David Wurmser, Director of CSP’s new program on fighting global anti-Semitism and defending the US-Israel relationship, joins Secure Freedom Radio to discuss the strategic importance of Israel to the United States and the ongoing efforts in Israel to form a government.
“There aren’t a lot of allies we have in the Middle East that are both strong and very firmly rooted to the US in its alliance. The Israelis aren’t just part of the West and aren’t just pro-Western, they really are probably our closest ally anywhere, if you look at voting patterns in the UN and so forth. They are a good ally and a powerful ally in a region where we are beginning to re-evaluate how much we want to be involved in on an ongoing daily basis. We need to find likeminded friends, and Israel is one of the closest friends we have, that will carry some of the water for us in the region to help us ensure our interests are protected. So, Israel is powerful, stable and really the only truly unquestionably friendly country to us.”
“When we have an election in the US, it is decided that at the end of the election there is a winner and a loser. It’s a winner take all system. So, you know who is going to be President the day after the election. That is also the way it is for districts, the House of Representatives, the Senate and so forth. Israel is a parliamentary democracy on Britain’s model. This means they have an election, and it is almost never that one party wins the majority of seats. They have ten parties or so in most of these parliaments so there is going to be a coalition negotiation afterwards. In other words, there is no president-elect or prime minister-elect the day after the election. There is just an inclination or a sense that this will be the coalition that will be formed. So, the process of becoming a coalition that will then have a majority in parliament amongst several parties is considered to still be part of the election process. So, the election doesn’t really end until you have a coalition agreement among enough parties to form, in Israel’s case, a 61-seat majority in their parliament, which is called the Knesset. They have 120 seats, so 61 is the majority.”