This nightmare, in which we’re heading into elections once again, the third within the space of a single year, is neither a parable nor a dream. It is all too real.
There are no words to express the feeling of disgust and mistrust of elected leaders, or the anger and contempt felt towards them after they silently and obediently proceeded to end their Knesset term in complete contradiction of their constituents’ interests.
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If polling were conducted in the halls of the Knesset to see how many members actually wanted to dissolve the Knesset, the results would have been 119 against and one in favor.
Only one man, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wants this third election to take place and he is motivated by an illegitimate, personal agenda that completely goes against the interests of the country.
Three election cycles in the service of one man, in order to construct a coalition that would provide him with the immunity he seeks from justice.
There was a moment on Wednesday, amidst all this political madness when suddenly MKs thought a solution may have been found that would avert the need to dissolve the Knesset.
A message came down from what is ambiguously called “senior Likud officials” which is actually code for Netanyahu’s allies Yariv Levin and Ze’ev Elkin.
Netanyahu, they hinted to reporters milling around the legislature, would forego his bid for immunity, Blue & White will be able to come back to the negotiating table and a coalition could be formed.
Blue & White, which has vowed not to join a government headed by a prime minister under criminal indictment, reportedly agreed to a short term government under Netanyahu if he were to commit to not seeking immunity and would defend himself against the charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, in court.
Rumors were flying everywhere for a while with people claiming they had heard from the prime minister’s closest advisers that a deal could be made.
But just an hour and a half later Netanyahu’s office ended all hope. “No way,” came the edict from the prime minister’s official residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem. If the choice were a government or immunity – immunity comes first.
Perhaps “immunity first” is more than the epitaph of an elected Knesset, perhaps it is the defining message of the past year in Israeli politics.
We are entering this third election cycle with children running to bomb shelters in the south, hospital emergency rooms bursting at the seams and a growing budget deficit, but the election campaign will only be about the legal affairs of one citizen: Benjamin Netanyahu.
Even annexation of the Jordan Valley, which Netanyahu now claims is an imperative life-line for the country, after having completely ignored the matter for the past 14 years, will not blur the fact that the elections are about him and his criminal cases.
In April, elections were forced on Israelis as part of Netanyahu’s efforts to preempt a hearing before indictment.
In September, voters were again summoned to preempt the indictments that were due to be filed.
Now, we are forced to hold elections once again, this time in order for Netanyahu to secure his immunity from justice.