Everyone raves about freedom these days. Abroad, Israel is respected and admired for its new freedom and for bringing an end to the lockdowns. It appears that herd immunity has been achieved through the vaccination policy. The daily infection rate remains constant at fewer than 100 new cases.
At the same time, Israel celebrated its 73rd birthday, its sovereign freedom. The people live freely and independently in their biblical homeland. We are all proud of our democracy. So proud that we want to exercise our right to vote not just every four years, but rather run to the ballot box every six months! And every time we make the same mistakes. We cannot choose who should govern us. We brag about our freedom, but what use is freedom if there is no unity among the people?
Thirteen parties made it into Israel’s 24th Knesset. Seven parties form the right-wing bloc, four parties make up the Left, and even Israel’s Arabs are represented this time around by two parties in the Knesset. Three political camps that are completely at odds with one another. And no camp has managed to present an acceptable leader.
Everyone has their own idea of Israel. Some dream of conservative biblical values, others lean more toward a middle point between Left and Right, and still others fantasize about a state under Halacha (Jewish Religious Law). Some push for an ultra-liberal or socialist society, while others envision a messianic age in the biblical heartland, and the Arabs insist on their Islamic rights in the country. And the political cloud “Just not Bibi” hovers over everything. Amidst this confusion, new coalitions are formed, only to collapse a few months later.
The great shock this time around is that in whatever governing constellation eventually takes form, Bible-believing Jews will likely have to sit together with Islamists, that is if they want to avoid a fifth election in just over two years. This is true whether the next government is lead by the Likud, or by a union between the Left and right-wing kingmaker Naftali Bennett. Either way, the coalition will need Mansour Abbas and his Ra’am party.
Politics is about power. Israel’s acute situation reminds me of King Pekach from the northern Kingdom of Israel, who could not convince his Jewish brother King Ahaz in the southern Kingdom of Judah to join his war coalition against Assyria. Therefore, Pekach made a covenant with Aram (Syria) and attacked Judah to install a new king in Jerusalem who would cooperate with him.
The Jewish siblings are so divided among themselves that they cannot form a government without their theoretical enemies, the Arabs. Unless, of courses, someone can let go of their hatred for their brother. The people of Zion, who have so far won all wars against their Arab enemies, are too weak to achieve the unity that would guarantee freedom.