JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE DESERT

69710 Highway 111.  Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

Phone: (760) 324-4737   |    E-mail:  info@jfedps.org

Israel Update 09/01/2022 A lot of interesting news is coming out of Israel these days. If you haven’t picked up on my writing interests yet you will after reading this piece. I feel strongly about addressing current events in Israel. Several things I am following now and will be writing about include the upcoming fifth election in Israel. In my opinion, nothing beats an Israeli election to learn how Israeli politics works. I find the Israeli elections to be a master class on understanding how representative democracies work or don’t work and how a party achieves power. A quick recap of where Israel is right now; the very fragile coalition that brought a diverse group of eight parties together to form a government with a weak 61 seats has ended. What happened was, because the government only had the 61 seat majority it didn’t have any room if a member or two left the coalition. That’s what happened. I won’t go into that now. But several members just couldn’t agree with how things were being done and decided to see what a new election and a new government would look like. When the coalition was formed Yair Lapid said to his partner Naftali Bennett, “as a reward for joining this coalition, even though your party has fewer seats, and I am more popular than you, I think we should share the role of prime minister and you can go first.” Bennett accepted and held the position for one year and a week and then, as the coalition folded, he said to Yair, “It is your turn.” Unfortunately, the coalition collapsed and no one else was able to form a government, so they have to now go to elections, again, scheduled for November. In the meantime, Yair Lapid takes over since Bennett stepped down and handed the leadership over to Lapid sooner than scheduled. Unfortunately for Lapid, he doesn’t really have a government to lead but he still gets to be Prime Minister, a special type of prime minister, a “caretaker” Prime Minister. A “caretaker” is a Prime Minister but with the responsibility to just keep the train on the tracks—no real mandate to do anything. He holds this title until the elections and hopes his party can form a coalition so he gets to be a real prime minister. I will write more about the elections in the next JCN. Please feel free to contact me with questions.