Israel is experiencing something in Sderot that it has not experienced since the War of Independence, if ever: The enemy has silenced an entire city and brought normal life there to a halt. The despair of Sderot’s mayor is one sign of what is happening. The sight of the town’s elderly residents returning from a “rest and relaxation” trip and refusing to alight from the bus and go home is additional proof that what is happening in Sderot is a national disgrace.
Schiff adds that the defeat in Sderot is “a serious national failure, which in my opinion is worse than the failure of the Second Lebanon War”.
Unlike the US, Israel’s parliamentary system allows for a simple majority vote of the Knesset to force the government to resign and bring about early elections. How can the government which lost both the Lebanon War and the battle of Sderot, whose Prime Minister had an approval rating of 3% among the public, and which is now talking about beginning negotiations to return the Golan to Syria while Syria prepares for war — how can this government remain in power?
The explanation is two-fold. First, new elections would result in many current Knesset members being removed, and they would prefer to keep their seats. Second, apparently not enough members are convinced that there is a better alternative.
The problem is that the government has lost its ability to lead the people, any respect that it may have had in the international arena, and its power of deterrence over Israel’s enemies. It’s time for democracy to do its work, and the political chips must fall where they may.