The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

25-May-2007

A Proclamation

Filed under: Democratic MethodsBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 6:29 am

Whereas the Olmert Government has failed to protect the citizens of Sderot from Arab missile attacks;

Whereas citizens of Sderot have had to leave their city—their homes and schools and work places;

Whereas appeals to the Olmert Government have failed to remedy the just grievances of these citizens; (more…)

20-May-2007

Amendment Three

Filed under: Democratic MethodsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 6:36 am

[Courtesy of YesOnThree.com. Bracketed material and emphasis inserted by PE.]

Why We Need It

Pierce County voters [in Washington State] demonstrated their overwhelming dislike of the pick-a-party primary by approving the “top-two” primary Initiative 872 in 2004. Voters were looking for a way to regain the choice of any candidate from any party they had with Washington’s traditional blanket primary. [Similarly, in Israel, citizens are compelled to vote for a fixed party slate—a formula for party oligarchy.]

Unfortunately, political parties successfully challenged the “top-two” primary in court (more…)

11-Apr-2007

An Exercise in Political Logic: A Challenge to American Zionists

Filed under: Democratic MethodsRepresentationThe Diaspora — eidelberg @ 4:54 am

1. It is well known that Ehud Olmert, who is primarily responsible for Israel’s defeat in the Second Lebanese War, is the most inept and least respected prime minister in Israel’s history.

2. Therefore, in view of the emerging nuclear threat from Iran and the proximate threat of its proxies, Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, Mr. Olmert is a clear and present danger to Israel’s survival. (more…)

02-Apr-2007

What Voting Meant to James Wilson: And Why Voting in Israel Yields Corrupt Government

Filed under: Democratic MethodsElectorate/DemographicsRepresentationBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 12:46 am

James Wilson of Pennsylvania was one of six men who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. His contribution to the deliberations of the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787 was second only to that of James Madison. He was also the principal draftsman of Pennsylvania’s own constitution of 1790.

Mr. Wilson was one of the original Justices of the Supreme Court as well as one of the first professors of law. He was widely regarded as the profoundest legal scholar of his generation. (more…)

29-Mar-2007

Voting in Israel: A Humiliating Travesty of Democracy

Filed under: Democratic MethodsElectorate/DemographicsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 4:31 am

How do citizens of Israel elect the 120 members of the Knesset—their parliament? Before answering this question, certain facts need to be recalled.

First, Israel makes the entire country a single electoral district where parties with fixed slates of candidates vie for seats on the basis of proportional representation.

Second, given an electoral threshold of only 2% (of the total votes cast), a welter of parties compete in an election. (more…)

26-Dec-2006

Knowing WHY Israel is Disintegrating is the First Step Toward Its Salvation: Part I

Filed under: Democratic MethodsJudaismZionism/NationalismBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 6:14 am

[Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, December 25, 2006.]

Israel is disintegrating. The basic causes of this disintegration may be listed under four headings: (1) disunity resulting from a lack of Jewish statesmanship and Jewish national purpose; (2) disunity resulting from a flawed system of government; (3) disunity resulting from excessive cultural heterogeneity; (4) disunity resulting from secular-religious discord.

Underlying each of these causes is a more fundamental one: a modern conception of democracy that clashes with Judaism and makes it impossible to achieve the national unity required for Israel’s survival. (more…)

21-Dec-2006

On Exaggeration

Filed under: Democratic MethodsBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 8:31 am

Some readers of my article “Russia and Israel” may think I exaggerate. I would only like to remind them of the wisdom of the 20th century Spanish philosopher, Ortega y Gasset: “You can’t say anything of significance without exaggeration.”

20-Dec-2006

Russia and Israel

Filed under: Democratic MethodsBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 1:58 am

My primary source for this article is an essay appearing in Theodore Dalrymple, Our Culture, What’s Left of It (2005). Dalrymple has been called the George Orwell and Edmund Burke of our age.

In his essay “How to Read a Society,” Dalrymple discusses Astolphe de Custine’s book, La Russe en 1839, which Alexander Herzen deemed the best ever written on the subject and lamented that only a foreigner could have written.

Custine was a younger contemporary of Alexis de Tocqueville. Tocqueville’s classic, Democracy in America, was published in 1835, just before Custine visited Russia. (more…)

10-Dec-2006

How Not To Read Me

Filed under: Democratic MethodsBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVESCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 9:43 pm

Some superficial readers construed the closing paragraph of my “Kudos for Caroline” as symptomatic of “defeatism” because, after elaborating on Ms. Glick’s calling for a popular uprising, and seeming to negate the efficacy of such a proposal, I conclude by saying:

You want a positive recommendation? Pray! That’s the only recommendation I can make that precludes the typical response to my positive proposals: “We don’t have enough time.(more…)

Kudos for Caroline

Filed under: Democratic MethodsThe DiasporaBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVESCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 7:28 am

Our gallant and gifted political analyst, Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, has called for a popular uprising against the Olmert government. Her December 8, 2006 article “Jews Wake Up!” focuses on the existential threat looming over Israel by Iran’s nuclear development, which may yield nuclear weapons as early as March 2007, four months away.

What is more, some experts say that Iran, given the increasing range of its missiles, may soon have the ability to nuke European and even American cities! Hence Glick is all the more dismayed by the statement of incoming Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that the U.S. cannot guarantee that Iran will not attack Israel with nuclear weapons. (more…)

18-Nov-2006

A Dialogue on Revolution

Filed under: Democratic MethodsOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 8:38 am

American: You Israelis never cease to amaze me. Since Oslo you have suffered more than 10,000 casualties—Jewish men, women, and children killed, wounded and maimed for life. Yet you do nothing. Your government expelled 10,000 Jews from their homes in Gaza and northern Samaria and turned this land over to your enemies, yet you do nothing. Kassam missiles fall on Sderot and Ashkelon, and still you do nothing! Why haven’t you people rebelled and thrown your cowardly government out?

Israeli: Just a minute. (more…)

08-Nov-2006

Democracy and Sexuality in Classical Athens

Filed under: Democratic MethodsEthicsCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 7:27 pm

Although democracy had its origin in classical Athens—what could be more democratic than an assembly whose members are chosen by lot?—the Athenian attitude toward sexuality in those days was very different from that which prevails in democracies today.

In his book Law, Sexuality, and Society, David Cohen reminds us that in classical Athens “a wide variety of [sexual] offenses brought some degree or another of loss of civic rights (atimia: literally: the state of being without honor).” An honorable reputation was of fundamental political important in Athenian democracy. (more…)

02-Nov-2006

Simple But Sad Facts

Filed under: Democratic MethodsParty Structures — eidelberg @ 3:50 am

Some Simple But Sad Facts:

1) The government consists of an artificial coalition of rival parties each with its own agenda and priorities. (more…)

Foundation Poll 2 (2006)

Filed under: Democratic Methods — eidelberg @ 3:41 am

Please answer the following question: (more…)

05-Oct-2006

Foundation Poll 1 (2006)

Filed under: Democratic MethodsElectorate/Demographics — eidelberg @ 5:56 am

May I ask for five minutes of your time?

The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy in Jerusalem is conducting an annual poll concerning Israel’s political institutions.

Your answers to the questions asked in this poll will be correlated with Freedom House’s 800-page volume Freedom in the World. Freedom House lists 89 countries which it classifies as “free democracies,” and of these democracies 26 are smaller in size and population than Israel. Bearing this in mind, please answer the following questions: (more…)

21-Sep-2006

An Unheard Speech

Filed under: Democratic MethodsElectorate/DemographicsIsrael's NationalsBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 12:17 am

To gain a more comprehensive understanding of Caroline Glick’s brilliant article “Israel’s Strategic Rot” (The Jerusalem Post, September 19, 2006), I am republishing a piece which might have been entitled “The Rot Underlying Israel’s Strategic Rot.” (more…)

18-Sep-2006

How Some Nations Empower Their People: Israel Disenfranchises Them—Part II

Filed under: Democratic MethodsCabinet/Executive — eidelberg @ 8:27 pm

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, September 18, 2006.

As indicated in Part I, members of Israel’s Knesset are not individually elected by or accountable to the people in constituency elections. This enables Knesset members to ignore public opinion with impunity. That’s what 23 Likud MKs did when they voted for Sharon’s Labor-inspired policy of “disengagement,” a policy rejected by a vast majority of the people in the 2003 election.

This policy—Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza —led to the war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, as recently confirmed by former Chief of General Staff Moshe Yaalon.

Now it’s easy to blame Israel’s fiasco in that war on the flawed character of Israel’s political elites. But if we consider how disengagement via the Evacuation Law was passed, the war would not have occurred were it not for the flawed character of Israel’s system of governance—a system that virtually disenfranchises the Jewish people. Let’s probe a little deeper. (more…)

12-Sep-2006

The Sacred Cow of Israel’s Electoral System Updated

Filed under: Democratic MethodsElectorate/DemographicsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 7:43 pm

Having just received Freedom House’s 800-page volume Freedom in the World 2005, I can now update not only the number of democracies which Freedom House ranks “free” (as opposed to “partly free”), but also set forth how many of these democracies are smaller than Israel both in population and in size. This article refutes the contention that regional or multi-district elections in Israel would favor its Arab parties and disfavor its religious Jewish parties. Although more needs to be said about regional elections, this article provides a rational basis for further discussion.


It seems that many benighted Jews in Israel believe that their system of government descended from Mount Sinai. Their educators have yet to tell them their first and greatest prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, deplored Israel’s governmental system. He deemed it divisive and discordant as well as unprincipled and undemocratic. (more…)

How Some Nations Empower Their People: Israel Disenfranchises Them

Filed under: Democratic MethodsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 7:23 am

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, September 11, 2006.

If ever it was obvious that Israel is in dire need of reconstructing its system of governance, it is now—now that we have experienced the ineptitude of the Olmert government. We need a more democratic, a more rational, and a more Jewish governmental system.

First, we must make the government responsive and accountable to the people. This necessitates rational parliamentary election rules. There are two extreme types of parliamentary election rules. (more…)

06-Sep-2006

The Sacred Cow of Israel’s Electoral System

Filed under: Democratic MethodsElectorate/DemographicsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 8:51 pm

It seems that many benighted Jews in Israel believe that their system of government descended from Mount Sinai. Their educators have yet to tell them their first and greatest prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, deplored Israel’s governmental system. He deemed it divisive and discordant as well as unprincipled and undemocratic.

He saw that by making the country a single electoral district, political parties would have to compete for Knesset seats on the basis of Proportional Representation (PR), and that given a low electoral threshold, an absurd profusion of parties would emerge (more…)

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