This article was originally published here:

https://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/the-path-not-traveled/

Israeli politics is defined by the larger-than-life personalities that lead the litany of political parties. Netanyahu, Gantz, Lapid, Lieberman, Gabbay, Bennett, Shaked, Deri … these personalities and their egos dominate the political landscape. Campaign ads are focused on the faces of the leaders of the parties – the other members of their respective parties and their policy positions are largely left undiscussed.

A clash of egos is forcing Israel into another unwanted and unwarranted national election. The election results for the 21st Knesset were clear – the majority of Israelis voted for a right-wing government. The inability of the right-wing parties to form a coalition agreement is a massive failure for the leaders who were entrusted by the public to lead this nation.

Shortly before the last election, we wrotethat the major parties of this country need to put aside their minor policy differences and create a coalition government for the greater good of Israel. We are reiterating that call again today. The next few months will follow a familiar path: The Israeli public is going to be subjected to an onslaught of negative campaigns. The results of the next election may strongly resemble the results of this past election. Following the election, there will be infighting and political horse-trading until the next ruling coalition is formed.

Instead, the collective leaders of our nation should walk down a new path together.

The majority of the Israeli population prefers a government led by the Right to tackle the challenges and opportunities facing the nation. There is also widespread support for an inclusive Zionist government that is committed to the security and prosperity of Israel. The Trump administration’s peace efforts will begin in the coming weeks with a conference in Bahrain. The fact that there is not a stable Israeli government to engage in this effort is deeply unfortunate and could have been entirely avoided. U.S. President Donald Trump responded to the new election by saying Israel “needs to get their act together.”

After the Knesset voted to dissolve itself and head to a new election, the public learned of the myriad efforts that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made to create a ruling coalition. In particular, his efforts to lean across the political spectrum to woo Labor should be commended. If the Likud can invite Labor to join a coalition, there can surely be a coalition government with the Blue and White party. Will the leaders of these parties put the needs of the country before their own egos?

The lesson learned from the failure of the shortest-ever Knesset should not be forgotten. The campaigns for the Sept. 17 election have already begun and have picked up from where they left off in April. However, the Israeli populace should demand better this time. For the greater good of Israel and the Middle East, the larger-than-life personalities that dominate Israeli politics need to travel a different path. The egos and pettiness that caused the coalition to fail cannot be repeated. Israel deserves better.