Weekly Commentary: Triple Bonus If Smotrich Defense Minister
Dr. Aaron Lerner 19 November, 2022
If Smotrich and Ben-Gvir don't blink there is good reason to believe that
Binyamin Netanyahu will, when left with no time to spare on the clock, form
coalition government with Bezalel Smotrich serving as minister of defense.
This will be a triple bonus for Israel:
#1. The appointment of anyone other than Smotrich will be interpreted by
the world as Netanyahu's acquiescing to pressure. When Israel gives into
pressure this only invites more pressure.
#2. Israel faces a dynamic unprecedented environment, both locally,
regionally and worldwide that requires a minister of defense who can think
out of the box untethered by a commitment to the common wisdom shared by
members and senior veterans of the defense establishment. This relates to
all levels and aspects of Israel's defense. Israeli ministers of defense
with civilian backgrounds have a track record of making critically better
choices not only regarding weapons systems but also in guiding the hammering
out of operational decisions.
Smotrich took the transportation portfolio with no formally relevant
training or experience. Yet despite this It wasn't long before he was
asking a lot of questions no one in the room ever thought of even
entertaining and the answers led to a dramatic leap forward in
transportation infrastructure construction.
Granted defense is considerably more challenging and complicated then
transportation. But that is exactly why it would be counterproductive to
have a minister of defense from the ranks who would be tempted to find
solace in embracing old approaches.
#3. The minister of defense calls the shots on Jewish construction in Judea
and Samaria and action against illegal Palestinian construction in Area C.
The Jewish State is expected to reach a population of 15 million by 2049,
and 20 million at the end of 2065. We simply cannot afford to lose Area C
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