The new government of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. / Pic. Emmanuel Dunand - AFP

The new government of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. / Pic. Emmanuel Dunand – AFP

The Progressive/Reform Movement worldwide was very pleased to see a Coalition of diverse parties come together in Israel to form Government after years of the Netanyahu/Likud regime.

It has now become obvious that the Coalition is quite fragile. Mostly because some of its partners are throwing their weight around to get support for what they want, regardless of the outcome, even if it means losing control of government and the Knesset. Perhaps it is time for such individuals to put the country first, before their ambitions, and for the better good of the country they are supposed to be serving.

Australians know full well the effect of minor parties and cross bench independents in our Federal Senate and some of our States, where like Israel the system of voting is Proportional Representation.

Proportional Representation can deliver seats to individuals and minor parties based on a relatively small quota of votes/support to be elected. It massively increases the chances of minor parties and independents winning seats, making it very difficult for any major party to gain control of the house of government and in my opinion, makes it more difficult to provide political and economic stability.

I understand that Proportional Representation was chosen initially in Israel to be reflective of the diversity of groups within the Israeli community. I suggest that this may not currently be the case. Parties in Israel have shifted to groupings of left, right and moderate, as well as moderate left and moderate right. I hope this makes sense.

It appears impossible for any one party to win a majority in the Knesset to form government. This has led to the situation we are currently in today. It is reported that Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid have been pleading for their political partners, just one year after their election to form government, not to give up.

Yair Lapid, Israel’s Foreign Minister and potentially its next Prime Minister said this week “This government is worth fighting for, and we will fight for it. It is the right thing for the State of Israel and the citizens of Israel. There is nothing easier than destroying; there is nothing more difficult than building”. Times of Israel

Finally, ARZA Australia joins the Australian Jewish community in mourning the passing of Lady Anna Cowen z’l. An inspiring and much loved Progressive Jewish woman.

ARZA President, Helen Shardey

Helen Shardey OAM
ARZA Australia President
UPJ Vice President