The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy


Discomfiting Questions

Filed under: RepresentationDisengagement — eidelberg @ 1:11 am Edit This

Interviewed last week in The Jerusalem Post, left-wing Professor of Law Uriel Reichman said that Israel’s system of government is seriously flawed.

Left-wing Political Scientist Naomi Chazan said as much of the system in the same newspaper.

Question 1: Is it not strange that two eminent leftists should affirm what the present writer, reputedly a “right-winger,” has been saying for two decades?

Question 2: Why haven’t eminent right-wingers such as Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Elon, and Moshe Arens, alarmed by the government’s uninterrupted retreat toward the pre-1967 borders, expressed criticism of the system that has facilitated that retreat?

Question 3: Why haven’t right-wing extra-parliamentary groups—which have often protested against that retreat—why haven’t they publicly denounced the system that has enabled one Israeli government after another to surrender Jewish land to Arab terrorists?

Question 4: Is it not remarkable that the well-known left-wing journalist Dan Margolit advocated, in Ma’ariv, that members of the Knesset should be elected by the voters in constituencies—“the practice,” he says, “of 74 democracies” (the number indicated in many of my 1998 to 2005 publications on this issue)?

Question 5: Is the Left more cognizant than the Right of Israel’s flawed system of government?

Question 6: On the other hand, if elements of the Right are cognizant of the flaws in Israel’s system of government, do they have vested interest in not publicizing those flaws? More precisely: If publicizing such flaws would indicate that Israel is not an authentic democracy, would elements of the Right alienate many of their financial supporters in the United States?

Question 7: But if these flaws are ruining the country—and how can it be otherwise—ought not these elements of the Right work together to remedy those flaws?

One last question: Suppose the Right agreed with left-wing journalist Dan Margolit that members of the Knesset should be elected by the voters in constituencies. And suppose this almost universal parliamentary electoral system—which I have been proposing for many years—had been in place prior to the January 2003 election, when “unilateral disengagement” from Gaza was the paramount issue. Would 23 Likud MKs have voted in 2004 for the disengagement law, thus violating their campaign pledges on the one hand, and betraying their constituents on the other?