Needless Hysteria over Israel’s Cabinet Shakeup

May 25, 2016 | Ruthie Blum
About the author:

After a highly publicized but failed effort to persuade the Zionist Union, Israel’s main opposition party, to join the Likud-led governing coalition, Prime Minister Netanyahu instead brought in the smaller Yisrael Beiteinu party. In doing so, he discharged Moshe Yaalon as defense minister and offered the position to Yisrael Beiteinu’s controversial leader, Avigdor Lieberman—a move that prompted hysterical reactions from Israel’s left-leaning media. Ruthie Blum comments:

Though Yaalon has an illustrious history and a reputation for being both a serious military man and levelheaded think-tank member, I gave up on him when he started preaching morality to Israeli society. At a time when both radical Islamists and Western professors, as well as huge swaths of the British Labor party, are waging a frontal assault on the Jewish state, accusing it of atrocities it does not commit, the last thing Israel needs is a cabinet member adding fuel to the anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic fire.

I therefore say goodbye to Yaalon without a heavy heart. Though Lieberman leaves much to be desired, . . . he [isn’t] even as “right-wing” as his detractors claim. . . . Lieberman’s [positions] are often indistinguishable from those of his left-wing counterparts. It’s the take-no-prisoners rhetoric and associations with dubious characters that make [him] controversial. . . .

On Friday night, . . . [the] middle-aged military correspondent Roni Daniel . . . lost it on live TV. Pounding on the table several times, Daniel interrupted his fellow panelists to announce that the move to replace Yaalon with Lieberman . . . meant that there was no future for his children in Israel. . . . [P]olitical machinations have become so cynical, have gone so far, [he claimed], that the country’s best interests are sacrificed in the desperate attempt by Netanyahu to “hold on to his seat.” . . .

When have politicians in this or any other country not tried to hold on to their seats? This is a reason to leave the Jewish state that boasts a rise in immigration from Western democracies? . . . The . . . question [Daniel] and other Israelis . . . with escape fantasies ought to contemplate is where they imagine they can settle to be rid of their malaise about living under flawed democratic political systems—Syria?

Read more on Israel Hayom: