Weekly Commentary: Living in Gray World -
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 7 June 2012
Events this week serve to illustrate the problem with trying to impose a
“black-white” approach to a gray world.
A “black-white” approach would take Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s
successful defeat of the proposed law (to compensate owners of property
occupied by third parties for many years without a legal challenge rather
than forcing the third parties to leave) this week as reason enough to walk
away from the table.
A “gray” approach also takes into account that Mr. Netanyahu didn’t defeat
the bill simply by threatening to fire any minister who dared to vote for
it – he provided an ample list of actions to offset or compensate for the
stopping the legislation.
This was important on two counts:
#1 There a genuine potential for a significant increase in ongoing Jewish
construction in Judea and Samaria thanks to the moves (including
transferring some critical decisions relating to construction from DM Barak
to a ministerial committee).
#2 The offsetting actions serve to signal the world that despite his
enormous ruling coalition, Mr. Netanyahu still is engaged in a very serious
balancing act. This “weakness” is his “strength”, as it reduces the world’s
expectations with regard to Israeli activities and concessions.
The beauty of the situation is that with elections expected to be held only
late in 2013, performance rather than promises will be the measure of the
competing parties and their leadership.
If the announcements end up being empty promises – be it due to red tape or
an overtly intentional hiatus, this will be clear well before the elections.
One would hope that someone within the administration would be assigned to
monitor this matter in order to make sure that none of the many officials
involved in signing off on the tremendous number of approvals associated
with construction stages do not unduly delay the approval process.
Then again, there may most certainly be a role for an independent body
(perhaps professionals associated with the Yesha Council) to monitor the
process in order to provide the leadership early warning of bureaucratic
The existence of the monitoring might discourage government officials from
burying projects in red tape while providing ample warning before a wayward
bureaucrats’ actions have had a serious impact on construction.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
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