The composition of the new Israeli government includes many ministers with little to no parliamentary experience, and some of them are slated for high-ranking positions. This means that far too many of them will be cutting their ministerial teeth at the Israeli public's expense, which will be left to pay their hefty tuition fees.
The first and most prominent example is Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid's appointment to the position of finance minister.
In Israel, ministers are not necessarily appointed according to their qualifications, but according to their political clout. That is how a novice like Amir Peretz ended up in the Defense Ministry and how Tzipi Livni ended up in the Foreign Ministry — and both of them still seem oblivious to their failures during the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
This system is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, tasking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with additional responsibility: overseeing his inexperienced ministers — as well as those who present themselves as experienced — to the point of mentoring them.
It would be best if we could figure out a way to avoid a situation in which top ministerial positions are given to inexperienced parliamentarians. In this case, the system could have been slightly rectified if Lapid would have taken a slightly less important office, while assuming a prominent title, such as deputy prime minister. The respect afforded to him as a party chairman would have been evident in his title, if not in his office, as long as he lacked actual experience.
Lapid has become famous for his election campaign slogans, "Where is the money?" and "Equal distribution of social burden," and now that he will become a part of the government he has to prove that those are more than just campaign promises.
Lapid is likely to look for the money in the Finance Ministry, which he will soon govern. It will not be an easy task: Implementing the equal distribution of social burden mandates changing the discourse about social rights.
It seems that everywhere in Israeli society — in family life, in schools, in the military — there is a heightened sense of demand for individual rights, while authority — of parents, teachers or commanding officers — is eroded. Entire sectors, not just the ultra-Orthodox, have become accustomed to demanding rights and benefits while shrugging off their duties and responsibilities to military service, national service or the economy.
Lapid's obligation, having spoken so much about the equal distribution of burden, is to prove his intentions are serious, and to implement them not only for the haredi public, but for the Arabs too.
As someone claiming to represent the middle class in Israel, which takes part in the workforce and serves in the military, Lapid must remember that this class also includes the settlers in Judea and Samaria. Driving a wedge between the middle class and the settlers would be outrageous. He must be everyone's finance minister.
The novice minister would also do well to remember that the solution to Israel's steep housing prices does not lie with building villas or condominiums in hotspots across the greater Tel Aviv area, but expanding construction to the east, in the area between Hadera and Gedera to the western Samaria area, and from Jerusalem to Ma'ale Adumim. If you really mean to deal with the issue, that's where you should be looking.
Building in Tel Aviv and its proxies is great for the real estate sharks, but not for those who really need it.