Thursday (April 7th): Silman worries Israel coalition

Name? Idit Silman

Westphalian identity? Israeli

Age? 41

Why is she in the news? Israeli Knesset member Idit Silman’s resignation as coalition chair and defection to the opposition is a dramatic turning point for the coalition of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. After four elections in two years, the coalition clung to power by the slimmest possible parliamentary majority, the loss of Silman marks the loss of that majority.

Why do we care? Because of the circumstances under which Silman resigned. She is the target of one of the most intense campaigns of right-wing vilification of any of the coalition’s members. As a member of the religious-Zionist right, she came under a lot of pressure from the right. Former Prime Minister Netanyahu hopes that more right-wing MKs struggling with personal and social costs of their membership in the Bennett-Lapid coalition could ultimately lead to elections that potentially benefit him. 

Why should you care? Because of a horrible political culture that aggressively targets “weak” links in coalitions for personal gains. Silman once claimed to have been accosted by a right-winger at a gas station, and was accused by the right of fabricating the incident … You should care 5/10 about political culture, especially towards “weak links”. 

Who else cares? Leader of the IRGC Hossein Salami. For Iran, an unstable Israeli government is good news, especially after the Negev Summit between Israel, the UAE, Egypt, Morocco and Bahrain where the countries discussed common positions. Israel especially pushed for a common front against Iran. So much so, that Salami’s Revolutionary Guards threatened Bahrain over further collaboration with Israel that could undermine Iran’s security. Any further comments? Political instability is something Israel cannot afford right now. Increased tension among the population during Ramadan, unhappiness with the US decision to engage with Iran and a list of domestic problems require solving. One year of political activity after two years of political deadlock might soon be over.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator