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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/25/18

Go in Peace!

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The empty Knesset seat will be occupied by an anonymous female lawyer, who was put on the party's candidate list on the spot reserved for "new female candidate." But that is not really important.

The important question is: who will become Prime Minister?

Netanyahu's resignation would not automatically mean the dissolution of the present Knesset. If another Knesset member can put together a majority in the present Knesset, he (or she) will be the next Prime Minister. Only a Likud member stands a chance.

But is there any likely candidate? I doubt it. Like many strong but insecure leaders, Netanyahu has not groomed a successor. On the contrary, he has driven away all possible candidates.

The present Likud leadership and the entire gallery of the present government ministers of the Likud and its allies consist of nonentities. Not one of them I could really imagine as the man (or woman) responsible for the future of Israel. God forbid (whether He exists or not).

IF NO ONE succeeds in setting up a new government in the present Knesset, a new Knesset must be elected.

Can new elections produce a different majority? Possible, but not likely.

In a normal country, after the almost incredible series of corruption affairs, the opposition would assume power, and one of its leaders would become Prime Minister. Simple.

But Israel is not a normal country. There is a profound split between left and Right, with nothing in the middle. For large blocks of voters to move from Right to Left is almost impossible. Neither is there agreement on the question of what is the proper behavior for a Prime Minister.

A professor once told me: "A British Prime Minister who fills all senior government positions with relatives would be considered corrupt. An Egyptian leader who does not do so would be considered egoistic. What, he has so much luck and does not share it with his family?"

It seems that the more evidence about Netanyahu's corruption turns up, the more fiercely his party members support him. It's all a smear campaign of the evil Left! It's all fake news! The police is in cahoots with the treasonous Ashkenazi Labor party (in spite of the fact that the police chief, who was personally picked by Netanyahu, is a Yemenite kippah-wearing former secret service officer).

SO THE next Knesset will probably look more or less like the present one. If so, what will happen?

Of the 120 members of the present Knesset, 30 belong to the Likud, 10 to Kulanu ("All of Us"), a splinter party formed by a former Likud member, 8 to the religious Jewish Home party, 7 to the Oriental religious party, 6 to Avigdor Lieberman's extreme rightist "Israel our Home" party, 6 to the Orthodox party. This is the present government coalition, 67 altogether.

The opposition consists of 24 Labor members (called "Zionist Camp"), 11 in Ya'ir Lapid's "There is a Future" party, 5 Meretz members and the 13 United Arab List members, whom almost nobody counts. Altogether 53.

Assuming that the results of the next elections will be more or less the same, as polls predict, these numbers draw the eye almost automatically to the 10 members of Kulanu. Their unquestioned leader is Moshe Kahlon, at present the always-smiling Minister of Finance, who is considered liberal and moderate. Can he switch camps?

Actually, everybody assumes that in the next elections the Labor party will go down. After changing leaders like socks, it chose an Oriental boss, Avi Gabbay, in order to shake off the curse of being an "Ashkenazi" party. It did not work. Under Gabbay, the party continues to lose in the polls. (The Likud , with its overwhelming Oriental membership, always chose Ashkenazi leaders like Netanyahu.)

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Uri Avnery is a longtime Israeli peace activist. Since 1948 has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In 1974, Uri Avnery was the first Israeli to establish contact with PLO leadership. In 1982 he was the first Israeli ever to meet Yassir Arafat, after crossing the lines in besieged Beirut. He served three terms in the (more...)
 

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