The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy


Uncomfortable Issues

Filed under: Democratic MethodsKnesset/LegislativePoliticians — eidelberg @ 5:16 am Edit This

Israel’s ruling elites—politicians and judges, academics and journalists—say that Israel is a democracy, and most people believe them. Let’s examine this issue.

A basic principle of democracy is government by the consent of the governed. The meaning of the term “consent” becomes evident when we speak of individuals reaching the “age of consent.” At that time, individuals are deemed responsible for their behavior. They can sign contracts and participate in voting.

The term “consent” thus involves volition qualified by reason. Government by the consent of governed thus requires well-informed citizens. Being will informed necessitates knowledge of the true nature of Israeli government. Unfortunately, most Israelis, including many of the educated, are sadly lacking in such knowledge.

For example, Benjamin Netanyahu was asked by a representative of the media whether he favors a presidential system of government. He replied that such a system would give the president unlimited power! (more…)



Filed under: Democratic MethodsCabinet/Executive — eidelberg @ 5:16 am Edit This

Israel desperately needs professionalism. Needed is a presidential system that relegates to the dust heap the system of multiparty cabinet government that enabled the Kadima-led coalition to achieve power and degrade as well as endanger this country.

One thing lacking in Israeli government is professionalism. What is a profession? What makes medicine, physics, mathematics, political science, architecture, astronomy, law, “professions”? They are also called “disciplines” because they require sustained and systematic learning. Professions, however, involve the transmission, from generation to generation, of organized knowledge and methods of inquiry that enable us to comprehend and perhaps control various domains of reality. Such knowledge is not necessarily progressive. Alfred North Whitehead, a philosopher-mathematician and historian of science, notes that “In the year 1500 Europe knew less than Archimedes who died in the year 212 BC.”

One finds in all professions outstanding minds. The history of philosophy, Whitehead remarked, is little more than a series of footnotes to Plato. Plato’s greatest student was Aristotle, the founder of political science who wrote treatises on 150 different regimes, in addition to original works on ethics, rhetoric, logic, poetics, physics, metaphysics, etc. The unequaled vastness of Aristotle’s knowledge dominated the curriculum of Western universities for two thousand years, and much of his knowledge is still relevant, especially Books III to VIII of his Politics. Indeed, what Machiavelli, the father of modern political science, knows compared to Aristotle can be put on a postage stamp! (more…)


Poli. Sci. 101 for MK Yitzhak Levy

Filed under: Democratic MethodsCabinet/ExecutiveKnesset/LegislativeRepresentation — eidelberg @ 6:16 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, June 23, 2008.

Knesset Member Yitzhak Levy wants to raise the number of Knesset members from 120 to 150. As reported in The Jerusalem Post last week (June 18, 2008), Levy complains that “the workload placed on MKs had grown to such an extent that it was simply impossible to adequately study the issues upon which MKs were expected to vote in a plenum, as well as in committees in which they sit.”

Mr. Levy also complains that, given the system of coalition cabinet government, some 30 MKs—one out of every four members—currently serves as either a minister or deputy minister, and that’s an additional assignment which distracts from their participation in the legislative function.

Levy’s proposal to increase the Knesset’s membership may be indicative of the incompetence of Israel’s legislative body. Let’s compare the Knesset with the American House of Representatives, beginning with the House. (more…)


Theocracy Versus Judaism: How the Jews of Israel Have Been Deceived and Disempowered (I)

Filed under: Democratic MethodsJudaismSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 5:24 am Edit This

Part one of a series.

The Bogeyman of Theocracy

Israel’s Guardians of Secularism are fond of using the bogeyman of “theocracy” to frighten the public on issues involving the relationship between religion and state. They have conditioned Israelis to believe that “theocracy” means the “rule of priests,” and hardly anything can be more undemocratic—right? Israel’s Secular Priesthood associate theocracy with the Dark Ages, the Catholic Church, Ayatollah Khomeini, Inquisitions, auto-de-fés, tyranny—something utterly contrary to the Enlightenment embodied in “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

The Illuminati are ever vigilant about “religious coercion.” They fulminate against Sabbath restrictions on commercial activities in a reputedly Jewish state, yet they applaud the secular coercion of a government that expelled 8,000 Jews from their homes in Gush Katif, leveled theirs schools and synagogues, destroyed their farms and factories, and traumatized women and children as well as the elderly while pulverizing their flourishing communities. The hypocrisy of Israel’s Secular Guardians betrays their hatred of Judaism.

All the talk about theocracy is obscurantism: there never has been a theocracy—thank God! What the Guardians of Secularism regard as a theocracy or theocratic state is in fact a “clerical” state, where a small minority uses the aura of religion to rule ignorant masses. Today, a small minority in Israel uses the aura of democracy to rule the masses. This ruling minority employs the myth of theocracy to obscure the fact that Israeli democracy is also a myth, except on election day. On that marvelous day the masses vote. How? (more…)


Curbing Judicial Despotism

Filed under: Democratic MethodsSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 5:20 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio. April 14, 2008.

A Jerusalem Post article of April 11, 2008 says: “Former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak has called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to fire Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, whom he accused of threatening to destroy Israeli democracy.”

Barak’s statement is either disingenuous or rooted in willful ignorance. Israel cannot honestly be deemed a democracy if only because Barak’s notorious dictum, that “everything is justiciable,” renders the unelected Supreme Court superior to the legislative and executive branches of government. Indeed, if “everything is justiciable” the Court can prescribe the morality or way of life of the Jewish people: Consider a few judicial rulings:

  • ● The Court ignored the Attorney General’s decision, affirmed by the Knesset Elections Committee, to disqualify the Balad Party for violating Basic Law: The Knesset, which prohibits any party that negates the Jewish character of the State. (more…)


The Hidden Agenda of Judge Aharon Barak: Despotism in the Name of Democracy

Filed under: Democratic MethodsSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 7:06 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, February 11, 2008.

If you see a generation which is constantly on the decline, go and investigate the Judges of Israel.
-Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 139a)

At the recent Herzliya Conference, former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak warned or threatened the audience about attempts to introduce changes in the method of appointing judges of the Court—which critics have called a self-appointed oligarchy. Hence this essay.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, a brilliant lawyer, regards Judge Robert Bork as one of the finest legal minds in the United States. Judge Bork has said that Israel’s Supreme Court is the worst in the world—and he said this while Aharon Barak was Israel’s Supreme Court president.

In fact, eminent citizens of Israel across the political spectrum have been very critical of the Court, especially under Judge Barak. Here are the names of some of the critics: (more…)



Filed under: Cabinet/ExecutiveRepresentationThe Foundation — eidelberg @ 8:22 am Edit This

Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. Professor Yehezkel Dror, a member of the Winograd Committee as well as a world-renowned Israel Prize Laureate in public policy, announced, at the prestigious Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, that Israel must replace its parliamentary system to improve decision-making, which failed so miserably during the Second Lebanon War.

Professor Dror thereby affirmed what the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, founded by the present writer and Dr. Mark Rozen of blessed memory, have advocated in books, policy papers, public lectures, radio and television programs, and countless articles since 1995.

Let me explain Dror’s statement insofar it was reported by The Jerusalem Post on February 6, 2008. (more…)


There are No Zionists in the Knesset!

Filed under: Knesset/LegislativeZionism/NationalismPARTIES & PERSONALITIES — eidelberg @ 7:51 am Edit This

Although the title of this article may appear outrageous, it is the only logical conclusion one can draw from irrefutable facts about Israel’s Knesset..

No one will deny that the Knesset’s three Arab parties (10 seats) are not Zionist—right?

No one will deny that the Knesset’s “ultra-religious” parties, Shas (12 seats) and Torah United Judaism (6 seats), are not Zionist—right?

No one will deny that Kadima (29 seats), Labor-Meimad (19 seats), Gil Pensioners (7 seats), and Meretz-Yachad (5 seats) are not Zionist—indeed, all support the policy of “Jewish land for peace”—right?

But what about Israel Beiteinu (11 seats), Likud (12 seats), and the National Religious-National Union coalition (9 seats)? Sorry, but they too are not Zionist! (more…)


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…)


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

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

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…)



Filed under: EthicsKnesset/LegislativeOslo/Peace Process — eidelberg @ 5:40 am Edit This

To: Members of the Knesset—Especially Those Identified with the Nationalist Camp.

1) How many of you are cognizant of certain acts prohibited by the Law of Treason, namely:

  • The category of acts which “impair the [territorial] sovereignty” of the State of Israel—section 97(a)—such as the 1993 Oslo Agreement;

  • The category of acts which “impair the [territorial] integrity” of the State of Israel—section 97(b)—such as the 2005 evacuation of the Israel Defense Forces from Gaza and the surrendering of this land to Hamas; (more…)


The 30-Year Olmert Government

Filed under: Cabinet/ExecutiveOslo/Peace ProcessRepresentationCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 6:04 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, November 26, 2007.

  1. Since the Camp David Summit of 1978, Israel has had no less than ten governments led either by the Likud, Labor, or Kadima. Whether “Zionist” or “post-Zionist,” “rightwing” or “leftwing,” all have pursued the same policy of “territory for peace.” All have contributed to the physical truncation and spiritual emasculation of Israel—and with the collaboration of the religious parties.

  2. It were as if the same government had been in power for almost 30 years! Yet certain Knesset members—with the American presidency in mind—tell us: “How can we endure four years of Olmert?” This ad hominem argument betrays unforgivable ignorance about Israeli government as well as about American government. On the territorial issue, Israel has had 30 years of “Olmert.” (more…)


The Need to Restrain Israel’s Supreme Court

Filed under: Supreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 7:22 am Edit This

Eminent persons across political spectrum in Israel—judges, academics, and lawyers—have said that Israel’s Supreme Court, especially under its former President Aharon Barak, has exceeded its prescribed powers and has handed down many decisions that violate basic principles of democracy, to say nothing of Zionism and Judaism.

Since the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee is presently engaged in drafting a constitution for the State of Israel, it behooves the members of this Committee to curb the judicial imperialism of the Supreme Court. The mode of appointing the judges of the Court should be crafted in such a way as to deter the Court from arrogating to itself powers or functions which, as a matter of principle and of prudence, rightfully belong to the Legislative and Executive branches of government. (more…)


Knesset Against Annapolis

Filed under: Knesset/LegislativeCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 6:30 am Edit This

Israel’s Knesset Votes Against Annapolis

More than half the Knesset members from both the Opposition and Coalition factions have signed a petition against Olmert’s plan to give away parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority. The document rejects this unlawful plot to relinquish Israel’s sovereignty over the Old City—the city holy to Jews throughout the world and to Christians everywhere who abhor the prospect of Muslim sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem.

The Knesset is of course the supreme law-making branch of the State of Israel. (more…)


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…)


Torah Government versus Israeli Democracy

Filed under: JudaismSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 7:14 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, August 27, 2007.

Part I: Kingship

Although Israelis may not merit a Torah government, I will show that a Torah government, with its king and Sanhedrin, is more democratic than Israeli democracy.

The Hebrew term for king, melech, primarily implies a chief “counselor,” a president whose intellectual and moral qualities warrant his elevation and authority. The Torah basis for kingship is in Deuteronomy (17:14-15): There it is said that when the Israelites come to the land G-d is giving them, they shall appoint a king from among their brethren, but they shall not appoint a foreigner.

Back in 1948, a Knesset committee considered a draft constitution containing a clause requiring Israel’s president to be Jewish. (more…)


מלחמת היהודים ביהודים

Filed under: Supreme Court/JudicialOslo/Peace ProcessIsrael's Nationalsעברית — eidelberg @ 7:05 am Edit This

מלחמת היהודים ביהודים

מאת: פרופ' פול איידלברג

בתלמוד הבבלי (מס' פסחים דף מט ע' ב') כתוב כי שנאתם של עמי-ארצות לתלמידי חכמים גדולה משנאתם של גויים את עם ישראל. בזוהר הק' (שמות ז:ב) מופיע כי בקץ הימים, יהיו רשעים מזרע ישראל שיכרתו ברית עם שונאי ישראל.

יהודים אלו הפכו לאליטה השלטת במדינה. למרות היותם מיעוט קטן (אולטרה-חילוני), הם שולטים במרכזי הכוח העיקריים במדינה. והם עושים זאת תוך-כדי מלמול המנטרה של "דמוקרטיה".

בדיוק יהודים כאלו הם שהחדירו בערמה את הסכמי אוסלו או ההסכם בין ישראל לפת"ח. יהודים מסוג זה הם אלו שחוקקו והוציאו לפועל את מדיניות "ההתנתקות החד-צדדית", לשון נקייה לבגידה. וכדי שלא יאשימו אותי ב"קיצוניות", הבה נזכיר לעצמנו כמה עובדות, ונתחיל ביוסי ביילין, לפנים ה"פודל" של שמעון פרס. (more…)

The War Between Jews and Jews

Filed under: Supreme Court/JudicialOslo/Peace ProcessIsrael's Nationals — eidelberg @ 5:10 am Edit This

The Babylonian Talmud (Pesachim 49b) states that Jewish ignoramuses are greater anti-Semites than gentiles. The Zohar (Exodus 7b) declares that in the “end of days,” certain wicked Jews will become the allies of Israel’s enemies.

Such Jews have become Israel’s ruling elites. Although they comprise a small (ultra-secular) minority, they control the major levers of power in this country. And they do so while intoning the mantra of “democracy.”

It was precisely such Jews that foisted the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement on Israel. The same kind of Jews enacted and implemented the policy of “unilateral disengagement”—a euphemism for treason. Lest I be accused of “extremism,” let us recall some facts, beginning with Yossi Beilin, Shimon Peres’s erstwhile “poodle.” (more…)


Judicial Aspects of Torah Governance

Filed under: JudaismGOVERNMENT BRANCHES — eidelberg @ 5:20 am Edit This

Israel is commonly regarded as the “only democracy in the Middle East,” and so it is compared to its despotic Arab neighbors—a fact hardly worthy of boasting about. But how does Israeli governance today stand vis-à-vis Torah governance? To answer this question, I shall limit myself to certain judicial aspects of Torah governance.

The judicial and highest organ of Torah governance is the Great Sanhedrin. (See Deut. 17.11.) Consisting of seventy-one judges, this extraordinary institution combines judicial and legislative powers and may even bring the king to justice on a suit brought against him by any private citizen.

When there is no king, the President of the Great Sanhedrin exercises the king’s powers. The President excels, and is recognized as excelling, all in wisdom and understanding. (more…)


Why the Knesset Tolerates Judicial Imperialism—Postscript

Filed under: Supreme Court/JudicialKnesset/LegislativeCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 8:09 am Edit This

The Knesset has welcomed the appointment of Supreme Court critic Prof. Daniel Friedman as justice minister. The members of the Knesset will now have their cake and as well as the icing. They see in Prof. Friedman’s appointment two things favorable to their own prerogatives:

  1. a person who has been very critical of the Court’s usurpation of the Knesset’s legislative powers; and

  2. a person whose secular, leftwing orientation is consistent with the Knesset’s own political orientation—the orientation of the Establishment.

Although Prof. Friedman’s appointment is favorable to the rule of law that has been violated by Israel’s juristocracy, it still remains for the Knesset to amend Basic Law: Judiciary to curb the Court and restore a proper division of power between the judicial and legislative branches of government. Let us hope that the new minister of justice will be able to facilitate this objective.

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