A failure foretold
The fate of the State of Israel was not on the agenda in forming this government, but rather the lust for power of a handful of politicians and the creation of power for their boss.
Israel's 32nd government, which was sworn in last night, is destined to fail. In putting this government together, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demonstrated sophisticated political skills and impressive tricks of wheeling and dealing, along with a total lack of vision, courage and practical judgment.
The fate of the State of Israel was not on the agenda in forming this government, but rather the lust for power of a handful of politicians and the creation of power for their boss. Israel has received the largest government in its history and one of its most meager. Its makeup bodes ill.
When coalition considerations are the only criterion for forming a government, the outcome is a finance minister with no qualifications in economics, a foreign minister liable to be shunned abroad, a defense minister who has failed at the job, an education minister with no experience in education, a Health Ministry without a minister and a long list of ridiculous ministers and useless ministries. There is also a batch of ministers without portfolio and without a role to play, apart from filling a seat at the cabinet table. Such a giant government sends a message of scandalous wastefulness, with the economy on the brink of a grave financial crisis.
Among the new people there is not a single minister of promise; no appointment arouses expectations. Amid the foreign and domestic challenges, Netanyahu has presented a government of paralysis that will have difficulty functioning and making fateful decisions; a government without vision or enthusiasm for getting things done and without ministers to lead change. Not a single spark of hope was ignited yesterday. The government that was born in sin, the sin of petty politics, is destined to spend its days in battles for survival, and that alone.
This is highly depressing news as Israel faces bold and crucial decisions; it's bad news for the peace process and for economic recovery, and it's bad news for every worried Israeli. Israel sent the world a message last night that it is not headed for peace and change. Netanyahu's second government is in no way better than his first, and all the hopes that he has changed have been proved unfounded in a single stroke.
All that remains is to hope that Israel's largest government ever - half the Knesset members in the ruling party are ministers or deputy ministers - will also be the government that makes way for its successor with the greatest speed.