The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

09-Apr-2008

Passover Greetings

Filed under: General — eidelberg @ 5:29 am Edit This

To the members and supporters of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, which alone has designed a constitution based on classical democratic principles assimilated to the Torah’s conception of man’s creation in the Image of God, a constitution that would correct the flawed ideological foundation as well as the flawed institutional structure of modern Israel, a constitution, therefore, that would secure Israel’s future as a Godly Nation that empowers and dignifies the Jewish People, we extend our sincere wishes for a joyful and meaningful Passover.

Paul Eidelberg, President
Eleonora Shifrin, Executive Director

25-Jan-2008

Judge Aharon Barak on Judaism and Democracy

Filed under: GeneralDemocratic MethodsJudaism — eidelberg @ 5:26 am Edit This

In a speech at Haifa University, former Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak declared: “It may already be said that the term ‘Jewish and democratic’ is not a contradiction, but rather a completion.” Judge Barak obviously has a permissive view of Judaism as well as of democracy. On the other hand, perhaps he was just being “politically correct.” Let’s examine the issue candidly.

The Torah divides the Jewish people into Kohanes, Levites and Israelites. To these divisions it applies, in various instances, non-egalitarian laws. For example, if the wife of a Kohane is raped, he must divorce her. This is not so for the spouse of a Levite or an Israelite.

In procuring their release from captivity, “A Kohane takes precedence over a Levite, a Levite over an Israelite, and an Israelite over a bastard … This applies when they are all [otherwise] equal; but if the bastard is learned in the Torah and the Kohane is ignorant of the Torah, the learned bastard takes precedence over the ignorant Kohane” (Mishnah, Horayot 3:8). (more…)

17-Dec-2007

A Little Light, Please, on Some Ruling Elites

Filed under: GeneralEthicsBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 7:24 am Edit This

Chanukah is a festival of light, and light is the source of truth. Let’s have a little light, please, beginning with Pope Benedict XVI.

Recall Hezbollah’s unprovoked attack on Israel on July 12, 2006. On July 16, the Pope said: “At the origin of these devastating confrontations, there are, unfortunately, objective situations of the violation of law and justice. But neither terrorist acts nor retaliation can be justified, especially when these come with tragic consequences for the civilian population.”

This is more than “do not resist evil.” The Pope placed Hezbollah’s terrorist acts and the Israel’s retaliation on the same moral level: for him, neither can be justified. It seems that Pope Benedict XVI had succumbed to moral equivalence, which makes nonsense of the New Testament. (more…)

14-Nov-2007

Philosophical Journalism

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

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…)

09-Nov-2007

The Hidden Motives of Israel’s Ruling Elites: Behind the Policy of Territory for Peace

Filed under: GeneralOslo/Peace ProcessRepresentationIsrael's Nationals — eidelberg @ 8:57 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, November 5, 2007. This Report is an abbreviation of a 24-page policy paper, “The Fixation of Israel’s Elites on Land for Peace: Five Interpretations,” scheduled for publication by a major journal in December.

Part I

People everywhere are bewildered by Israeli politics. They cannot fathom the motives of Israel’s ruling elites, their addiction to the futile and fatal policy of territory for peace. What really motivates these politicians?

Some pundits say they are stupid or mad or suffer from a Jewish “death wish.” Others say that Israel’s dependency on U.S military aid compels Israeli prime ministers to genuflect to Washington. Let me offer an alternative explanation.

When I made aliya in 1976, I was amused to hear people say that the paramount concern of Israeli politicians is their “seats.” (more…)

30-Mar-2007

A New Leadership

Filed under: GeneralZionism/NationalismBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVESCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 5:34 am Edit This

All those who went to Homesh to express their Jewish commitment to Eretz Israel deserve the greatest praise. Their evacuation by the police will not dishearten them. Among them will be the leaders of a future Israel.

But they should know and carefully consider the fact that events in Israel and in the Middle East are running much, much faster than their own current activities. (more…)

02-Aug-2006

Obsession: What The War on Terror Is Really About

Filed under: GeneralIntifada & Terrorism — eidelberg @ 11:37 pm Edit This

by Volvi G

Must watch video by everyone in the West to know and understand that WW3 is truly upon us all. Western Media would rather keep you blinded in ignorance. So learn the truth for yourself and don’t say “I never knew, I never realised”. Learn the truth for yourself. Realise too that the current onslaught on Israel has nothing to do with ‘Land’ or any ‘Occupation’. It is all part of global Jihad and it behoves you to know the truth. (more…)

17-Jul-2006

Israel’s Moment of Truth

Filed under: GeneralForeign PolicyCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 10:32 pm Edit This

[Edited transcript of The Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, July 17, 2006.]

I hate to use the banality, but Israel is facing its moment of truth. Threatened by sanctions and internal strife, Israel will be pressured to accept a cease fire.

Since Israel doesn’t have the economic power for a protracted war, the only way to avoid sanctions is to launch a massive ground invasion of Lebanon, which should have been done two or three days ago. No war can be won merely by bombing from the air. You cannot find and destroy most of the enemy’s rocket launchers without a ground invasion. The air force should be used primarily to support ground attacks, which alone can destroy a significant number of the enemy and his rocket launchers.

To destroy the enemy’s ground forces means to kill as many Hezbollah terrorists as possible. (more…)

30-Aug-2002

Making Votes Count - They Don’t in Israel

Filed under: GeneralElectorate/Demographics — eidelberg @ 12:37 am Edit This

Introduction

Making Votes Count is the title of a book by Gary Cox, a leading expert on electoral systems.[1] Here I shall try to simplify his mathematically oriented research by paraphrasing and reorganizing statements scattered throughout his study of 77 countries listed by Freedom House as having democratic elections (circa 1992).

Although Professor Cox does not put it this way, a country’s electoral system can be decisive for its character, for it may determine Who shall rule and for what Ends or purposes. Which means that the caliber of politicians and the goals and policies they pursue depend very much on the method by which they are elected. The method of election determines the relationship between citizens and office-holders, hence the extent to which a country approximates a representative democracy. As will be seen in a moment, an ostensibly democratic electoral system can enable the ruling political party or parties to ignore the concerns of most citizens between elections and thereby make a mockery of democracy. (more…)

01-Jan-2002

The David Ha’ivri Case - full version

Filed under: GeneralDemocratic Methods — eidelberg @ 6:02 am Edit This

Expert Opinion Presented to the Jerusalem District Court by
Professor Paul Eidelberg on Behalf of David Ha’ivri

Below is the full edition. An abridged edition containing an Introduction and Summary only is available here.

A. Introduction

1. The David Ha’ivri case involves, initially, a clash between two democratic principles: freedom and equality. Printing the picture of Rabbi Kahane on the front of a number of shirts and on the back thereof the slogan “No Arabs No Terror Attacks” manifests the democratic principle of the freedom of expression. Conversely, the phrase “No Arabs No Terror Attacks” has been construed by the prosecution as “racist,” and racism offends the democratic principle of equality. (more…)

Why Israel Needs A Constitution

Filed under: GeneralConstitution & Rights — eidelberg @ 5:17 am Edit This

Professor Paul Eidelberg

[Based partly on a paper presented at the American Political Science Association annual conference in Washington, DC on August 31, 1997, and partly on the author’s book Jewish Statesmanship: Lest Israel Fall (2000)]

Introduction

To show why Israel needs—and desperately needs—a Constitution, it will be necessary to expose the fatal flaws inherent in her present form of government. Before doing so, let us anticipate objections that any proposed Constitution may arouse at this moment in Israel’s history.

It may first be said that Israel is so faction-ridden that a Constitution, however desirable, is utterly impractical. Moreover, so imminent are the dangers confronting Israel that to place a Constitution on the public agenda may be deemed a mischievous distraction. Hence the burden of justifying, let alone of implementing, a Constitution for the State of Israel in the present juncture of domestic and international affairs appears insuperable. (more…)

Men Without Chests Revisited

Filed under: GeneralPoliticians — admin @ 12:42 am Edit This

Prof. Paul Eidelberg

During aristocratic ages, man’s moral center of gravity is the chest — the seat of “honor.” A gentleman’s honor was more than mere probity, and far more than prestige. As late as the 18th century, the lexicon defined “honor” as a quality that “supposes in a gentleman a stronger abhorrence of perfidy, falsehood, or cowardice, and a more elevated and delicate sense of virtue, than are usually found in [ordinary decent men].”

A gentleman’s honor was therefore his most sacred possession. An insult to such a person, if unanswered, could result in his and his family’s ruin. The manly response to offended honor was the duel. (more…)

30-May-2001

Israel’s & Churchill’s War Speeches

Filed under: GeneralOslo/Peace Process — admin @ 8:10 pm Edit This

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Israel is at war with a cunning, determined, and ruthless foe-Yasser Arafat.
This foe receives arms, money, and diplomatic support from the Islamic
world-which means that the Islamic world is at war with the Jewish state.

In other words, Arafat’s war is not simply directed against Israel on behalf
of the Palestinian Arabs. The truth is that Arafat’s war against Israel is
merely the most visible manifestation of Islam’s war against Western
Civilization. This civilization, whose roots go back to Abraham on Mount
Moriah, stands for the primacy of the individual as opposed to the state.
Have we not seen how readily Arafat sacrifices even children and how Arab
states do not even blink at such paganism? (more…)

30-Apr-2001

Israel’s Dire Water Problem

Filed under: GeneralDomestic Policy — admin @ 8:08 pm Edit This

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

It was known fifty and more years ago that Israel had a serious water
problem. Why have various Israeli governments failed to deal with this
problem?

Some will say that Israel has been so distracted by wars and countless
terrorist attacks that its various governments have been preoccupied with
security issues. Others may say that politicians, like people in general,
are not inclined to address themselves to long-range problems. They are
preoccupied with immediate concerns. Only when things hurt do they react. (more…)

Demagoguery

Filed under: GeneralJudaism — admin @ 8:06 pm Edit This

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

A great deal of demagogic nonsense has been uttered by Israeli politicians
about “theocracy,” the alleged objective of Torah-oriented Jews. One
inexcusable demagogue is Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg-inexcusable because he
is supposed to be a religious Jew and should know better. (more…)

31-Mar-2001

Accountability

Filed under: GeneralParty Structures — admin @ 8:03 pm Edit This

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Amazing how hardly any commentators direct their attention to the grotsque
nature of Israel’s political system — a pseudo-democracy now gone mad.
Israel has become a Purim spiel! Hence this article.

Accountability is a basic Jewish concept, awesome during Rosh HaShana and
Yom Kippur. Whereas the Torah Jew knows he is accountable to G-d, the
Government of Israel is accountable to no one. (more…)

BOOK REVIEW: JEWISH STATESMANSHIP

Filed under: General — admin @ 6:34 pm Edit This

REVIEW OF JEWISH STATESMANSHIP: LEST ISRAEL FALL BY PAUL EIDELBERG

Prof. Will Morrisey
Department of Political Science
Hillsdale College
Hillsdale, Michigan

Modern Israel contradicts itself. The `Jewish state’ also wants to be a
`pluralistic democracy.’ Yet these terms, radicalized, contradict each
other and themselves. (more…)

28-Feb-2001

The Likud: A Profile in Betrayal

Filed under: GeneralParty Structures — admin @ 6:28 pm Edit This

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

The Likud has been consistent in one thing only: in the betrayal of its
vaunted nationalist principles. Thus Begin, who yielded the Sinai and
evacuated Yamit. Thus Shamir, whose “peace plan” led to the recognition of
the PLO at Madrid. Thus Netanyahu, who withdrew from Hebron and prepared
the ground for a Palestinian state at Wye. Thus Sharon, whose government of
national unity will complete the Likud’s betrayal of its erstwhile
nationalist principles.

The Likud has never possessed the confidence to rule. Hence it has become
the right wing of the Labor Party and its collaborator in the Oslo death
process. Of course, having now only 19 Knesset seats, Likud chairman Ariel
Sharon is hardly in a ruling position. But even if is party party had 32
seats (as it did in 1996 with Tsomet and Gesher), Israel’s inept system of
multi-party cabinet government militates against any coherent and resolute
nationalist policy. (more…)

A Partial Diagnosis

Filed under: GeneralElectorate/Demographics — admin @ 6:25 pm Edit This

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Leaving metaphysical causes aside, among the factors leading Israel to the
abyss, the two most basic and seemingly contradictory ones are (1) the
democratic (or “demophrenic”) mentality of its political (and intellectual)
elites, and (2) the undemocratic nature of its political institutions.

The democratic mind is prone to indiscriminate egalitarianism or moral
equivalence. This is why loyal and disloyal citizens of Israel enjoy
political equality. This equality enabled the Labor Party to form, with the
support of five Arab Knesset Members, a government in 1992, and,
subsequently, to foist the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement on the Jewish
people. (more…)

On Rabbis and Self-Restraint

Filed under: GeneralJudaism — admin @ 6:22 pm Edit This

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

When Jews are murdered by Arab terrorists, as more than 500 have since the
1993 Oslo betrayal of Judaism, it is improper for rabbis, whether elected or
not, to repeatedly call upon Jews to exercise self-restraint after a
terrorist attack. Such rabbis unwittingly incite Arabs to murder more Jews.

When Arabs violate the Seven Noahide Laws by murdering Jews, such murders
constitute a Hillul HaShem - a desecration of God’s Name. (more…)

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