The September elections have provided us with a locked-up chain reaction, or a negative version of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Netanyahu will not sit without the Haredim, the Haredim will not sit with Gantz, Lieberman will not sit with the Haredim and will only sit with Gantz if he sits with Netanyahu, Gantz will not serve under Netanyahu, and no one will sit with the Arabs, who nevertheless supported Gantz.
Rather than entering into the considerations of what PM Yitzhak Rabin z”l termed “go’alitzia” (a combo of the words for coalition and for disgust), we might want to pay attention to Sivan Rahav-Meir. On the night of the election results, Rahav-Meir raised a deeper question about Israeli society.
In this video, she suggests the sharply divided election results that Israelis provided are a sad yet precise mirror of Israeli society itself.
Can we really expect, she asks, for politicians to heal the deep divisions in our society? What of the responsibility of each person in Israeli society to address these divisions themselves? Has the time not arrived for each Israeli to expand their own personal “coalition”?
While we often celebrate the plethora of unique identity groups in Israeli society – and indeed the plethora of unique identity groups in most Western societies – this might also lead to the splintering of our collective solidarity.
As we approach the judgment days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, it might be worthwhile for each of us to ask ourselves, Israelis and non-Israelis: