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Why Israel’s Gantz should propose a minority government

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz should remember that over the years, Israel's narrowly led governments generated much larger moves than unity governments did.
Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party looks on during his party faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun - RC119D495130
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The claim that only a big government can make big decisions crashes repeatedly on the rocks of Israel’s reality. Narrowly based governments (with at least a 61-seat majority in the 120-member Knesset) and even minority governments (governments with 60 seats or less) were the ones that made Israel’s truly major moves over the years, whereas broad-based governments blocked important measures when each one of the two leading parties vied for prestige.

I am convinced that had the 1987 London Agreement between Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Jordan’s King Hussein been proposed to a narrowly based government — led by either the left or the right — it would not have rushed to ditch an option to examine whether agreement was possible on Israel’s eastern border with a responsible Palestinian-Jordanian entity. The fact that Likud leader Yitzhak Shamir was prime minister and Peres was foreign minister under a power-sharing unity government led the Likud members of the security cabinet to vote against the agreement. One of them confirmed to Al-Monitor that the Likud would not have conceived of joining a Peres-led peace initiative.

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