The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

27-Mar-2007

Israel’s Unjust System Of Government: What Should Be Done?

Filed under: Constitution & RightsBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 7:33 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, March 26, 2007.

Part I. Israel’s Unjust System of Government

I think everyone will agree that a just government is one whose rulers rule for the sake of the common good, and that an unjust government is one whose rulers rule to advance their own personal interests.

In Israel, polls indicate that as much as 90% of the public regards members of the Knesset as corrupt, as more concerned about their personal interests than the national interest. It thus appears that 90% of the people of Israel regard their government as unjust. They surely have in mind the legally questionable, if not criminal, behavior of many politicians, including the previous and present prime minister.

I have often argued that despite periodic multi-party elections, Israel’s system of governance exemplifies not a democracy but an oligarchy, an unjust form of government since it involves the rule of the few for the sake of the few.

Oligarchy is most obvious in the Supreme Court. The court represents the small, ultra-secular leftwing of Israeli society. Its rulings often trample on the abiding beliefs and values of the Jewish people. The court is really a self-perpetuating oligarchy. Its president and two other court judges have de facto control of the Judicial Selection Committee. The court has adopted the ever-expanding dictum that “everything is justiciable.” The court has thus become a super-legislature—a Courtocracy. Its rulings often ignore or violate the laws of the Knesset. Its judges, lacking military expertise, have even arrogated to themselves the power to nullify government decisions related to national security.

Less obvious is the oligarchic nature of Israel’s parliamentary system. By compelling citizens to vote for party slates rather individual candidates, Knesset members and cabinet ministers can ignore public opinion with impunity. Party slates entrench party leaders in power regardless of their disastrous policies. Suffice to mention Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin, the architects of Oslo.

I should also mention the 1999 elections, when 29 MKs hopped over to rival parties to obtain a safe seat on their newly adopted party slate. But the height of duplicity and treachery was reached when Ariel Sharon and 22 other Likud MKs, contrary to their 2003 campaign pledge, voted for Labor’s policy of “unilateral disengagement.” Hardly any would have done this if an MK was individually accountable to the voters in constituency elections, where he would have had to compete against a rival candidate who would obviously reveal his perfidious behavior.

As I see it, you will only perpetuate this unjust system of government by supporting the existing parties in the Knesset, since none is honestly committed to changing the system. You will not change the system from within because all MKs have a vested interest in preserving those electoral rules that facilitate their election and augment their power. Even if a religious faction happened to gain control of the Likud, this would split the party and defeat the faction’s goal to gain control of the government.

The Sages of the Talmud say you can’t make a crooked line straight, and that’s enough to eliminate every party that is now in the Knesset. You can’t wade in muddy water without becoming dirty. We need new leadership, free of the corruption of old parties.

But you can’t get coherent and resolute leadership when the government consists of five or more rival parties each with its own agenda. You can’t pursue a long-range national strategy when the average duration of a government is less than two years—the case of Israel. To get serious leadership you must replace multi-party cabinet government with a Unitary Executive having a fixed and renewable term of four years. But a Unitary Executive requires the checks and balances of an Independent Legislature, and for this MKs must be personally elected by the voters in constituency elections.

Unfortunately, not a single party in the Knesset has a serious program for systemic change designed to preserve Israel as a Jewish commonwealth. They are more concerned about their personal and partisan interests than the national interest. That’s how 90% of the public sees them. So what must be done to reform Israel’s inept and corrupt system of governance?

Part II. What Should Be Done?

First, we need a candidate to head not just another political party but a revolutionary party, a party committed to “regime change.” This candidate must not be tainted by Oslo and by “disengagement.” You dare not trust a politician who has given Jewish land to Arab terrorists or who supported the expulsion of 10,000 Jews from their homes. Shun them as political idiots or as self-serving scoundrels or moral cowards.

Second, we need a candidate that has the courage to face the truth about the so-called Palestinians.

  • He must understand that these Arabs deem themselves part of the House of Islam, and that Islam does not recognize a land called “Palestine” as entitled to statehood.

  • He must understand that that peace is not possible with Arabs who use their children as human bombs to murder Jews.

  • He must understand that that it’s ignoble and suicidal to negotiate with people dedicated to your destruction.

Third, we need a candidate who understands why Israel’s system of governance is dysfunctional, divisive, and self-destructive, and who is therefore committed to systemic change.

Fourth, we need a candidate committed to changing Israel’s foreign policy.

  • He must advocate abrogation of Oslo.

  • He must advocate destruction of the terrorist network in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

  • He must advocate Jewish sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

  • He must advocate a program to encourage Arabs in these areas to leave.

  • He must advocate a Homestead Act and an Urban Development Program to attract foreign investment for settling 200,000 and more Jews in these areas.

  • He must advocate basic change in the relationship between Israel and the U.S.

(To proclaim this new foreign policy, our candidate must have a strategy board consisting of experts in American politics and economics, international and domestic law, military strategy, commerce and industry, urban development, etc.)

Fifth, our candidate establish a massive youth movement. He must offer the voters something really new—a larger Israel, a more democratic Israel, and a more Jewish Israel—one that will inspire mankind now steeped in nihilism and barbarism. He must transcend the sterility of secular Zionism, else he will succumb to the fate of Benny Begin. He must also transcend the timidity of religious Zionism, which has so often compromised its principles. He must think big and project a noble vision else he will never attract the youth of this country. There be will one million floating votes in the next election—the equivalent of 40 seats. Our candidate must emphasize two issues:

  1. National Security. This requires the elimination of the PLO terrorist network, justified by the slogan, “Moderation in defense of liberty is not a virtue.” National Security requires a national strategy, which in turn requires

  2. Systemic Change—namely:

    • A Unitary Executive. Slogan: “A ship can have only one captain.”

    • A Professional Legislature. Slogan: “Party slates attract paltry politicians.”

    • A Non-Political Supreme Court. Slogan: “It’s not the role of the court to make public policies.”

Sixth, our candidate must go on a media blitz in the United States to augment his influence in Israel. He must expose the myth of Israel’s dependence on the U.S.

  • He should quote former under-secretary of state Joseph Sisco, who told author Shmuel Katz, “I want to assure you, Mr. Katz, that if we were not getting full value for our money, you would not get a cent from us.”

  • Our candidate should cite former US Air Force chief of Intelligence George Keegan who said that the Intelligence Israel provides the U.S. is worth five CIAs—which means that America’s national security depends very much on Israel.

  • Our candidate should reveal how Israeli hi-tech contributes to American prosperity.

  • He should show that the American Constitution is rooted in Jewish principles, and that Israel should adopt these principles in forming its own constitution.

If you can’t find a candidate committed to systemic reform and a foreign policy such as I have outlined, all your criticism of government policies and all your protest demonstrations against this government will be equivalent to giving aspirin to a country suffering from a terminal disease.