The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

30-Nov-2009

Feiglin’s Superficiality

Filed under: PoliticiansThe Israel Defense ForceMilitary Strategy — eidelberg @ 9:55 pm Edit This

My apology to Moshe Feiglin for the personalized title of my remarks on his article on insubordination. But I do urge readers to examine carefully the reasoned argument about the existential dilemma confronting our beloved Israel. -Eidelberg

Moshe Feiglin’s contention that “Only IDF insubordination can save Israel” is simplistic, to put it kindly.

In addition to underestimating the number of robotic soldiers in the IDF, Feiglin ignores (1) the political ambitions and/or moral cowardice of Israel’s highest ranking defense officials; (2) the self-interest of Israel’s “rightwing” political leaders, who obviously want to preserve their status and power; and (3) the self-serving political ambitions of Israel’s leftwing leaders (such as Barak and Livni).

Bear in mind (a) the brutality of the Government at Amona; (b) the failure of Ya’alon and Dichter to resign despite their dire warnings about disengagement from Gaza; (c) the fact that only one Likud MK had the courage to vote for MK Michael Kleiner’s resolution to abrogate Oslo, despite incessant PLO violations that resulted in hundreds of Jewish casualties—to mention only a few unflattering aspects of Israeli governments. (more…)

01-Sep-2009

Connecting the Dots on Netanyahu

Filed under: Oslo/Peace ProcessPoliticians — eidelberg @ 7:20 am Edit This

Benjamin Netanyahu has often been called a clever but unprincipled, indeed, unscrupulous, politician. But his skill as an orator as well as his pleasant demeanor obscures the nature of this political animal—and his oratory sometimes trips him.

Let’s go back to the aftermath of the May 1996 election, when he nosed out Shimon Peres for the premiership by a mere half a percentage point. To both Jewish and Arab audiences he boasted that no one expected him to (1) accept the Oslo Accords as a basis for the “peace process”; (2) meet with Yasser Arafat; and (3) withdraw from Hebron. Ponder the significance of this unwittingly self-incriminating statement or confession. If no one, in his own words, expected him to take the three steps just mentioned, it follows that Mt. Netanyahu betrayed those who elected him Israel’s Prime Minister!

That he can boast before the nation about his utterly unexpected adherence to the Oslo Accords reveals his contempt for public opinion. It also reveals, in addition to his moral obtuseness, Israel’s undemocratic political culture. But this is not all.

Mr. Netanyahu employed the same kind political deception in the February 2009 election. (more…)

23-Aug-2009

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…)

10-Aug-2009

The Grave-Diggers of Israel

Filed under: PoliticiansMulticulturalism/Moral Relativism — eidelberg @ 7:41 pm Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, August 10, 2009.

In her August 7 Jerusalem Post column, Caroline Glick rightly says: “for the past 16 years [since the Oslo Agreement], the greatest champion of the view that Israel is a strategic liability rather that a strategic asset for the US, and that the US gains more from a weak Israel than a strong Israel, has been Israel itself. Successive governments in Jerusalem, from the Rabin-Peres government to the Barak, Sharon and Olmert governments, all embraced the Arabist view that regional stability and hence Israeli security is enhanced by a weakened Israel.”

For reasons of her own, Glick does not mention Benjamin Netanyahu in this list of flawed prime ministers. She knows, however, that Netanyahu has adhered to Oslo and has therefore made Israel appear more as a strategic liability than a strategic asset. What could make this more obvious than his supporting a Palestinian state in Israel’s heartland?

But there is a deeper flaw—nay, a western, cultural pathology that emasculates the governments Glick denounces. This pathology underlies the defeatist policy of “territorial for peace” which all Israeli governments have pursued even before Oslo. The pathology I am alluding to is cultural or historical relativism. Spawned in Europe, this doctrine permeates higher education in Israel and in all levels of education in America.

Relativism infected the mentality of Jewish leaders even before the founding of the state. (more…)

09-Aug-2009

The Two-State Solution: A Sacrifice of the Intellect

Filed under: Oslo/Peace ProcessPoliticiansMulticulturalism/Moral Relativism — eidelberg @ 5:56 am Edit This

Whatever else one may say of the “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is fascinating example of how intelligent men can sacrifice their intellects to a mantra.

Rather than discuss the mentality of men like Benjamin Netanyahu, let’s go back almost twenty years to Mr. Yossi Sarid, then a leader of the Meretz Party with experience on the important Knesset Committee on Defense and Foreign Affairs.

Anticipating Netanyahu’s current position, Sarid had long advocated negotiations with the PLO and the establishment of a Palestinian state. Hence he was taken aback when Yasser Arafat, along with Arabs in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, supported Saddam Hussein’s rape of Kuwait. He was all the more discomfited when Israel’s own Arab citizens applauded the Iraqi dictator.

In view of these politically embarrassing developments, Sarid felt compelled to “reassess” his position. (more…)

02-Aug-2009

Iranian, American, and Israeli Grievances: A Question of Revolution

Filed under: Oslo/Peace ProcessPoliticiansIsrael's Nationals — eidelberg @ 7:23 am Edit This

Iran’s fraudulent presidential election of June 12, which kept Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power, was enough to trigger a revolution—not civil disobedience Israeli style. Many Iranians lost their lives in violent protests against the fraud. The revolution is not over. Report has it that even Iranian soldiers are helping opponents of the regime.

“No taxation without representation” was the clarion call of the American revolution of 1776. The Americans were fed up with protests and civil disobedience. Ponder these words of the American Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; (more…)

14-Jul-2009

The Likud: A Dead Man Walking

Filed under: Party StructuresPoliticiansZionism/Nationalism — eidelberg @ 10:25 pm Edit This

The Likud is a dead man walking, and no one can enliven that intellectually sterile party. This means that political Zionism is dead. It died in May 1996 when Benjamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister and said his government would abide by the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement which the Labor Party had foisted on the nation in September 1993.

Unknown to the general public, Oslo presaged the establishment of an Arab-Islamic state in the Land of Israel, a state Netanyahu unlawfully sanctified on June 14, 2009 at Bar-Ilan University. Let us probe the little known perfidious nature of the Likud via political Zionism.

It never entered the minds of political Zionists that the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel was to culminate in the construction of the Third Temple and the restoration of Jewish law. The founders of political Zionism, such as Herzl and Pinsker, started from the failure of liberalism to solve the Jewish problem, but continued to see the solution in liberal terms, as a merely human problem. As Leo Strauss has written:

The terrible fate of the Jews was in no sense to be understood any longer as connected with divine punishment for the sins of our fathers or with the providential mission of the chosen people and hence to be borne with the meek fortitude of martyrs. (more…)

07-Jul-2009

A Thought Experiment for Right-Thinking People

Filed under: Party StructuresPoliticians — eidelberg @ 7:00 am Edit This

Suppose Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu had campaigned for the premiership by advocating the “two-state solution,” hence a Palestinian state. The Likud would surely have won far less than the 27 seats it garnered in the February election—perhaps little more than one-third of that number. Certainly the party would have been in a shambles.

In fact, it was reported in The Jerusalem Post (July 7) that 11 Likud MKs—Tzipi Hotovely, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, deputy ministers Ayoub Kara and Gile Gamliel, and Danny Danon, Miro Regev, Tzion Pinyan, Carmel Shama, Yariv Levin and Ze’ev Elkin—have signed a letter to Netanyahu stating: “As Likud members, we cannot support a two-state solution on principle.” “[Such a solution] is neither possible, nor proper, due to the moral right of the Jewish people to the land, and for reasons of security. Saying otherwise delegitimizes the Israeli struggle for the land.”

Surely this expressed the views of some other Likud MKs, for example, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin. Hence, it would be reasonable to assume that the Likud would have been devastated in the February election had Netanyahu been forthright with the people of Israel by saying he was for a Palestinian state. This means that Mr. Netanyahu’s premiership is based on a dastardly lie.

Would the Kadima party have benefited from the truth? (more…)

23-Mar-2009

The Russian Card: Israel Must Distance Itself from Washington

Filed under: Foreign PolicyPoliticians — eidelberg @ 5:46 am Edit This

Eidelberg Report, March 23, 2009.

There can be no doubt that Barack Hussein Obama is playing the Muslim card to the detriment of Israel. His appeasement of Iran, the epicenter of global terrorism, is especially troubling, to Americans as well as Israelis. Obama’s Middle East advisers have consorted not only with Hamas, an Iranian proxy, but also with Syria, a terrorist state. The Obama government is helping the Palestinian (terrorist) Authority to establish a military training base in Jericho. All this substantiates a March 19 report in Israel Today. I quote:

A former top US intelligence official warns that the Obama Administration is about to break America’s long ties of friendship with Israel, and maybe even take steps toward the dissolution of the Jewish state. Speaking on condition of anonymity to Douglas Hagmann of the Northeast Intelligence Network, the source said: “The Obama Administration … is preparing to provide more support to Arab countries [with] financial and military aid, undercutting Israel’s defense efforts while pushing Israel to succumb to the pressure of unreasonable demands designed to end with their political annihilation as a nation.”

In Sleeping with the Devil, ex-CIA agent Robert Baer reveals that former high officials in Washington luxuriate on the Saudi payroll. (more…)

11-Jan-2009

Preliminary Notes on the Forthcoming Election

Filed under: Oslo/Peace ProcessPoliticiansNational Election — eidelberg @ 5:53 am Edit This

It is widely agreed that the Olmert-Livni-Barak government decided to inflict a crushing blow on Hamas to restore Fatah-leader Mahmoud Abbas’ control over Gaza—a precondition for fulfilling the triumvirate’s commitment to a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. This will obviously be the paramount issue in the February 10 election.

Although right-minded people will want Likud to win more seats than Kadima in that election, it is extremely important that the Likud not win too large a Knesset plurality. Such an outcome would enable the Likud’s questionable leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, to appoint too many Likud MKs to his cabinet, just as Ariel Sharon did after the 2003 elections. This was too many for Israel’s own good.

Right-minded people will therefore want to vote for National Union, which, unlike the Likud, is opposed to any further territorial withdrawal and is unequivocally opposed to a Palestinian state. This non-compromising attitude cannot be ascribed to Netanyahu, whose slogan “reciprocity” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority means yielding more Jewish land to the disciples of Muhammad. Netanyahu’s track record at the Wye Summit and on disengagement from Gaza does not inspire confidence.

To state the matter more simply, Israel will need in its next government a significant number of cabinet ministers who are to the right of Netanyahu and who can block any attempt on his part to betray the nationalist camp, as he has done in the past. (more…)

04-Jan-2009

Yaalon’s Plan

Filed under: Oslo/Peace ProcessPoliticians — eidelberg @ 4:37 am Edit This

A Brief Lesson in Political Logic

A question has arisen regarding my December 29 critique of the Yaalon Plan on Israel National Radio. That plan, recall, is based on General Yaalon’s policy paper “Israel and the Palestinians: A New Strategy.”

Yaalon opposes the Oslo Agreement because its architects favor withdrawal from Judea and Samaria before the Palestinians develop the economic, political, and judicial infrastructure required to make the Palestinian Authority a reliable negotiating peace partner with Israel. But this implies that Yaalon is not opposed in principle to a Palestinian state—to put it in negative terms.

It may therefore be logically assumed that anyone who understands and endorses the Yaalon plan is not opposed in principle to a Palestinian state.

In contrast, Moshe is opposed in principle to the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria for religious reasons. (more…)

14-Dec-2008

The Difference Between Livni and Netanyahu

Filed under: Politicians — eidelberg @ 6:06 am Edit This

What’s the difference between Livni and Netanyahu?

Livni pursues a policy of “pre-emptive appeasement.”

Bibi’s policy is more subtle; it’s called “reciprocity.”

09-Dec-2008

Israel’s Sick Prime Minister

Filed under: EthicsPoliticians — eidelberg @ 5:34 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, December 8, 2008.

Virtually everyone knows by now that something is terribly wrong with Israel’s prime minister. Even President George W. Bush suspects that Ehud Olmert’s eagerness to yield the strategically vital Golan Heights to Syria is not rational. Many people say that Olmert’s failure to resign after the Winograd Commission Report of his incompetence during the Second Lebanon War marks him as shameless—more so after repeated police investigations of his unethical and perhaps illegal financial transactions.

The truth is, and as I shall soon illustrate, Ehud Olmert is suffering from a mental disorder. If the Knesset, as a whole, was not itself infected by the same mental disorder, Olmert would have been forced out office two years ago. I call this mental disorder “demophrenia,” and I see its symptoms across Israel’s political spectrum.

Demophrenia is a form of schizophrenia manifested especially in democratic societies where moral relativism permeates academia and therefore the behavior of politicians who, after all, are college and university graduates. However, as the World Health Organization points out, schizophrenics, despite their vulnerabilities, are in the full sense responsive social beings like the rest of us. Put simply, schizophrenics or demophrenics are subject to one or another delusion, by which I mean a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence.

Various researchers distinguish between positive- and negative-symptom schizophrenia. (more…)

02-Dec-2008

Save Us From Liars

Filed under: Islam & ArabOslo/Peace ProcessPoliticians — eidelberg @ 7:11 am Edit This

Judea and Samaria activist Yechiel Leiter, a possible candidate on the Likud Party list in the February elections, is promoting a plan that calls for immediate steps that will lead to the annexation of 50% of Judea and Samaria.

Since Leiter has served as an adviser to Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, it’s reasonable to assume that his proposed plan expresses Netanyahu’s position. If so, this plan corresponds to Netanyahu’s policy of “reciprocity” in dealing with the Palestinian Authority.

What is more significant, however, is that Leiter’s plan—he’s religious—may be a political consequence of Netanyahu’s secular mentality, manifested in a statement he made before a joint session of the United States Congress shortly after becoming Israel’s Prime Minister in May 1996. There he baldly denied any “clash of civilizations” between Israel and her Arab-Islamic neighbors.

This denial reflects a widespread inability in the secular democratic world to acknowledge the true nature of Islam. By the “true nature of Islam” I mean the demonstrable fact that Islam is, in the words of Bat Ye’or, a “culture of hate”— (more…)

28-Nov-2008

Why?

Filed under: Foreign PolicyIslam & ArabPoliticians — eidelberg @ 6:48 am Edit This

Few people really understand why Israel, despite its superior military forces, is retreating to her precarious 1949 armistice lines. Before discussing this strange phenomenon, let us review the stages of Israel’s shrinkage or capitulation.

The first shrinkage of Israel was made by Prime Minister Menachem Begin in the Camp David Agreement of September 1978. Begin, a vaunted nationalist, signed away the Sinai to Egypt, a military dictatorship. He also compromised retention of Judea and Samaria by referring to their Arab inhabitants as a “people”—in fact rival Arab clans from diverse countries of the Middle East. Begin ignored this fact, in consequence of which Israel has become a pariah.

The second shrinkage of Israel was made by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in the Israel-PLO Agreement of September 1993. Contrary to his June 1992 election campaign, Rabin virtually surrendered Judea and Samaria to the PLO, a criminal organization cited as such in Israeli law. He even opened negotiations with Syria, a terrorist state, to give away the Golan Heights. Rabin violated his word, reason, as well as the law.

The third shrinkage of Israel was made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the Wye River Summit of 1998. There he agreed to yield 40 percent of Judea and Samaria to Yasser Arafat, a bloody murderer. (He had already yielded 80 percent of Hebron to that murderer.) (more…)

24-Nov-2008

Bibi and Shimon: Odd Bedfellows

Filed under: Islam & ArabOslo/Peace ProcessPoliticians — eidelberg @ 11:58 pm Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, November 24, 2008.

Shortly after his election as Prime Minister in May 1996, Binyamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of the United States Congress. There he denied any clash of civilizations between Israel and its Arab-Islamic neighbors. This denial—disingenuous or not—underlies Netanyahu’s current economic plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By building up the Palestinian economy, which of course will be partly dependent on Israel, peace between Jews and Arabs will eventually follow. Netanyahu has joined Shimon Peres, author of The New Middle East.

Before examining the mode thought of these odd bedfellows, note that Netanyahu and Peres are secularists. I mention this because Abdallah al-Tall, an Egyptian spokesman, has said that “The propagandists of secularism, who leave out of account the religious factor in the Palestine problem, ignore the fact that this is the only bone of contention in the world which has persisted for thirty centuries and is still based on religious and spiritual foundations.”

According to the “propagandists of secularism,” economics trumps religion. This, of course, is indicative of a Marxist mode of thought. This mode thought, we shall see, also underlies capitalism, and that’s what links Bibi to Shimon, the author of the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement which Bibi refused to abrogate. Both are wedded to Oslo. (more…)

21-Nov-2008

Mushrooms

Filed under: PoliticiansHumor — eidelberg @ 5:58 am Edit This

Molecular biologists contend that man is descended from mushrooms. Believe it. Some mushrooms have evolved into politicians. They flourish in Israel. Ever seen such bland politicians?

Because mushrooms lack chlorophyll, they’re destitute of color, and, like Israeli prime ministers, they crumble under the slightest pressure.

Mushrooms, of course, are fungi, and many reproduce by asexual means. That’s pretty much the case of Israeli politicians: Israel’s system of proportional representation produces an abundance of sterile politicians.

Some mushrooms are deadly. They’re called “toadstools.” A weird assortment of such fungi populated Israel’s Knesset. The head of the Knesset’s most numerous fungi forms Israel’s cabinet.

Like a toadstool, with its umbrella-shaped cap, the cabinet caps the most ill-assorted fungi. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been classified as coprinus comatus, the Latin designation of a Horsetail Mushroom. (more…)

18-Nov-2008

Alexander Hamilton

Filed under: PoliticiansUS & Global PolicyIranian Threat — eidelberg @ 2:41 am Edit This

Alexander Hamilton was regarded by no less than Talleyrand as the greatest statesman of his age, greater than Pitt, Fox, and Napoleon. Hamilton was not only George Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury, he was, in effect, Washington’s “prime minister.” He wrote most of Washington’s “Farewell Address,” widely regarded as America’s greatest state paper.

Hamilton’s state papers on Manufactures and on a National Bank contributed greatly to America’s ascendancy as the most powerful nation on earth. No less significant are his contributions to The Federalist Papers, whose essays on presidential government are unsurpassed in depth and clarity. Would that Israel had statesmen to assimilate Hamilton’s wisdom and apply it to the reconstruction of Israel’s decrepit system of multiparty cabinet government.

But I have another reason for speaking of Hamilton, especially now in the context of a secret war that has been going on between the United States and Iran since 1979.

Let’s first go back to 1793, when France was under the Directory, which in fact was a military dictatorship. The issue arose as to whether the United States should accord the French government diplomatic recognition. (more…)

14-Nov-2008

Capital Punishment and Abortion

Filed under: EthicsPoliticians — eidelberg @ 6:24 am Edit This

Barack Obama opposes capital punishment. Yet he voted against legislation that would put an end to full-birth abortion. Full-birth abortion means nothing less than “kill the baby”—inflicting capital punishment not on the guilty but on the innocent! Hence, I am prompted to republish an article I wrote three decades ago. The reader should bear in mind however, that wherever the article refers to the “unborn child,” today we must add the “born but unwanted child.”

* * *

In the Mishna we read: “Therefore but a single man was created in the world, to teach that if any man has caused a single soul to perish, Scripture imputes it to him as though he had caused a whole world to perish; and if any man saves alive a single soul, Scripture imputes it to him as though he had saved alive a whole world.”

To avoid misunderstanding, let me state at the outset that, except in extreme cases, I do not advocate capital punishment in Israel at this time. Nor do I regard as correct the Catholic view of abortion. But there is something very curious about the liberal position on these two issues, especially by liberals who advocate the American practice of “abortion on demand.”

Among the arguments against capital punishment is the contention that society has no right to take the life even of the most savage murderer. (more…)

10-Nov-2008

Treason and Multiparty Cabinet Government

Filed under: Foreign PolicyParty StructuresPoliticiansIsrael’s Sovereignty — eidelberg @ 7:41 am Edit This

The present writer is repeatedly asked to discuss the pernicious character of Israel’s system of multiparty cabinet government. Many concerned citizens appalled by a political system in which the cabinet consists of the leaders of five or six or more rival political parties.

It is obvious to my interlocutors that the leaders of such a cabinet, far from being animated by a coherent, resolute, and long-term national program, are primarily motivated by their own personal and partisan interests, which means they compete with each other for political power and a larger share of the public treasury. This self-aggrandizement fosters public cynicism, which of course undermines the people’s confidence in their government.

What is not widely known, however, is that multiparty cabinet government also conduces to treason. To illustrate, let us go back to 1988. A so-called National Unity Government was then in power. The coalition agreement specified that Likud chairman Moshe Shamir would hold the post of Prime Minister for the first two years of the Government’s tenure, that Labor chairman Shimon Peres would be PM for the second two years, and that during Shamir’s tenure, Peres would hold the post of Finance Minister.

Bearing this in mind, let us now recall certain heated altercations that took place in an August 1989 session of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. (more…)

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