The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

21-Jan-2008

A Pipe Dream

Filed under: Democratic MethodsOslo/Peace ProcessThe Israel Defense Force — eidelberg @ 6:17 am

The question arises: When will the big brass in the Israel Defense Forces overcome the lie about Israeli democracy and “dismiss” prime minister Ehud Olmert? How can the general staff stomach a prime minister who has ordered Israeli soldiers not to destroy the enemy, the Palestinian Authority, but to fight for that terrorist organization?

Doesn’t any general understand that the government, though democratically elected, has forfeited its legitimacy by the simple fact it has failed to fulfill the first and foremost object of government, namely, to protect the lives of its citizens?

Is the general staff mentally retarded? (more…)

15-Jan-2008

How Israel Became Dysfunctional

Filed under: Democratic MethodsElectorate/DemographicsPoliticiansRepresentation — eidelberg @ 12:20 am

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, January 7, 2008.

Having learned of my critique of Israel’s political system, people have asked me how did this dysfunctional system originate? To answer, I will cite a publication of the Beth Hillel Society for Social Research in Israel supplemented by passages from David Ben-Gurion’s Memoirs.

In June 1953, the Hillel Society published a pamphlet “Electoral Reform in Israel.” The pamphlet was based on discussions the Society held in October 1952. The pamphlet outlines the emergence of Israel’s parliamentary system.

Thus, on May 14, 1948, 37 Jews met in Tel-Aviv and published a Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed the creation of the State of Israel. These 37 Jews constituted the Jewish People’s Council, which had been set up in two months earlier. The Council was composed firstly, of all political parties in the country, and secondly, of the Executive of the Jewish Agency according to the election returns of the twenty-second Zionist Congress, which had convened in Basel, Switzerland in 1946. This 37-man body declared itself, on May 14, 1948, the Provisional State Council of Israel. (more…)

14-Jan-2008

Olmert Abandons Israel’s Citizens—A Letter

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

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…)

08-Jan-2008

To Restore Jerusalem as the City of Truth

Filed under: Democratic MethodsEthicsJudaismA SOVEREIGN STATEHOOD — eidelberg @ 7:33 am

To restore Jerusalem as the City of Truth, it will be necessary to eradicate four pernicious and all-pervasive lies. First, that Israel is a Democratic State. Second, that Israel is a Jewish State. Third, that Judaism is consistent with Democracy. The fourth lie? The “Peace Process.” Eradication of these lies will inaugurate authentic Jewish Leadership in Israel and the establishment of a Jewish Constitution. Only then will it be possible to restore Jerusalem as the City of Truth.

Is Israel a Democratic State?

Virtually everyone persists in calling Israel a “democracy,” including critics of the peace process. Apart from such criticism, the critics do little more than lament this or that government’s “betrayal of democracy.” Heaven forbid they should candidly state that Israel is not and never has been a democracy.

 

· Whoever heard of a democracy that not only lacks a Constitution (like England) but whose legislators (unlike England’s) represent political parties rather than constituents or citizens? (more…)

07-Jan-2008

Demophrenia: A Psychological Analysis of Israel’s Malaise

Filed under: Democratic MethodsEthicsBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 12:45 am

From its inception in 1948, the government of Israel, regardless of which party or coalition was at the helm, has been afflicted by a mental disorder I call “demophrenia.”

Demophrenia is a deeply rooted malady of national and even of world-historical significance. It involves a compulsive application of democratic principles to moral problems and ideological conflicts which are impervious to, and even intensified by, those principles—especially the principle of equality.

Demophrenia is most advanced in Israel because its government—despite its oligarchic structure—is animated by a democratic mentality in conflict with the moral and territorial imperatives of Zionism, and also ineffectual against the anti-democratic mentality of Israel’s Arab inhabitants and neighbors.

The pathological nature of demophrenia will be better understood by reviewing certain characteristics of schizophrenia. (more…)

02-Jan-2008

Why No Revolution in Israel

Filed under: Democratic MethodsBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 5:54 am

Let us start the “New Year” right with a dose of truth, without which Israel has no future.

People wonder why there has been no revolution in Israel. They see that one government after another, especially since the Rabin government of 1993-95, has been betraying the country, has been yielding Jewish land to Israel’s most implacable enemies, Muslim Arabs who openly proclaim their commitment to wiping Israel off the map.

This genocidal objective is not only conspicuous in the pronouncements of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It is not only conspicuous and in the Charter of the PLO-Palestinian Authority, which calls for “the complete liberation of Palestine.” It is not only conspicuous in the Hamas Charter, which states: “Israel will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.” (more…)

Civil Disobedience Versus Sedition

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

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

Coup d’etat

Filed under: Democratic MethodsDomestic PolicyEthics — eidelberg @ 5:32 am

To High Ranking Officers of the Israel Defense Forces:

Whereas Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decided to release more than four hundred Arab terrorists (without even demanding the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was captured in a cross border raid by members of several Palestinian terrorist organizations on 25 June 2006);

Whereas Mr. Olmert, contrary to appeals of reserve IDF battalion commanders and soldiers, approved the shipment of two million bullets for AK-47 assault rifles and 50 advanced Russian armored carriers to the Palestinian (terrorist) Authority in Judea and Samaria;

Whereas, despite the daily missile attacks on Sderot resulting from Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, Mr. Olmert is committed to Israel’s withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, including Eastern Jerusalem; (more…)

Religion in the 2008 US Presidential Election Campaign

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

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

To Set the Record Straight

Filed under: Democratic MethodsDomestic PolicyElectorate/Demographics — eidelberg @ 7:14 am

The present writer is often accused of proposing institutional reform as a panacea. Never mind my books Demophrenia, Beyond the Secular Mind, and Judaic Man, which transcend institutions by discussing the unJewish mentality of Israel intellectual and political elites. To set the record straight, here is an article of mine published on June 6, 1990 under the title “In the Name of Democracy.”

President [Chaim] Herzog, like many others, calls for fundamental reform of Israel’s political institutions. But hardly anyone calls for fundamental reform of men’s character, that is, the character of those elected to public office. The reason is fairly obvious: It’s easier to change institutions than to change men. But anyone who believes that Israel’s present plight will be overcome by electoral reform is suffering from either mental fatigue or fatuity.

Institutions ultimately depend on the moral and intellectual qualities of those who run them. To be sure, well-designed institutions can sometimes compensate for defects in the character of men. (more…)

An International Jewish Parliament

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

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…)

10-Dec-2007

Some Prerequisites of Representative Democracy: They’re Missing In Israel

Filed under: Democratic MethodsKnesset/LegislativeRepresentation — eidelberg @ 5:17 am

Few people in Israel have anything but the most superficial knowledge of representative democracy and its prerequisites. But then, what else should be expected in a country whose ministry of education systematically omits this topic from the public school curriculum and where even universities seem to be black holes on the subject?

It should first be understood that constituency or multi-district elections is a prerequisite of representative democracy. What is not widely known is that representatives divide their constituencies into four distinct groups of voters, each of which they treat differently.

  1. 1)  The largest group of voters is the district as a whole, or the Geographic Constituency. (more…)

04-Dec-2007

The Issue Is Judaism

Filed under: JudaismIsrael’s SovereigntyZionism/Nationalism — eidelberg @ 12:53 am

The announcement of the New Jewish Congress, which convened in Jerusalem on November 27, 2007, contained one very meaningful and potentially powerful statement: “The Sovereignty of the Jewish Nation over the Jewish State of Eretz-Israel.

This statement recalls a policy paper I wrote several years ago entitled: “Must the State of Israel Perish for Israel to Survive?” By the “State” I mean, primarily, its political and judicial institutions: the Knesset, the Cabinet, and, above all the Supreme Court. These institutions must “perish,” meaning, they must be replaced by radically different ones. They must be replaced by institutions that do not fragment the nation into an absurd multiplicity of rival parties, that render the people powerless between elections, and that undermine Jewish national identity. The so-called Jewish State of Israel is an institutional catastrophe, as was known to eminent people in Israel in 1951 after the first two elections.

What was not known, and what is not understood to this day, is that very concept of a “Jewish State” is an oxymoron. (more…)

03-Dec-2007

A Letter to the World from Jerusalem

Filed under: Israel’s SovereigntyZionism/NationalismBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 7:49 am

Here is that famous letter written in 1969!

This “letter” (written by Eliezer Whartman) first appeared as an editorial in the summer of ‘69 in the Times of Israel (long defunct).

Some of the sentences do not fit today’s situation perfectly, but the point of the letter, and its passion is as on the mark as it was over 38 years ago.

Who should read this letter? People—nonJews or Jews—who think that Jerusalem does not belong to the Jewish People, and only to the Jewish People.

And what about Jews who love Jerusalem and want to see it and all of Israel in Jewish hands? This letter is wonderful chizuk. Enjoy it! (more…)

25-Nov-2007

Olmert’s Betrayal of Mankind

Filed under: Democratic MethodsJudaismOslo/Peace ProcessCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 7:53 am

Part I

I was recently invited by Pastor James Vineyard to speak to an audience including a group of American Baptist ministers in Jerusalem. This is what I said.

We meet here in dread of the forthcoming Annapolis Conference. We fear that the government of Israel may completely undo the miracle of the Six Day War. We fear that this government may yield the Temple Mount to our enemies. We fear that rewarding terrorists with the Temple Mount will accelerate the onward march of Islamic imperialism now threatening humanity.

Our Jewish Sages have said that the Temple Mount is of greater significance to the Gentile world than it is to Israel. Listen to the voice of Israel, to disparaged Pharisees regarding the sacrifices of seventy calves during the eight days of Sukkot, and note their humanitarianism. (more…)

14-Nov-2007

The Ethos of Constitutional Democracy: Not For Export in the Arab World

Filed under: Democratic MethodsIslam & Arab — eidelberg @ 3:11 am

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, November 12, 2007.

In June 2002, President Bush announced a fundamental change in US Mideast foreign policy. Instead of maintaining the status quo or stability, which would perpetuate Arab autocracies, the US would promote democracy or regime change in the Arab world.

It seems that Mr. Bush or his advisors had a superficial view of the prerequisites of democracy—as if little more was needed than democratic elections and a constitution delineating the powers of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. Lacking was an understanding of the ethos required for a constitutional democracy—an ethos utterly foreign to the Arab world.

I discuss this ethos in my booklet “The Myth of Israeli Democracy.” In theory, constitutional democ­racy, as conceived in 18th century America, presupposes a fairly well educated community whose structure of government is rooted in ethical principles. (more…)

Philosophical Journalism

Filed under: GeneralDemocratic MethodsEthics — eidelberg @ 2:40 am

Political journalism is not politically neutral or “value-free.” This may also be said of political science, pretensions to the contrary notwithstanding. The reason is this:

The reporting of news, like academic discourse on politics, inevitably involves criteria of importance: some things are intrinsically more important than others. But criteria of importance are not politically neutral.

Moreover, the criteria employed by any political commentator depend on his intellectual breadth and depth. Some journalists, like some political scientists, have more experience and wisdom than others. They are not value-free, which is not to say that political commentary is a species of autobiography.

Confronting the journalist is a chaos of news data. What he selects for emphasis depends on objective as well subjective factors. (more…)

21-Oct-2007

Netanyahu Can Stop Munich 2

Filed under: Democratic MethodsEthicsOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 8:45 am

STOP THE BETRAYAL OF ISRAEL!

There is a simple way to prevent another Munich at the forthcoming Annapolis Conference:

Contact MK Benjamin Netanyahu [see below] and urge him to issue the following statement:

“No Likud-led government will be bound by any agreement issuing from the forthcoming Annapolis Conference, or from any conference, that compromises the security of the Jewish State of Israel.”

(more…)

19-Oct-2007

The Pathology of Democracy

Filed under: Democratic MethodsEthics — eidelberg @ 6:22 am

Based on my book A Jewish Philosophy of History: Israel’s Degradation & Redemption.

In this essay I am going to show that democracy contains the seed of a mental disorder which, once understood, will explain Israel’s insane and suicidal policy of “territory for peace.”

In his classic Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville shows that equality, more than freedom, is the quintessential principle of democratic societies. By equality he means more than political and social equality. So pervasive is the principle of equality in democratic societies that it invades the intellect and renders all opinions of “good” and “bad,” “right” and “wrong” or all lifestyles equal. This is moral relativism.

Of the various forms of moral relativism I shall speak only of “positivism” or the “emotive theory of values.” It goes like this: (more…)

16-Oct-2007

A Conspiracy of Silence

Filed under: Democratic MethodsOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 5:02 am

Two 3-day conferences sponsored by reputedly right-wing elements in Israel were held in Jerusalem, one in October 2003, the other in March 2004. Scores of VIPs from Israel and from abroad spoke at these conferences; and yet, concerning the one thing needful, there was a conspiracy of silence.

They spoke of the disastrous consequences of Oslo. They spoke of Arab terrorism and of the government’s intermittent and feeble response. They spoke of the lack of an organized manner for making government decisions. They spoke of the government’s self-abasement when dealing with the United States. They spoke of how the people of Israel are misled by the reports of their own ignorant, left-leaning journalists in Washington. They spoke of Prime Minister Sharon’s plan to uproot tens of thousands of Jews in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. They spoke and they spoke and they spoke, and yet they were silent about the one thing needful. (more…)

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