The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

19-Sep-2008

The Mother of All Frauds

Filed under: Democratic MethodsParty StructuresOslo/Peace ProcessPoliticians — eidelberg @ 5:59 am

On September 17, Kadima, the ruling party of Ehud Olmert’s coalition government, held an election to determine who would replace him as Israel’s Prime Minister. The election was won by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, portrayed in the media as “Mrs. Clean.” The previous day, Caroline Glick, deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, wrote: “Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni may not be a crook, but she is a fraud … just one fraudulent election away from becoming our next prime minister.” [View article.]

As we shall see, however, Livni is not the mother of all frauds—merely one of its many children.

Glick sees that “unlike all the other party primaries that have been held over the years, the Kadima primary is designed not as a preparatory step ahead of general elections to the Knesset. Rather, it is intended to replace general elections.”

Having won that primary, Livni will have 42 days to put together a ruling coalition. Failure to do so would mean a new general election in early 2009, a year and a half ahead of schedule. Olmert, who is a crook as well as a fraud, will remain as a caretaker leader until a new coalition is approved by the Knesset.

Before elaborating on Livni’s fraud, something should be said of the mother of all frauds—what I call “The Myth of Israeli Democracy,” of which Glick and countless other pundits are silent.

Consider, first, this simple fact. Barely half of Kadima’s 74,000 eligible members voted in the primary, and only half of them voted for Livni. This means that less than 20,000 votes in a nation of seven million people may have catapulted Livni into the premiership of this so-called democracy.

However, to fully appreciate this travesty of democracy, we must go back to 2005 when Likud Prime Minister Ariel Sharon betrayed his party and founded Kadima. Lo and behold, a party that had never competed in an election gained control of the government—something unheard of in any genuine democracy!

Livni, a member of the Likud, betrayed her party by jumping on Sharon’s bandwagon, even though he had adopted Labor’s policy of “unilateral disengagement,” a policy rejected by 70% of the voters in the January 2003 national election. In other words, Sharon nullified the election and became Labor’s surrogate Prime Minister! How’s that for a democracy?

Livni is Sharon’s disciple. Fraud, meaning deceit, is the thread that ties her political opportunism to her policy maneuvers: “The most blatant recent example of Livni’s deceitfulness [writes Glick] is her behavior on the issue of sovereignty over Jerusalem. For the past year, Livni has led the negotiating team with the Fatah faction of the Palestinian Authority. In her position, she has been the architect of whatever agreements the government has concocted regarding the surrender of Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem to Fatah.”

Like Olmert, Livni supports the establishment of a Palestinian state, which can lead to Israel’s demise. Yet, by denying the public the right to know what they are discussing with Fatah, they have prevented any public debate about their actions. “This,” says Glick, “is crucial for them because opinion polls show that their presumptive plan to withdraw from some 98% of Judea and Samaria and partition Jerusalem is not supported by the public.

Livni and Olmert also defraud the public by claiming that Jerusalem is not on their diplomatic chopping block.

Glick also observes that Livni’s undeserved reputation as Mrs. Clean was evident during her tenure as Justice Minister. In the months leading up to the August 2005 expulsion of 10,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria, “she presided over the country’s law enforcement bodies as they systematically trampled the basic legal rights of law abiding citizens who sought to demonstrate their opposition to the expulsions. Thousands of protesters were illegally arrested and held in jails for weeks at a time without charges being brought against them.”

Glick also exposes Livni’s dishonesty regarding the cease-fire with Hezbollah. Livni crafted that cease fire and thereby “paved the way for the Iranian proxy’s takeover of Lebanon.” Yet Livni calls that ceasefire a diplomatic success! “She tells us that we have no option of victory over our enemies and the best we can do is beg others to defend us. And she tells us we should give her the reins of power because she tells us the truth.” (This means that a Livni government will not attack Iran to prevent its development of nuclear weapons. Indeed, it will probably negotiate with Hamas.)

Glick concludes: “The public is powerless today to do anything in the face of Livni’s and Kadima’s trampling of our democratic system” (emphasis added). Ah, but therein is the mother of all frauds!

Epilog

It seems that Livni won the Kadima primary election with 43.1% (16,936 votes)—only 431 votes more than Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, who received with 42% (16,505 votes).

Y-Net reports that 14,000 of Kadima’s 74,000 registered voters are not Jewish, and that, the non-Jewish sector had demonstrated the highest voting rate among party members. Among these, 6,900 are Druze, 4,600 are Muslim and the rest are Christian or Bedouin. It thus appears that the Arab vote made the difference in this close election. If so, the Arab members of Kadima may or will have made Israel’s next Prime Minister! Not for the first time!

The Arab parties made Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Prime Minister in the June 1992 election—the election that led to Oslo. Perhaps this is why Israel’s left-wing parties have always supported the policy of “territory for peace,” as I have elsewhere argued.

Hence, not only is it a mistake to regard Israel as a democracy, but as I have also argued, it is also misleading to regard Israel as a Jewish state!