Like Netanyahu, King David Also Had a Big Government EPA-EFE/ABIR SULTAN / POOL
Israel

Like Netanyahu, King David Also Had a Big Government

Israelis fume over Netanyahu’s bloated coalition, but even Israel’s greatest king had to make such compromises

Read

Israel’s current government numbers 34 ministers and 16 deputy ministers. The 35th government is one of the largest in the history of the State of Israel, and this fact angers many Israelis. Even Likud voters are criticizing party chief Benjamin Netanyahu for this fact. Yet even in biblical times the nation’s leaders appointed broad governments. Was this really necessary, or was it based on political maneuvering?

Today, Netanyahu’s coalition is said to be wasting money from the State coffers on unnecessary official posts. However, this is not the first time; Israel’s 29th government (2001 to 2003) under the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had exactly the same number of ministers and deputy ministers. In order to be able to form a government, all the coalition partners need to be happy with the arrangements, which involves the creation of new ministerial posts. Whether the new ministerial posts are sensible and really serve the interests of the population is of lesser importance.

On the other hand, without the political compromises and creative distribution of ministerial posts, the coalition would probably never have...