Photo Credit: Marc Israel Sellem/POOL
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visibly giddy during his weekly cabinet meeting, March 27, 2022.

Promises made, promises kept, promises set aside — and the betrayal experienced by voters who believed the promises.

The anger directed against Naftali Bennett was because of the betrayal so many of his voters felt after he agreed to become part of a coalition that included the Arab party, Ra’am, and the anti-Zionist parties Meretz and Labour, and which involved sitting under Yair Lapid as prime minister for the second half of the term. This involved a decision not to honour his promise not to do any of these things.

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Bennett, like all candidates in all elections, made several electoral promises.

When elected, they then are faced with the situation in which they must choose which promises they are going to honour given the power given to them by the number of votes they received and the constellation of possibilities before them according to the number of votes other candidates accrued. There are always going to be promises honoured and promises set aside. And there are always going to be people upset with their choices.

I support what Bennett was trying to accomplish by not betraying his promise to prevent a 5th election.

That was an electoral promise people may have thrown in his face if he had not answered Lapid’s invitation to work with him to prevent that 5th election. I can just see it now — we had to go to 5th elections back then and people cry out:

“But Bennett, you promised you would do everything to prevent a 5th elections and you did nothing.”

Once elected, EVERY politician will have to make difficult choices out of the possibilities before them. He made the choice to do what he could to prevent us going to 5th elections and to make sure we had a national budget as soon as possible, and the opposition did their utmost to make us go to 5th elections before the end of the current term in any case.

The only thing I was upset about when the coalition was sworn in was that, in the coalition agreement, it was agreed that Lapid would become interim PM if the government fell while Bennett was PM.

The opposition also knew this. And, knowing that Lapid was going to be interim PM until a new coalition can be formed, the opposition still purposefully brought down the government while Bennett was PM. Could they not have at least waited another year and let Bennett complete his half of the term and we would have had Lapid anyway?

Is this a question those upset with Bennett are going to ask their favourite electoral candidates?

Are they going to ask their favourite candidates what made them so sure that this 5th election will result in the kind of coalition they hope to achieve before bringing it upon us? Or anything close to that?

Are they going to ask their favourite candidates what kind of comprises they are willing to make and electoral promises they are willing to break in order to bring about a coalition — any coalition — that will mean we will not have to have a 6th election?

Are are they just so angry at Bennett for trying to make the best of a bad situation that they see nothing else but having got rid of him?

{Reposted from the author’s blog}

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Sheri Oz, owner of www.israeldiaries.com, is a retired family therapist exploring mutual interactions between politics and Israeli society.