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A Good Leader Betrays His Voters

27 0 2
31.03.2020

Yes, it was a very painful night, perhaps one of the ugliest in the history of Israeli politics. But it was evidently necessary.

Did Kahol Lavan Chairman Benny Gantz “betray” his voters? I think not. From the outset, Gantz spoke about unity and partnership, not only about destroying Bibi-ism. The latter wasn’t his main promise to his voters.

He incontrovertibly said he would not serve in a government led by a criminal defendant, and he kept that promise through two elections and two postelection efforts to form an alternative ruling coalition. But once he discovered that no such alternative was possible, what should he have done? Should he have joined the protesters waving black flags outside the Knesset? Maybe, but Gantz is a political player, not an observer or a critic.

He seems to have done the most responsible realpolitik thing he could have – becoming part of the government during the waning days of Bibi-ism and then inheriting the leadership from within. He wasn’t extorted, nor was he lured in by a hunger for power. He simply had no decent alternative, and a fourth election clearly couldn’t have taken place in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.

Moreover, his insistence on his party getting the positions of justice minister, defense minister and vice prime minister should show his voters he has not entirely renounced his second promise – to shore up the rule of law and replace the leader who is his up to his neck in criminal cases.

Unfortunately, this cannot be accomplished in a single strike, but only........

© Haaretz