Late yesterday afternoon Shaul Mofaz, the leader of Kadima, announced that due to unbridgeable differences between Kadima’s views and the views held by Prime Minister Netanyahu and the ruling coalition in the Israeli Knesset towards drafting new legislation to replace the expiring Tal Law, Kadima has found it necessary to withdraw from the coalition they had joined only nine weeks ago. An entirely new law was necessitated by the unconstitutional ruling striking down the existing Tal Law by former Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch in the final weeks of her term of service. It is likely that the mainstream Israeli media will play up the split from the coalition by Kadima a mere two months after joining the coalition as a failure in the leadership of the coalition by Netanyahu. The reality is very likely to prove otherwise, but do not hold your breath waiting for the media to reach such a conclusion as they are heavily invested in casting Prime Minister Netanyahu as incompetent and ruining the coalition of the people by his support of the extreme Orthodox and Haredi communities and the illegal settlements in Judea and Samaria. They will use the ill-fated end to retaining Kadima in the coalition as further proof of Netanyahu, Likud, and the settler fanatic extremist parties in the coalition, especially should the Knesset vote to accept and enact as Israeli policy the recent results of the Levy Commission. This was a report on the legality of the existing settlements and any further Jewish settlement activities in Judea and Samaria under International Law, the Geneva Conventions, and numerous treaties which were signed and ratified by numerous European governments, the United States and the United Nations in its founding documents pertaining to respecting and implementing all agreements from the League of Nations, all of which defined the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea as belonging to the Jewish State once it had been formed and allowed, encouraged and insisted even, Jewish settlement in order to facilitate such formation.
The real question is whether allowing Kadima to join the coalition and revealing their anti-religious fanaticism and anti-settlement dispositions served the coalition or not. The near future will prove that by allowing Kadima to join the coalition and tasking them to lead in crafting a new law establishing a universal draft, which they had demanded they be allowed in order to join the coalition, and then refusing to moderate their poisonous demands victimizing the religious communities as the Plesner Committee recommendations held. Members of the coalition accused Plesner of attempting to wage war on the religious communities while ignoring any service commitment by Arab Israelis and other minorities by pressing for severe sanction on solely religious Jews who refused service. Kadima leadership stood fast demanding near total drafting of all Hareidim with drastic penalties to be imposed on any refusing to comply without addressing the fact that a sizeable portion of the secular community also tend to go to extremes to avoid service. The end result of allowing Kadima to force this confrontation will likely be a split in the Kadima membership with the larger part leaving the coalition while a possibly sizeable remainder declining to leave with the rest and remaining in the coalition. This will result in making Likud the majority party and will reduce the size and following of Kadima. How anybody can call strengthening the coalition by making the best of an unpleasant confrontation forced by Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz who overplayed his hand in an attempt to destroy the coalition thus leaving him and Kadima weaker and Likud and Netanyahu strengthened a failure escapes me. Most rational people would look at how this will eventually turn out and congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu with pulling a virtual coup against Shaul Mofaz and the strongest of the opposition parties by allowing them to push their hand too stridently and dashing themselves against the rocks of public opinion and political realities.
The main fallout from this overstated coalition crisis is the remaining need for crafting a replacement draft law for the soon expired Tal Law. The advantage now is that the entire controversy over how to craft the new law and whether service should be strictly applied solely upon the Haredi and Orthodox communities and enforced in a vicious manner or whether the solution should be applied humanely and with reasoned and crafted steps allowing for a gradual adoption of the new standards will be discussed and implemented in an adult manner instead as by the spiteful insult of childlike adults throwing a fit. The public was treated to a full disclosure of the original intent of former Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch to subvert the universal Torah Study by the Hareidim by pressing them into mandatory military or community service in place of Yeshiva studies. The debate being made public will allow a more reasoned approach which will retain the best of the Yeshiva studies of Torah, a vital and important pursuit in the service of Israeli society, while still making arrangements to allow and eventually require a larger percentage of Hareidim and Orthodox to perform IDF or community service bringing these communities into closer alignment with the service rates of the rest of Israeli society. It has also opened up the discussion on whether the Arab Israeli society should also be called to do at a minimum some form of community service if they prefer to refuse IDF enlistment. Despite the media claims which are sure to come decrying the death of Israeli democracy with the exit by Kadima from the coalition, the Israeli people will have been given a greater voice and a closer inspection of the machinations of the debate on this vital and definitive issue. If that is not real democracy and a healthy attitude of governance, then I don’t know what is. We must tip our hat and credit Prime Minister Netanyahu with having played a smarter game of politics than his opponents while also including the will of the majority of people in deciding the path for the government on of the the most vital and momentous legislations before the Knesset.
Beyond the Cusp