Can Centrism Save Israel From Its Extremes?

Millman is skeptical:

Here’s the thing about “centrist” Israeli parties: they are always very popular when they first appear, and they never last.

They are popular when they first appear because they promise to square the circle that everybody wants squared. They are in favor of a negotiated peace – but on terms that are broadly popular among Israeli Jews and that are basically non-starters with the Palestinians. The same is true in domestic matters. They favor liberalization (in a European sense) of the economy – and they favor strengthening the social safety net. They are in favor of a renegotiation of relations between the state and the ultra-Orthodox – permitting civil marriage, opening up the rabbinate, drafting yeshivah students – but to be part of the government they have to agree to sit with religious parties who are resolutely opposed to these very things. And they have to join the government, or they can’t accomplish anything. And if they sit in opposition, then aren’t they just another left-wing party?