The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

22-Aug-2006

Hot Air in Israel

Filed under: Democratic MethodsRepresentationBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVESCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 12:08 am

“Olmert must go!” “Down with the government!” “To the Streets!” “New elections Now!” Israel is being deluged in hot air.

So what if Olmert resigned? So what if the government were toppled? So what if the people went to the streets? And so what if new elections were held now? Just more hot air! (more…)

14-Aug-2006

Capitulation: What Next?

Filed under: RepresentationBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVESCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 7:58 am

[Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, August 14, 2006].

Various political analysts have denounced Prime Minister Olmert for accepting the UN Cease-Fire Resolution. Caroline Glick of The Jerusalem Post calls the Resolution an “unmitigated disaster.” Ari Shavit of Ha’aretz not only says “Olmert must go,” but he blames the decadence of Israel’s ruling elites for this disaster.

A. The UN Resolution

1. The Resolution does indeed signal a victory for Hezbollah and its patrons Iran and Syria—hence a defeat not only for Israel but for the United States. (more…)

26-Jun-2006

Why The Right Has Failed

Filed under: Democratic MethodsPoliticiansRepresentation — eidelberg @ 7:07 am

[Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, June 26, 2004.]

For more than three decades, Europe has been dominated by the Left, by its post-Christian politicians, professors, and journalists. Today Europe is dying—Arabized. But as Oriana Fallaci has boldly pointed out, the Right is no less to blame for Europe’s cultural demise.

By the “Right” she means “nationalists” who, whether in France or in Holland, could have galvanized the people of their respective countries against the Left’s multiculturalism and permissive Arab immigration laws which have stripped each nation of its cultural heritage. The Right failed to counter the Left’s rhetoric that the nation-state is obsolete, that nationalism conduces to war, and that democratic universalism must be the basis of the New World Order. (more…)

13-Jun-2006

The Tyranny of Contemporary Democracy

Filed under: Democratic MethodsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 4:56 am

Contemporary democracy is a subtle form of tyranny—something the people of Israel, including political scientists, are unaware of. You will ask: How can contemporary democracy, which is based on freedom, be tyrannical? I will answer this question by means of Aristotle, the founder of political science.

In his unsurpassed Politics, Aristotle demonstrates that tyranny combines the worst aspects of democracy and oligarchy. The worst aspect of democracy—which is not to deny it any merit—is a hatred of privilege. Democracy readily succumbs to egalitarianism—to egalitarian envy and a leveling of all moral distinctions. All lifestyles become equal. (more…)

28-Apr-2006

The Pensioners’ Complaint

Filed under: Democratic MethodsRepresentationCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 8:29 pm

Natan Levin, chairman of Keren Lazaken, told The Jerusalem Post (April 27, 2006) that Gil [Pensioners] MKs were “only worried about themselves and their positions in the government and did not care about the people they were sent to the Knesset to represent.”

He informed The Post that before the March 28 election, the Gil politicians had signed a declaration promising to fight for the pensioners’ rights in the areas of economic aid and health, but that in the month since election, “all we have heard in the media is fighting over [cabinet] portfolios”

Mr. Levin’s complaint illustrates a fact which I have repeatedly emphasized, namely, that Israel’s inability to deal effectively and honestly with its socio-economic and security problems is a direct result of its inept and pernicious system of governance. (more…)

11-Apr-2006

The “Right”: Is it Merely Homeless?

Filed under: Oslo/Peace ProcessRepresentationBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 11:10 pm

Former MK Elyakim Haetzni has just written an article “The Homeless Right.” It contains a post mortem of the March 2006 elections. He Haetzni deplores the decline of the “national camp,” but he suggests it can be rejuvenated: how he does not say. No wonder. His analysis does not scratch even the surface of the basic cause of the national camp’s decline.

The basic cause is this: The national camp has always been preoccupied with security divorced from any serious analysis of the causal connection between security and the character of Israel’s system of governance—the regime. To this extent the “Right” is not homeless but heedless, if not mindless. (more…)

02-Apr-2006

In Defense of Baruch Marzel

Filed under: Yamin Israel PartyRepresentation — eidelberg @ 6:00 am

Spokesmen and supporters of National Union and the National Religious Party are denouncing Baruch Marzel (and his Jewish National Alliance—Hazit) for having deprived NU-NRP of one mandate.

Before addressing this issue, let me first congratulate the 25,935 people who voted Hazit. You did not succumb to the paltry propaganda about not “wasting your vote on a small party.” Hence you are the most highly principled and intelligent citizens of Israel, and I salute you! (more…)

26-Mar-2006

The Jerusalem Post Errs Again

Filed under: RepresentationCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 8:01 am

It has again been reported by The Jerusalem Post that 80,000 votes are required to reach the 2% electoral threshold. This is a pernicious error, which I have tried to correct, to no avail.

The number of votes required to reach the threshold depends on the number of valid votes cast in the election. If The Jerusalem Post figure of 80,000 were correct, 4,000,000 votes would have to be cast in the March 28 election. The voter turnout, however, is not likely to be much more than 3,000,000, in which case only, 60,000 votes will be needed to reach the threshold.

As I previously reported, consider the January 28, 2003 election:
(more…)

20-Mar-2006

The Mantra of “Wasted Votes”: Think Again

Filed under: Democratic MethodsYamin Israel PartyRepresentation — eidelberg @ 7:15 am

The mantra, “Don’t waste your vote on a small party,” misleads even intelligent people. They would like to vote for a small party—say X—but fear it will not break the electoral threshold, hence, that they will be “wasting their votes.” Let’s examine the situation in Israel, where the distribution of seats in the Knesset is based on Proportional Representation.

1) The 2003 election had a voter turn out of 3,148,000—69% of the eligible voters. It looks like the voter turnout may not be much higher despite the increase in population. An awful lot of people—apathetic or alienated—are going to stay home.

2) So let’s assume a turnout of 3,200,000. (more…)

08-Mar-2006

Dear Discontented Voters

Filed under: Yamin Israel PartyRepresentation — eidelberg @ 9:14 pm

[Regardless of your party preference, it’s of crucial importance to encourage Jews to vote in the March 28 election. The reason appears underlined below].

Dear Discontented Voters:

I know: you’re fed up with the system and have decided to boycott the March 28 election. After all, the system compels you to vote for a party list not for an individual candidate that will represent you—your views and interests.

Besides, in the 2003 election, 1,232,000 people—almost 40%—voted for three parties that betrayed them! (more…)

07-Mar-2006

A Peresitic System

Filed under: PoliticiansRepresentation — eidelberg @ 5:28 am

In 1959, a Labor Party hawk by the name of Shimon Peres, Director General of the Defense Ministry, was secretly conducting an arms deal with France, then Israel’s major military supplier. By so doing, Peres circumvented and undermined the authority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Golda Meir.

In 1961, Haim Laskov retired as Israel’s Chief of Staff. Yitzhak Rabin, who served under that outstanding patriot, writes in his memoirs: “Laskov might well have served for another year or more had he not fallen out with … Shimon Peres, which happened to more than one Chief of Staff…” (more…)

23-Feb-2006

Ben-Gurion Saw the Problem; National Union Chairman Benny Elon Does Not

Filed under: Yamin Israel PartyRepresentation — eidelberg @ 9:27 pm

Unlike David Ben-Gurion, Benny Elon approves of Israel’s parliamentary electoral system. Let me offer a thumb-nail sketch of this system before citing Ben-Gurion.

Unlike 74 out of 75 democratic countries, Israel constitutes a single nationwide electoral district. Parties must therefore compete for Knesset seats on the basis of Proportional Representation. Since no party has ever won a majority of Knesset seats, the cabinet invariably consists of a multiplicity of rival party leaders, each with his own agenda.

Moreover, since Knesset Members are not individually elected by and accountable to the voters in regional or constituency elections, they can ignore public opinion with impunity. (more…)

03-Feb-2006

Israel is Disintegrating

Filed under: Democratic MethodsRepresentationBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 6:47 am

“Israel is disintegrating.” This is the first sentences of my book Jewish Statesmanship. “The basic causes of this disintegration,” I go on to say, “may be listed under four headings: (1) disunity resulting from a lack of Jewish statesmanship and Jewish national purpose, (2) disunity resulting from flawed political and judicial institutions, (3) disunity resulting from extreme cultural heterogeneity, and (4) disunity resulting from secular-religious discord. Underlying each of these causes is a more fundamental one: a normless or irrational conception of democracy that clashes with Judaism and renders it impossible for Israel to achieve the national unity required for its survival in a hostile Arab-Islamic environment.”

The sequel continues: “From the moment of Israel’s re-establishment, evident in its Declaration of Independence of May 14, 1948, this so-called Jewish state has been suffering from cognitive dissonance. By this I mean that the basic concepts of public discourse in Israel clash with traditional Judaism, and most Jews in this country are quite traditional. (more…)

02-Feb-2006

Amona

Filed under: Democratic MethodsRepresentationBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 6:57 am

Although my sympathies are with those who opposed the demolition of nine Jewish homes in Amona, and though I deplore the fascist regime that ordered their destruction while condoning tens of thousands of illegal Arab homes, I find it difficult to see the wisdom of sending teenagers to confront the armed might of the State of Israel. Violence was inevitable after the futility of non-violence by the settlers in Gush Katif.

Note that I believe in the efficacy of “civil disobedience.” In a democratic country like the United States, civil disobedience may produce salutary results. Israel, however, is not and never has been a democracy. (more…)

29-Aug-2005

The Eidelberg Report

Filed under: Party StructuresPoliticiansRepresentation — eidelberg @ 6:24 pm

(abbreviated and edited for Internet).

MK Benny Elon calls for a bloc of right-wing or nationalist parties (read: Echud Haleumi—to which he belongs—and Mafdal) bloc to preserve settlements to, oppose an emerging left-wing constitution, and to bolster Jewish education.

This is not a program but a call to support motherhood. Elon does not have a constructive program. He, like all MKs, is primarily concerned to preserve his seat in the Knesset. I know this from having prepared a program for him before the 1999 elections, a program which, had he supported it, might have prevented Israel’s present plight. The program included, among other things, personal election of MKs to replace voting for boss-led party slates. (more…)

27-Aug-2005

From David Ben-Gurion and The Yamin Israel Party

Filed under: Electorate/DemographicsYamin Israel PartyRepresentation — eidelberg @ 9:14 am

Not only corrupt politicians, but also the decadence of Israel’s parliamentary electoral system is responsible for Sharon’s Disengagement Plan, hence for the unspeakable tragedy that has befallen thousands of Jews in Gaza and northern Samaria.

Few people realize that the flaws inherent in Israel’s parliamentary system were evident at the founding of the state, as may be learned from David Ben-Gurion’s Memoirs. (more…)

21-Aug-2005

Why No Nationalist Camp in Israel

Filed under: Party StructuresRepresentation — eidelberg @ 8:45 pm

It will be shown in this article that National Union (Ha’ihud Ha’Leumi) and the National Religious Party (Mafdal) split the “nationalist camp” and are very much responsible for Israel’s precarious situation. Let’s begin with hard data. (more…)

01-Jan-2002

Jewish Statesmanship for the 21st Century

Filed under: Constitution & RightsRepresentationGOVERNMENT BRANCHESBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 9:50 pm

Introduction

Jewish statesmanship does not exist in Israel. Jews do become prime ministers, as did Benjamin Disraeli and Pierre Mendes France. But no sober person expected Jewish statesmanship from these English and French Jews. No one expected them to incorporate Jewish laws and principles into the legislation of their respective countries, or to pursue foreign policies inspired by distinctively Jewish goals. These Jews did not think like Jews but like Gentiles. Much the same may be said of the prime ministers of Israel. If statesmanship be defined as the application of philosophy to action, then Jewish statesmanship is the application of Jewish philosophy to action. James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were architectonic statesmen. They studied the greatest philosophers, those who addressed themselves to such questions as “What is man?”, “How should man live?”, and “What kind of government is most conducive to human excellence?” A Jewish philosopher will then ask: “What is a Jew?”, “How should Jews live?”, and “What kind of government is most conducive to Jewish excellence?” (more…)

In Defense of the People of Israel

Filed under: Electorate/DemographicsRepresentation — eidelberg @ 9:44 pm

Not a few commentators criticize the people of Israel for their apparent apathy. Why did they passively accept the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement of September 13, 1993. How can they tolerate the consequent murder of almost 1,000 Jews and the wounding and maiming of many thousands more?

The truth is that the people are not apathetic but powerless, and of course powerlessness generates apathy. The people simply have no political and no judicial means of redressing their grievances concerning Oslo and its deadly consequences. They are not only oppressed by Israel’s system of government, but deceived and distracted by the veneer of democracy—periodic multiparty elections.

Consider the Knesset. (more…)

An Unheard Speech

Filed under: RepresentationBELIEFS & PERSPECTIVES — eidelberg @ 9:36 pm

“Gentlemen, all of you have experience in war. As senior officers, all of you have studied the history of warfare. All of you know that since the end of World War II, and despite the United Nations, there has hardly been a week without as many as ten wars raging on this planet. Hence war is the norm of international relations, and peace is merely a period of preparing or blindly waiting for the next war.

“Now gentlemen, you know that political scientists define politics as a struggle for power. Yet, when discussing the Arab-Jewish conflict, the same political scientists would have us believe in ‘conflict resolution,’ a notion opposed to the Islamic concept of jihad. (more…)

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