Opinion

March 2 election results: Fickle, faithless, feckless

Beyond making a covenant with a party that not only undisguisedly supports Israel’s most vehement enemies but openly denies its status as a Jewish state, Blue and White has castigated party members who insist on honoring its election pledges.

Joint Arab List leader Ayman Odeh (center) and party members Ahmad Tibi (left) and Mtanes Shehadeh arrive for a meeting at the Knesset on Sept. 22, 2019. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Joint Arab List leader Ayman Odeh (center) and party members Ahmad Tibi (left) and Mtanes Shehadeh arrive for a meeting at the Knesset on Sept. 22, 2019. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Martin Sherman
Martin Sherman
Martin Sherman spent seven years in operational capacities in the Israeli defense establishment. He is the founder of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a member of the Habithonistim-Israel Defense & Security Forum (IDSF) research team, and a participant in the Israel Victory Project.

This week, Israeli politics plumbed appalling new lows with reports that Blue and White, which as the major rival to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party emerged as the second-largest party in last week’s Knesset elections, was actively planning to violate its solemn pledges to the voters made only days previously.

In a breathtaking display of unprincipled cynicism, Blue and White’s leadership, which comprises three former commanders of the Israel Defense Forces, appears poised to renege on its explicit campaign pledges. Thus, despite repeated and seemingly resolute vows that they would not seek to establish a coalition dependent on the anti-Zionist Joint Arab List—a motley amalgam of Communists, Islamists and radical Arab nationalists—they are doing precisely that!

Worse, beyond making a covenant with a party that not only undisguisedly supports Israel’s most vehement enemies but openly denies its status as a Jewish state, Blue and White has castigated party members who insist on honoring its election pledges, even demanding their resignation for their display of public integrity.

This is especially the case with Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauser, two prominent right-of-center members of the party.

Ironically, during the election campaign, both Hendel and Hauser played a crucial role in presenting Blue and White’s professed views to the public, and in particular, establishing its right-of-center credentials designed to distance itself from Israel’s floundering left.

There seems no rational explanation for this manifestly irrational behavior other than the fact that Netanyahu’s rivals’ seemingly pathological ad hominem hatred for him has totally unhinged them from any reasonable and responsible political action.

This represents a scandalous and unacceptable breach of public trust. It must be met with correspondingly appropriate public outrage.

All fair-minded men and women, both inside and outside Israel’s political system, must express their righteous anger at this intolerable deception and duplicity, and make sure that it will not succeed. For the future of the entire Zionist enterprise may literally hang in the balance.

Martin Sherman is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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