emergency government to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

    “Gantz informed Netanyahu that in any case, he intends to assist in any action that is related to the public good on this issue. Netanyahu has not yet responded to Gantz as of this hour,” the Blue and White party said.

    Earlier on Thursday evening, Gantz called for the formation of an emergency government which would include representatives from all Knesset factions, including the predominantly Arab Joint List.

    Culture Minister Miri Regev called on the Blue and White chairman to enter the government without insisting that the Joint List be part of it as well.

    “Gantz, show national leadership and responsibility and enter a national emergency government, without the supporters of terrorism, because that is the order of the hour,” said Regev.”

    This is from tonight’s Arutz Sheva

    I don’t know if this is a good idea or not. What do you other Israpundit people think?

  4. Gantz is a failure , as a chief of staff he grossly underestimated the danger created by the tunnels from Gaza. The first week of Tsuk Eitan in July 2014 was far from success . Now he grossly underestimates the will of the public to keep away the arab joint list from power . Gantz shows is another opportunist without any backbone .That he is surrounded by Liberman ( the agent of evil power ) and Lapid the TV clown demonstrates the futility of his character

  5. Gantz will come up short in the vote count to be able to establish a government, the rabbi is pointing that out in his article.

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