The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

31-Mar-2001

Accountability

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By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Amazing how hardly any commentators direct their attention to the grotsque
nature of Israel’s political system — a pseudo-democracy now gone mad.
Israel has become a Purim spiel! Hence this article.

Accountability is a basic Jewish concept, awesome during Rosh HaShana and
Yom Kippur. Whereas the Torah Jew knows he is accountable to G-d, the
Government of Israel is accountable to no one.

The leaders of this Government boast that Israel is a democracy. One should
then expect them to be accountable to the people. But Israeli politicians
are accountable to the people only during elections. Once elected they
ignore the conviction and interests of those who elected them. Some 63% of
the people voted for Ariel Sharon and against Oslo in the February 6 prime
ministerial election. Yet Mr. Sharon appointed, as his Minister of Foreign
Affairs Shimon Peres, the architect of Oslo, which has thus far claimed the
lives of almost 600 Jews. Mr. Peres has not been held accountable for Oslo’
s victims.

Of course the Knesset endorsed Oslo. To whom are its members INDIVIDUALLY
accountable? Not to the voters, for Israel lacks constituency or regional
elections, the practice of 74 out of 75 democracies. Generally, an MK is
accountable to his party leader. But if he fails to receive a safe place on
his party’s list, he may hop over to a rival party, as 29 MKs did in the
1999 elections!

If this were not enough to disgust us with Israel’s political system,
notice how Arab MKs engage in permissive sedition, or how they and violate
with impunity Basic Law: The Knesset, which prohibits any party that negates
the Jewish character of the State. These Arabs are accountable to no one.

To whom is a Prime Minister accountable? To no one. The PM is above the
law. He can make agreements with the PLO, a criminal organization still
listed as such in the Penal Code. Indeed, Ehud Barak, in defiance of the
three-fourths of the Knesset, offered Yasser Arafat eastern Jerusalem, the
Temple Mount, and the Jordan Valley!

To whom are judges of the Supreme Court accountable? To no one. The Court
is also above the law. It makes its own laws in utter disregard of the
ethics and jurisprudence of the Jewish heritage.

So there is no accountability in Israel-one reason why I have urged the
adoption of a constitution consistent with Jewish principles. Lacking such
a constitution, Israel today is governed not by the rule of law but by the
arbitrary rule of men. Among these men are left-wing democrats who are
waging a war against Judaism.

Judaism may or nor be democratic, but no one holding office under the Torah
is above the Law. Indeed, G-d Himself must observe the Torah!

The Torah is a covenant to which G-d, as a party, subordinates Himself. In
other words, G-d subordinates Himself to the law of which He is the creator.
How different from the Latin maxim PRINCES LEGIBUS SOLUTUS EST — THE RULER
IS NOT BOUND BY THE LAW — a relic of which will be found in modern Israel:
“No act of legislation shall diminish the rights of the State, or impose
upon it any obligation, unless explicitly stated” (Interpretation of
Ordinance, section 42). Contrast the Jerusalem Talmud:

“A human king issues a decree. He may choose to obey it; he may choose to
have only others obey it. Not so the Holy One, praised be He. When He
issues a decree, He is the first to obey it, as it is stated: ‘And they
shall observe my observances, I am the L-rd,’ I am He Who was the first to
observe the commandments of the Torah” (Rosh Hashana 1:3a).

That G-d observes His own laws is the origin of the “rule of law” commonly
but misleadingly associated with democracy. I say “misleadingly” because
there are two basic types of democracy: Classical or Normative Democracy and
Contemporary or Normless Democracy. Only Normative Democracy is compatible
with the Torah and the rule of law.

Normatrive Democracy posits a “Higher Law” to which parliaments and kings
are subordinate. In this kind of democracy all men can be held accountable
for their behavior because here freedom and equality have ethical
constraints. Normative Democracy recognizes distinctions between good and
evil, right and wrong, just and unjust. This kind of democracy does not
prevail in Israel, where freedom leads to permissiveness and equality levels
all moral distinctions.

What dominates the mentality of Israel’s secular elites is Normless
Democracy. Here indiscriminate freedom and egalitariansm reign supreme.
Here both Labor and Likud governments have released and armed Arab
terrorists and murderers, and with hardly a protest from the religious
parties. Here homosexuals, lesbians, and prostitutes are brought to and
honored in the Knesset. Here all lifestyles are morally equal. This is
why loyal and disloyal citizens enjoy equal rights in Israel. This is why
Israeli politicians treat Arafat as as equal. These politicnas have
murdered the sense of honor and justice.

The moral equivalence they have generated erodes conviction in the justice
of Israel’s cause. Men like Shimon Peres, in the name of a vacuous
humanism, have been dehumanizing the people of Israel. Notice their
unmanly preoccupation with “peace and security,” hence their lack of a
distinctively JEWISH national purpose. Notice the egotistical pluralism in
Israeli democracy, where some forty (40!) members of the Knesset,
representing at least eight parties, will divide the public treasury in the
Sharon Government. Everything is for sale in this democracy, including
Judaism. Do not expect accountablity in this self-destructive,
bargain-basement democracy.

Surely this democracy must perish if Israel is to survive.