The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

26-Nov-2008

Democracy and the Secret “Rule of Law” in Israel

Filed under: Constitution & RightsDemocratic MethodsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 5:32 am Edit This

There is much misunderstanding in the Diaspora and even in Israel about Israel’s system of government—an assortment of institutions that endow a few men with concealed and despotic power.

A basic reason for this pernicious state of affairs is Israel, unlike France or the United States, has no written constitution. Instead, Israel has a crazy-quilt variety of “Basic Laws” passed at different times by different governments led by different political parties.

Israel’s first Basic Law, The Knesset, was initiated by the Knesset Law Committee in 1958, ten years after the founding of the State. Some other Basic Laws are Israel Lands (1960); The President of the State (1964); The Government (1968); The State Economy (1975); The Army (1979); Jerusalem, Capital of Israel (1980); The Judiciary (1984).

A word about Basic Law: The Government. This law stipulates, “The Government is competent to do in the name of the State, subject to any law, any act whose doing is not enjoined by law upon another authority.” The Government can therefore declare war, make treaties, and change the exchange rate without ever consulting the Knesset! (more…)

20-Oct-2008

The Fate of the United States

Filed under: Constitution & RightsIslam & ArabJudaismUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 5:46 am Edit This

Revisionist historians aside, or those who do not understand Lincoln’s statesmanship, the Civil War that broke out in America after the 1860 election was over the slavery issue. Stated more precisely, the issue was whether slavery was to be extended to the territories of the United States. At issue, along with slavery, was the Declaration of Independence and its fundamental principle of moral equality.

Lincoln understood that if slavery were extended to the territories, slave states would eventually outnumber free states, in consequence of which, the slave states could readily amend the Constitution and extend slavery to the free states. Of course, the exact opposite would happen if the territories became free states. Lincoln steadfastly opposed the extension of slavery, and this meant civil war. So it was yesterday.

Today, however, the government of the United States, with the servile compliance of the government of Israel, wants to extend slavery via a Palestinian state into the territory called the “West Bank.” I say “slavery” because a Palestinian state would be nothing less than a tyranny, and that means human servitude.

Out of ignorance or interest, the candidates in the U.S. presidential campaign have endorsed a Palestinian state even though reason and experience demonstrate that such a state would be ruled by Arab despots and thereby lead to Israel’s demise. Forgotten are the basic principles of the American Declaration of Independence. (more…)

28-Sep-2008

A Jewish National Strategy for the New Year

Filed under: Constitution & RightsJewish Leadership — eidelberg @ 5:41 am Edit This

It requires no great wisdom to enumerate the axiomatic requirements of a Jewish national strategy. Only needed is candor and courage, without which no Jewish leadership movement is worthy of moral and financial support. The axiomatic requirements of a Jewish national strategy are simply these:

  • Public affirmation that Israel is the State of the Jews.

  • Public affirmation that a Jewish State must be based on Jewish principles and values.

  • Public affirmation that the primary source of Jewish principles and values is the Torah.

  • Public affirmation that only Jews, whether religious or not, can formulate a Jewish national strategy. (more…)

11-Sep-2008

Something to Ponder and Something to Do

Filed under: Constitution & RightsThe Foundation — eidelberg @ 6:35 am Edit This

For thirty years—ever since the September 1978 Camp David Accords—not a day passes that warnings are not issued or published by Zionist-oriented individuals in Israel and in America that a Palestinian state would doom Israel to oblivion.

The present writer personally warned Defense Minister Shimon Peres of this danger in September 1976, the month after making aliya. Indeed, I warned Prime Minister Menachem Begin the day before he left for Camp David of Anwar Sadat’s peace-and war-strategy. In vain.

Consider, therefore, the enormous time and energy, the millions of dollars, the countless demonstrations, the newspaper ads and articles, the policy papers, the books, the public lectures, the videos, that have been devoted to stopping the government’s policy of retreating from Jewish land, the policy of returning to Israel’s indefensible 1949 armistice lines or Auschwitz borders.

Thirty and more years of warnings issued by prominent individuals and organizations, and yet Israel is closer than ever to the abyss. The use of all these material and human resources by so many individuals and groups have had no discernible influence on Israeli governments regardless of which party of party leader has headed these governments.

I therefore ask: Suppose these individuals and groups had devoted a significant amount of the time and energy and resources mentioned above to an organized effort to change Israel’s system of governance. (more…)

17-Jul-2008

Toward Respectable Political Parties

Filed under: Constitution & RightsDemocratic MethodsParty Structures — eidelberg @ 9:41 pm Edit This

Edted transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, July 14, 2008.

The classic definition of party was set forth by that great 18th century philosopher-statesman Edmund Burke: “Party is a body of men united, for promoting by their joint endeavours, the national interest, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed.”

By definition, a party represents only a part of the whole. While its members present their party principle as conducive to the national interest or the common good, they inevitably criticize the principles of other parties as not conducive to the common good, but they don’t necessarily impugn the integrity of their adversaries. For Burke, respectable parties must consist of “honest men of principle.”

Parties exist because men have different interests and conflicting opinions concerning such ends of government as justice and security, liberty and equality, prosperity and public morality. And of course such differences thrive in democracies.

Democracy, however, stands on the principle of “one adult, one vote.” One adult, one vote is virtually equivalent to “one opinion, one vote,” which suggests that democracy conduces to moral relativism. This is what decent people in democracies have yet to see: that democracy, as understand in this era of secularism, provides no objective justification for decency! Enough to mention the pornography and perversions now legalized in virtually all democratic countries. (more…)

01-Feb-2008

Jewish Roots of the American Constitution

Filed under: Constitution & RightsJudaismUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 7:56 am Edit This

Introduction

Although many of the framers of the American Constitution were not devout, their political mentality was shaped in universities whose curriculum was based very much on Jewish ideas. Accordingly, this essay will be divided into two parts. The first part will show how Judaism, in particular the Five Books of Moses, influenced higher education in 17th and 18th century America. The second part will examine the institutions prescribed in the American Constitution and show their roots in Jewish laws and principles.

A.   Historical Background[1]

1.   No nation has been more profoundly influenced by the “Old Testament” than America. Many of America’s early statesmen and educators were schooled in Hebraic civilization. The second president of the United States, John Adams, a Harvard graduate, had this to say of the Jewish people:

The Jews have done more to civilize men than any other nation…. They are the most glorious Nation that ever inhabited the earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a bauble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the Globe and have influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily than any other Nation, ancient or modern.[2] (more…)

29-Jan-2008

Electoral Rules Matter: Part II

Filed under: Constitution & RightsDemocratic MethodsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 6:41 am Edit This

Part I cited the renowned expert on electoral rules professor Rein Taagepera. Perhaps his most telling point is this: “As the number of actors increases, the number of possible disputes increases roughly as the square of the number of actors.” This obviously applies to Israel, whose government typically consists of roughly 20 cabinet ministers representing rival political parties. No wonder the average duration of Israeli governments since 1948 is less than two years! This short tenure renders it virtually impossible for the government to pursue coherent, consistent, and long-term national policies.

Here I am reminded of the warnings and wisdom of James Madison in Federalist Paper No. 62, where he defends the six-year tenure of the Senate, a defense that applies to Israel’s Knesset as well as to its Government despite their prescribed (but unrealized) tenure of four years: (more…)

28-Jan-2008

Electoral Rules Matter: Part I

Filed under: Constitution & RightsDemocratic MethodsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 7:04 am Edit This

Professor of social sciences Rein Taagepera and political scientist Matthew Soberg Shugart are renowned experts on electoral systems. Israeli politicians should study their book Seats and Votes.

Taagepera and Shugart use mathematical models in studying scores of electoral rules. Their research is especially relevant to Israel, not only because the government is working on a constitution, but also because it is considering a proposal to make the leader of the party that wins the largest number of seats in a Knesset election Israel’s prime minister.

That Kadima won 29 seats (the most of any party) in the 2006 election would have been sufficient to make Ehud Olmert prime minister without his having been designated by the president to form a government and have it approved by the Knesset. (more…)

14-Jan-2008

Olmert Abandons Israel’s Citizens—A Letter

Filed under: Constitution & RightsDomestic PolicyIntifada & TerrorismLetters — eidelberg @ 8:29 am Edit This

Anyone still believe that Israel is a democracy?

But do you see how the myth of Israeli democracy colors Israel’s ruling elites with legitimacy? -P.E.


Contributed by Dov Even-Or

January 6, 2008

Olmert Does Not Protect the Citizens, But Abandons Them to the Mercy of Their Enemies

  1. The government of Ehud Olmert betrays its citizens. My claim is not based on opinions, intentions or analyses made by members of the government, but on its acts and deeds that are committed publicly; therefore this government is illegal, its decisions do not bind, and it is the right of every citizen not to obey them.

    In order to avoid being labeled (right wing, extremist or as representative of certain interests), I will base my opinion only on facts and pure legal analysis.

  2. Lack of protection for the citizens of the Western Negev.

    1. For the past seven years, this area has been targeted by Kassam rockets and fortunately, the number of casualties has been low; (more…)

02-Jan-2008

Civil Disobedience Versus Sedition

Filed under: Constitution & RightsDemocratic MethodsOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 5:33 am Edit This

MK Aryeh Eldad, responding to Prime Minister Olmert’s ban on further construction in Judea and Samaria is calling for “civil disobedience.” I wonder whether he fully understands what he is up against?

Olmert’s decision is perhaps the first tangible consequence of the Annapolis Conference, which sanctions the establishment of a Palestinian state by the end of 2008. Of course, a Palestinian state was tacitly agreed upon when the Rabin government signed the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement of September 1993. It thus appears that Mr. Eldad’s call for “civil disobedience” against Olmert’s ban on construction in Judea and Samaria is actually a protest against Oslo.

This recalls Moshe Feiglin’s “civil disobedience” in 1995, when he organized demonstrations across Israel blocking main intersections in protest against Oslo. The following year, however, Mr. Feiglin was convicted of sedition for what he had naively termed civil disobedience! (more…)

26-Dec-2007

Religion in the 2008 US Presidential Election Campaign

Filed under: Constitution & RightsEthicsUS & Global Policy — eidelberg @ 5:24 am Edit This

To appreciate the injection of religion into the 2008 presidential campaign by Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, historical perspective is needed concerning the cultural context of the First Amendment of the American Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or precluding the free exercise thereof …”

The First Amendment was demanded not by secularists but by Christians. Historian William P. Grady notes that the Baptists in all the original states were appalled by the lack of specific religious guarantees in the proposed Constitution. In Virginia, the most powerful state, the Baptists expressed their concerns to James Madison, the father of the Constitution, who needed their support to win Virginia’s ratification.

The First Amendment was intended to prevent Congress from supporting sectarian institutions, not religious values. Its intention, therefore, was to prevent Congress from establishing a State religion. Revolted by the example of England, the Founding Fathers refused to sacralize the modern national state, which they deemed powerful enough without investing it with religious authority. (more…)

13-Dec-2007

An International Jewish Parliament

Filed under: Constitution & RightsKnesset/LegislativeThe Foundation — eidelberg @ 5:35 am Edit This

First published April 1996, Jerusalem Foundation Papers.

Overcoming Israel’s Fatal Flaw: Plan III—An International Jewish Parliament

“The majority of the people living in a Jewish State must be Jewish. We must prevent a situation of an insufficient Jewish majority and we dare not have a Jewish minority….There is room for a non-Jewish minority on condition that it accept the destiny of the State vis-à-vis the Jewish people, culture, tradition, and belief. The minority is entitled to equal rights as individuals with respect to their distinct religion and culture, but not more than that.”

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Tel Aviv, May 6, 1976

 

Israel’s Fatal Flaw

The most neglected and most urgent issue confronting Israel—the issue implicit in the above headnote—is the Arab vote. It was the Arab vote that brought the Labor Party to power in the June 1992 Knesset elections. It was the Arab vote that led to the Oslo Accords and the shrinkage of Israel. Unless this issue is resolved, Israel will not see much of the 21st century.

Increasingly obvious in Israel is a fatal flaw. The flaw originated in the Proclamation of the Establishment of the State of 1948. (more…)

19-Sep-2007

A Political Dictionary for Israelis and Immigrants: Part I

A. Democracy: Two Types

  1. Normative” or classical democracy: based on the idea of man’s creation in the holy image of God. This provides democracy’s basic principles, freedom and equality, with rational and moral constraints. (Freedom is not “living as you like,” and equality is not a leveling but and elevating principle. The holy nation is a “kingdom of noblemen.”)

  2. Normless” or contemporary democracy. No ethical standards. Freedom is living as you please, and equality leads to vulgarity via the equivalence of all lifestyles. (Moral equivalence: “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Arafat is awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.) (more…)

10-Jul-2007

Releasing Terrorists in the USA

Filed under: Constitution & RightsDemocratic Methods — eidelberg @ 5:18 am Edit This

1) In view of the Olmert Government’s decision to release 250 Arab terrorists as a “confidence building” gesture toward Mahmoud Abbas, would Americans storm the White House if Bush were to do the same—say as a confidence building gesture toward Osama Bin Laden?

2) And what might Congress do in such a matter? (more…)

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. (more…)

15-Mar-2007

The Foundation

Filed under: Constitution & Rights — eidelberg @ 6:56 am Edit This

The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy (With Offices in Jerusalem)

I cordially invite you to join the one organization that offers a dynamic program for creating a New Israel, proud of its heritage and confident in its future.

  • Our Foundation has designed a Constitution for Israel that has won the support of religious and secular Jews.

  • (more…)

02-Jan-2007

Party Slates and Multiculturalism

Filed under: Constitution & RightsParty StructuresRepresentation — eidelberg @ 2:24 am Edit This

Revised transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, Jan. 1, 2007.

In this report I want to warn people about various constitutions and institutional reforms which, whatever their merit, will nonetheless perpetuate the divisive and anti-Jewish aspects of Israel’s existing system of governance.

As a preliminary to my analysis, let’s consider the position of Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute who worked in Iraq while it was deliberating on a constitution. One of his major concerns was the electoral system. Given Iraq’s ethnic divisions, it was all-too-easy to recommend election of representatives by party slates. Rubin wisely opposed this pernicious electoral system—the very system that has fragmented Israel since 1948 and has produced a government rated in international reports as one of the most corrupt in the developed world. (more…)

28-Dec-2006

Outline of A Jewish National Strategy

Filed under: Constitution & RightsGOVERNMENT BRANCHESBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 4:30 am Edit This

No great wisdom is required to enumerate the axiomatic requirements of a Jewish national strategy. Only needed is candor and courage. These axiomatic requirements are:

  1. Public affirmation that Israel is the Commonwealth of the Jewish People.

  2. Public affirmation that such a Commonwealth must be based on Jewish principles and values. (more…)

15-Nov-2006

Time for Regime Change

Filed under: Constitution & RightsDomestic PolicyCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 7:55 am Edit This

1) The people of Israel know that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is incompetent, that he not only tolerates missile attacks on Sderot, but also enormous arms shipments to terrorists in Gaza. The people also know, or have reason to believe, that Olmert should be indicted for various criminal offenses.

2) The people know that Amir Peretz is not qualified to be Israel’s Defense Minister.

3) The people know (more…)

10-Nov-2006

Attention: American Victims of Terrorism

Filed under: Constitution & RightsEthics — eidelberg @ 11:51 pm Edit This

from devorah123-removethis-@juno.com

Please circulate, take out ads, print posters, etc. Links to downloadable flier versions of these announcements are available below.

ATTENTION: U.S. CITIZENS LIVING OR TRAVELING IN ISRAEL

A number of U.S. citizens have suffered while living or traveling abroad, at the hands of agents or officials of various governments or regimes.

Please be advised that your rights as American citizens are protected by the U.S. Constitution, and you may bring lawsuits against those who violate your rights in a U.S. civil court. American attorneys are available to help you file your complaint. Millions of dollars are awarded each year by U.S. courts to victims of foreign abuse of power, or other forms of persecution. (more…)

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