IDI experts respond to the coalition deal that brought Kadima into the government just as the call for new elections was being finalized.
The stunning coalition deal announced just as a call for new elections was being finalized by the Knesset creates a historic opportunity to break the deadlock caused by the current system of Israel's government in which small, narrow-interest parties have the power to block political reform and prevent breakthroughs on issues of national concern. But it also empowers a large majority to act without meaningful opposition. The government must act responsibly, seizing this opportunity to pass long overdue reforms in the Israeli electoral system and promote a more equitable distribution of the burden of military service while upholding the independence of Israel's Supreme Court and standing up for minority rights.
IDI President Dr. Arye Carmon on the opportunities for the new coalition:
"24 hours ago, the elections planned for September seemed certain to reproduce the present reality: a bloated cabinet of 40 ministers, a paralyzed executive unable to make decisions or carry out policy and a weak Knesset submerged by private bills. 24 hours later we face a different situation entirely.This political bombshell opens up a historic opportunity to fix Israel's broken system of government. For the first time since the establishment of the state, an Israeli government has placed political reform at the top of its agenda. If our leaders seize the moment, the elections for the 19th Knesset will produce a government that is stable, capable of long-range planning, and able to advance Israel's national interests across the board, from the economy to national security."
IDI VP Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer on the dangers of the new coalition:
"The decision to avoid elections and instead to create a mammoth coalition of 94 MKs is a dangerous one that gives the majority the power to do as it pleases without the need to consider an effective opposition. The formation of this government is sure to undermine the public's trust in the political system."
IDI VP Prof. Yedidia Stern on the new government and draft obligations:
"The Supreme Court's annulment of the Tal Law, followed by the formation of the new government, creates an explosive situation. The new government must act responsibly. If they cave in to populist sentiment and declare open season on the ultra-Orthodox, they may open up an irreparable rift within Israeli society. But if they act prudently, they have a real opportunity to integrate the ultra-Orthodox into Israeli society"