Five Questions, Five Answers - Surprising Political Coup in Israel

Interview with Jacob Edery, Vice President of the Israeli Knesset

Also available in Deutsch

In an unexpected maneuver, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and new Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz agreed that the biggest opposition party will join the government. This “government of national unity” will feature a parliamentary majority of 94 to 26 Knesset seats. Therefore, the early elections scheduled to be held in September 2012 became obsolete. We asked Kadima member and Vice President of the Israeli Knesset, Jacob Edery, to assess the recent developments.

Mister Edery, were you surprised by the developments of last night?

Yes, I was surprised.

What do you think is going to change now? Which points will be supported by Kadima that would not be implemented without its participation in the government?

Kadima will focus on the following topics:

  • Changing the government system
  • Equally distributing the burden of military service (follow-up regulation for the Tal-law which has been regulating this question until now)
  • Supporting the political process with the Palestinians

There have been critical voices arguing that a numerically weak opposition can do harm to democracy. Are those critics completely mistaken?

It is always important to have an opposition. However, sometimes there are more significant challenges, and a broad coalition is of crucial importance for their implementation.

Not long time ago Knesset Member Shaul Mofaz has been sharply criticising Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statements on Iran. Do you think that Kadima’s participation in the government would promote any changes in Israeli policy towards Iran?

Generally speaking, all political parties in Israel are concerned when it comes to Iran. Shaul Mofaz used to be the Chief of the General Staff and Minister of Defense and thus is very familiar with this topic. I am sure that with his experience he will contribute to taking the right decisions regarding Iran.

With regard to social protests in Israel in summer 2011, do you think that also the domestic political climate will go through changes?

I think that the protests will continue, since many problems still remain unresolved.

Thank you very much, Mr. Edery.
The questions were asked by Palina Kedem and Evelyn Gaiser.
Translation: Wibke Foß and Ora Shapiro

published

Israel, May 9, 2012

Knesset-Vizepräsident Jacob Edery (Kadima) im Herbst 2011

Jacob Edery (Kadima), Vice President of the Israeli Knesset