Politician is not Shai to show his displeasure

THERE has not been a left or centre-left government in Israel for 23 years.

The last time a party of that ilk was elected to office was back in 1999, when One Israel — under Ehud Barak — won in a landslide.

But Dr Nachman Shai, who served under three different factions in the Knesset, is determined that it won’t be long before a centre-left party rises to the top again.

“All is not lost,” he told me from the Jerusalem suburb of Mevaseret Zion.

“There are still hundreds of thousands of Israelis who are comfortable with social democratic ideas and who would like to see a similar governance.

“We will see if we can accomplish this dream.”

Dr Shai’s words came in the same week as Israel signed in its new government — the most extreme and right-wing coalition in the country’s 74-year history.

Chief among them is Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, who will likely hold a newly-created ministerial position that gives him power over the state’s police force.

There is also Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the extremist-aligned Religious Zionism party, who has been accused by Israeli security forces in the past of plotting violent attacks against Palestinians.

Smotrich is also fervently anti-LGBTQ+ in a country that prides itself on its treatment of LGBTQ+ citizens.

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