Opinion

Orbach breaks right

Yamina is part of the political tradition of the Israeli religious right, which since 1975 has been the dominant factor in Israel’s lack of political stability.

Yamina MK Nir Orbach leaves the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem following a meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, June 12, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Yamina MK Nir Orbach leaves the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem following a meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, June 12, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Amnon Lord (Israel Hayom)
Amnon Lord
Amnon Lord is an Israeli journalist with the daily newspaper “Makor Rishon.” His articles and essays about media, film and politics have been published in “The Jerusalem Post,” “Mida,” “Azure,” “Nativ” and “Achshav.”

The reason Knesset member Nir Orbach is under much heavier pressure now than he used to be is that the Yamina Party is not a democratic entity.

There are no party institutions, certainly not elected, legislated institutions. There is nothing that mediates between Yamina voters and their Knesset representatives. The voters have no accepted, democratic way of influencing the party’s top echelon, not even voting for institutions like a central committee, a secretariat, or anything similar. The result is that supporters of the party who feel betrayed by and furious at Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked are powerless to do anything about it.

The main reason Orbach resigned from the coalition was not the shouting protesters outside his house, but rather the unity in the opposition under Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu. This past year, Netanyahu has demonstrated leadership, even though Gideon Sa’ar announced repeatedly that he would not join a government under Netanyahu.

It’s hard not to see the reality, though sometimes people try to gloss things over: The Yamina faction is breaking up. When MKs Silman, Chikli, Orbach, Alon Davidi, Asher Cohen and basically a large part of the team departs, it indicates a sweeping lack of faith in the party leadership.

Orbach is blaming Ra’am Party MKs Mazen Ghnaim and Ghaida Rinawie-Zoabi for his departure. But that’s not entirely fair, because from the first day of the Bennett-Lapid government, one could see that there was something dangerous and submissive in a few left-wing and a few Islamist parties joining forces with a party that calls itself “rightward” (Yamina).

It’s not completely clear what Orbach meant in one section of his resignation announcement on Monday, when he said, “I don’t think that holding elections is the best option. Repeated elections don’t serve the stability necessary to govern the country. This coming week, I won’t vote to dissolve the Knesset. I will work with all my might for a stable government with a national spirit, like we promised to do a year ago … I am not part of the coalition.”

There is no chance that the longed-for stability will arise from the ranks of the coalition. “A stable government with a national spirit”—that could happen only under Likud leadership. But the Yamina leaders have come down with leadership syndrome. Let’s assume that for now, Orbach won’t help dissolve the government. What is he leaving for the Israeli public? At this point, Orbach, Bennett and Shaked are only adding uncertainty to an already uncertain situation, and are becoming part of the tradition of the religious right, which since 1975 has been the dominant factor in the lack of stability in this country.

Amnon Lord is a veteran journalist, film critic, writer and editor.

This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates