Foundation Blog
Beliefs & Perspectives Representation

Jewish Statesmanship For The 21st Century


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?” When we consider, however, the diverse doctrines of philosophers as well as the diverse life experiences of hundreds of Jewish communities, say during the last 2,400 years, it will be obvious that Jewish statesmanship is not a matter for shallow politicians.

Jews are perhaps the most literate people in history. The knowledge they have accumulated is unsurpassed, especially in the domain of law. Ironically, Jewish law fructified the founding of the American Republic far more than the modern State of Israel!

The inexhaustible well of Jewish knowledge includes 7,000 volumes of case-law dealing primarily with the social and economic problems of Jewish communities throughout Europe and North Africa. Some 300,000 instances of case-law are being organized at two Israeli universities, and not merely for their historical interest, but for their relevance to contemporary problems. This repository of knowledge and experience will be made accessible to statesmen who understand that Jewish law is not static but dynamic, that Jewish law affirms the primacy of reason as opposed to mere will or partisan interests.

Jews survived the vicissitudes of the past because their sages taught them how to adapt to changing circumstances and still adhere to the Torah, mankind’s first written Constitution. Without this Constitution, intelligently applied to current problems, Jewish statesmanship is not possible. Only this Constitution can unite the Jewish People, and not simply because of the Torah’s world-inspiring wisdom and models of human excellence. The Torah provides a rational and moral foundation for representative government which enables men to resolve their differences by means of persuasion rather than coercion.

To sum up: Jewish statesmanship requires leaders who can comprehend the panorama of Jewish thought and action, can formulate laws and execute policies that strengthen the bonds of the Jewish People, deepen their reverence for the past, and, at the same time, encourage Jewish creativity and confidence in the future. The pronouncements and policies of Jewish statesmen will then be vividly linked to the Jewish heritage, a heritage that reconciles permanence and change.

Cultural Self-Preservation

It should be obvious that if a nation is to preserve its cultural identity, it must have leaders who can think, speak, and act in accordance with the beliefs and values of that culture. For example, to preserve and enrich Ireland’s heritage, the Irish Constitution prescribes that 49 members of its 60-member Senate must be elected from five panels of candidates having professional knowledge of, and practical experience in, the following domains of public concern: “(1) National Language, Culture, Literature, Art, Education and such professional interests as may be defined by law for the purpose of this panel;

(2) Agriculture and allied interests …;

(3) Labor, whether organized or unorganized;

(4) Industry and Commerce, including banking, finance, accountancy, engineering and architecture;

(5) Public Administration and social services…”

Clearly, Ireland’s Constitution prescribes a Senate consisting of well-educated men — professionals — not amateurs who become instant legislators or even instant cabinet ministers, as do retired Israeli generals. The Torah states: “Select for yourselves men who are wise, understanding, and known to your tribes and I will appoint them as your leaders (Deut. 1:13).” [1] Jewish law prescribes representative government by meritorious and trustworthy men. No social social stratification is intended. The Mishna states that, “In procuring their release from captivity a learned bastard takes precedence over an ignorant high priest” (Horayot 3:8).[2] Respect for learning transcends class and ethnicity, which is why two proselytes, Shemaya and Abtalyon (the famous teachers of Hillel and Shammai of the Mishna), served as the President and Deputy President, respectively, of the Great Sanhedrin (Gittin 57b; Yoma 71b).

Consider the awesome power invested in those on whom depend the security and well-being of a people. Surely such power should be adorned with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, to which Exodus 18:19 adds fear of God, love of truth, and hatred of injustice. For a people to place their heritage and future in the hands of mediocrities is absurd.

That Ireland’s Senate must include persons having professional knowledge of the country’s Language, Culture, Literature, Art, and Education signifies that its Constitution’s paramount concern is to preserve Ireland’s heritage, which requires well-educated Irish, not English, statesmen.

If we respect a people’s right to cultural self-preservation, we will then understand that if Israel is to be a Jewish State and not merely a state in which Jews are nothing more than a numerical (and transient) majority, then Israel must cultivate statesmen who can think, speak, and act Jewishly. Jewish statesmanship therefore necessitates leaders who have received a sound Jewish education: “Select for yourselves wise men to be you leaders.”

A sound Jewish education includes not only Torah wisdom. Maimonides and the Vilna Gaon have said that thorough knowledge of the Torah requires veridical secular knowledge. “Jewish identity” is not a sufficient condition for Jewish statesmanship. Israel’s religious parties have “Jewish identity.” However, because of their long dependence on secular parties, they lack the spiritedness and breadth of vision required for Jewish statesmanship. Regrettably, they have been infected by the timidity and smallness of Israeli politics. Granting their goodly accomplishments, too often they use Torah for politics rather than politics for Torah. The cultural self-preservation of the Jewish People requires statesmen who strive for the unity of thought and action distinctive of the Sages of Israel. Exemplary personal character, however, is not a sufficient prerequisite for Jewish statesmanship.

Political Institutions and Egocentric Pluralism

Jewish statesmanship requires for its efficacy well-designed political institutions. Unfortunately, the inefficient and deleterious character of Israel’s political institution can hardly be surpassed. Although political institutions cannot guarantee wise and virtuous leadership, they can at least be designed to restrain rather than encourage egoism. Egoism, of course, is as old as Adam. In Israel, however, egoism wears not even a fig-leaf. In fact, egoism has been institutionalized in this country, and in two basic ways. First, Israel’s parliamentary system of proportional representation with a mere 1.5% electoral threshold fosters what may be termed “egocentric pluralism.” This threshold has encouraged as many as 28 and for the most part single-issue parties to compete in parliamentary elections. More than ten typically win seats in Israel’s 120-member Knesset. Since no party has ever won a majority in that assembly, several parties must join to form a government, and they do so, said David Ben-Gurion “not on the basis of a common program but merely to divide up the positions of influence and the national budget.”[3]

This egocentric pluralism in the Knesset splinters the Government, almost all of whose cabinet ministers are Knesset Members (MKs). Prime Minister Netanyahu’s initial cabinet, which took office in June 1996, consisted of seven political parties, each with its own agenda. Given such a cabinet, statesmanship of any kind is virtually impossible. Indeed, in December 1998, most members of the Netanyahu’s cabinet — four had previously resigned for diverse reasons — supported the Knesset’s multipartisan bill for early elections. Incidentally, lest it be thought that Israel’s Knesset is in practice a powerful institution, it should be noted that no Labor- or Likud-led Government has ever been toppled by a Knesset vote of no-confidence.[4] The Knesset is dominated by the medley of party leaders who head the cabinet ministries. Because cabinet ministers appoint the directors of some 100 public corporations, each ministry is a veritable fiefdom. This egocentric pluralism undermines national unity and national purpose. It enfeebles Jewish national consciousness and leaves no vista for Jewish statesmanship.

The disintegration of the Netanyahu Government following the Wye Memorandum of October 23, 1998 triggered the eruption of new parties and a welter of prime ministerial aspirants. Everyone was speaking of a “crisis of leadership,” but not a single would-be leader manifested any awareness that the basic cause of this crisis was the egocentric pluralism generated by Israel’s political system on the one hand, and Israel’s lack of Jewish national purpose on the other.

A basic cause of this intellectual bankruptcy, however, is the dogma, really the myth, of Israeli democracy. Israel’s political and intellectual elites have foisted this myth on a nation of immigrants, most of whom know very little about the institutional prerequisites of democracy, and even less about how to assimilate democracy to Jewish principles and values.

What makes democracy a myth in Israel and what most contributes to egocentric pluralism is this: Unlike the practice of 74 democracies, Israelis do not vote for individual candidates in multidistrict elections. Instead, the entire country constitutes a single district and the voters cast their ballot for a fixed, party-determined list of candidates, most of whose names, by the way, are unknown to the average voter.[5] Since the party leaders enjoy safe places on their party’s list, their political survival (in all but the smallest parties) is independent of the outcome of elections. Shimon Peres, who has never won an election, has been in the Knesset for more than forty years!

Because an MK does not have a constituency of his own, he owes his position, power, and perks to his party bosses, more so when they head cabinet ministries. Which means that an MK cannot block government policies he deems bad without committing political suicide. Hence, despite democratic elections, fixed party lists without constituency elections produce an oligarchic system of government. This is precisely why a large and increasing majority of Israelis feel powerless; and well they might considering the fact that their political activism exceeds that of most democracies. Indeed, the higher their level of education the more aware they become of the closed nature of Israel’s political system, which they nonetheless deem democratic because of periodic multiparty elections![6]

Superficial commentators mistakenly regard Israelis as passive when in truth they are simply powerless. The absence of district or constituency elections renders it extremely difficult for Israelis to obtain a redress of their grievances. Frustration often results, which can lead to civil disobedience and even violence. In contrast, district elections facilitate a more personal relationship between a legislator and his constituents. Also, a legislator may be more readily encouraged (or lobbied) to take up an important but neglected issue, and there are many neglected issues in Israel. This is not to suggest that constituency elections alone will solve, in a trice, Israel’s economic, demographic, and security problems. But these problems will certainly not be solved under an unprofessional and undemocratic parliamentary system of government. The point is that Israel’s parliamentary electoral system with fixed party lists cannot but spawn political amateurism and apparatchiks, undermine individual responsibility and accountability, and thereby contribute to the inefficiency and corruption annually reported in volumes by the State Comptroller. Needless to say, the reports of the State Comptroller are swept under the rug by a faceless and feckless Knesset, which thus fails to fulfill the crucial function of scrutinizing Israel’s bloated bureaucracy.

What makes this state of affairs all the more intolerable is Israel’s perilous situation in the Middle East. Israeli politicians may be no worse than others, but Israel’s political institutions, especially its parliamentary electoral rules, magnify their vices. Given fixed party lists without constituency elections, parties become self-perpetuating oligarchies, and this leads to governments which can ignore the laws of the state as well as Jewish public opinion with impunity. To expect Jewish statesmanship (or “Jewish leadership”) within the framework of Israel’s grotesque political institutions is to betray abysmal ignorance. Israel’s political system is no system at all. What reigns is anarchy punctuated by oligarchy!

What is to be Done?

THIS analysis tells us what must be done to prevent Israel’s self-destruction. Israel must reform its political institutions. Sound reform must take account of the beliefs and practices of Israel’s Jewish population. Professional surveys indicate that more than 50% believe in the divine origin of the Torah. A 1993 study indicates that 8% are “Ultra-Orthodox” (Haredim), 17% are “Modern Orthodox,” and 55% define themselves as “traditional.”[7] Which means that the beliefs and practices of a large majority of Israel’s Jewish citizens tend to foster, against the egoistic propensities of human nature, respect for moral excellence, wisdom, and truth — a precondition of Jewish statesmanship. It should also be noted that the birthrate of religious and traditional Jews exceeds that of secularists. Were it not for the burgeoning Arab population, it would be correct to say Israel is becoming a Jewish State despite its decrepit government. Indeed, Jews with strong Jewish roots are well-represented in the Israel Defense Forces, in the country’s academic institutions, and in the professional sectors of Israel’s economy. Conditions are thus emerging for the assumption of national leadership by a Jew with this supportive background of talent and sense of Jewish awareness. Although a small minority of alienated Jews still control the main levers of public power, Jewish statesmanship in the 21st century is on the horizon.

Let me now juxtapose three basic prerequisites of Jewish statesmanship: (1) well-educated Jewish leaders, (2) electoral rules that facilitate leadership, and (3) a people whose love of freedom is embedded in a tradition that honors moral excellence, wisdom, and truth.

Of these three prerequisites, clearly the easiest to change are election rules. This is not to say election rules are easy to change, for the rules existing in any country favor entrenched interests. Nevertheless, changing the election rules can change the distribution of power and therefore the policies, character, and goals of a country. (It has been said that Hitler’s ascendancy in Weimar Germany was helped by a low electoral threshold, which produced a profusion of parties and led to a widespread yearning for a single strong leader.) In Israel, the egocentric pluralism generated by its parliamentary election rules has produced political paralysis and is leading to the country’s demise.

Since egoism is rooted in human nature, its manifestation in Israeli politics can be mitigated (but not eliminated) by reforming Israel’s political institutions. Anyone who has studied Madison and Hamilton in The Federalist Papers will understand that political institutions in general, and election rules in particular, can be designed in such a way as to increase the probability of (1) advancing a better sort of men to public office, (2) elevating debate in the Legislature, (3) improving decision-making in the Executive, (4) minimizing corruption in the bureaucracy, and, at the very least, (5) preventing majority as well as minority tyranny.

There are two extreme types of parliamentary election rules, and both involve proportional representation (PR). One maximizes the power of the party leaders, the other maximizes the power or freedom of choice of the voters. Israel and Israel alone represents the first extreme where the voter, we have seen, must cast his ballot for a party-determined list of candidates in a single countrywide district election.[8] The other extreme employs multidistrict elections and the voter is given the option of voting either for a party list or for a designated number of candidates running in his district without regard for their party affiliation. In fact, the voter can mix his preferred candidates from one party in with those from other parties. In this way, each voter has a say in the district’s whole legislative contingent! [9]

Between these two extremes are countless election rules which more or less balance the power of the parties and the freedom of choice of the voters. Essential for any reasonable balance, however, are multidistrict elections. Some countries use what is called “personalized proportional representation.” For example, in Germany the voter is given two votes, one for an individual candidate and one for a party list. The candidate vote is for a single-member district contest which is won by a plurality, as in the United States and in some 24 other countries. The second vote, however, is for a party list, and is used to provide compensatory seats to those parties which did not receive in the single-member districts the seat share proportional to their nationwide vote share. (Actually, much the same result can be achieved with a single vote, as in Denmark and Sweden.) Alternatively, many political scientists recommend the preferential voting system used in Australia and Ireland, where citizens rank the candidates on the party lists.[10]

Of the parliamentary electoral systems I have examined, from Argentina to Zambia — and almost all have written constitutions — any one of them is preferable to that used in Israel! All render legislators, not only more accountable to the people, but more subject to the rule of law. All of these Gentile electoral systems are therefore more consistent with the Torah than that which operates in the so-called Jewish State of Israel!

Recall that the Israelites were told to select of wise and understanding men “known to their tribes.” Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch comments that each tribe (shevet) is to choose out of its own midst men whose “character can only be known … to those who have associated with them.”[11] Also, what is here called a shevet was called a district (felech) after the Second Temple.[12] Hence it is fair to say that multidistrict elections, where a representative has to be resident of his district, is a Jewish principle of governance.

Moreover, how wise and understanding men are to represent their constituents conforms to the Jewish law of “agency” (Kiddushin 59a). This law synthesizes the “delegate” and “trustee” conceptions of representation prevalent in the non-Jewish democratic world. Whereas the delegate conception binds a representative to the instructions of his constituents, the trustee conception allows him to judge whether adherence to these instructions, at some particular juncture, will serve or harm his constituents’ long-term interests. Israel’s present system of parliamentary representation is not only not Jewish, it is not democratic. Indeed, the absence of direct popular election of Knesset Members leads to contempt for the people on the part of Israel’s political leaders, which helps explain why most Israelis feel politically powerless.

Again let us contrast the Republic of Ireland. Like other democracies, Ireland’s Constitution prescribes a system of preferential voting for its House of Representatives, a system that heightens the electoral latitude and power of the people. Consistent with respect for the people, Article 27 of the Constitution declares: “A majority of the members of the Senate and not less than one-third of the Members of the House of Representatives may, by joint petition addressed to the President … request the President to decline to sign and promulgate as a law any Bill to which this article applies on the ground that the Bill contains a proposal of such national importance that the will of the people thereto ought to be ascertained.” Respect for the people is even more evident in the Talmud, which states that “No law may be enacted unless a majority of the community are able to abide by it” (Avoda Zara, 36b).[13]

Translated into contemporary language, the Jewish laws I have cited mandate direct popular election of the Knesset in multidistrict elections. In such elections candidates for office will have to compete with each other for the votes of their constituents. Knesset Members, no longer subservient to cabinet ministers, will then be able to judge government policies on their merits and will thus be free to block those they deem unwise or harmful. And they will also be able to fulfill the crucial function of administrative oversight precluded by Israel’s existing parliamentary electoral rules. Adapting these rules to Jewish law would not only facilitate Jewish statesmanship, it would render Israel an authentic democracy.

Jewish Education

ALTHough the reform of Israel’s electoral rules is the most expeditious way to improve the quality and performance of office-holders, more basic is the education politicians receive as youth — a long-term process. Accordingly, the curriculum of secular schools should include serious study not only of the basic Jewish sources, but of great Jewish commentators past and present. Youth should also be given to understand that the great Rabbis of the past were not only learned in law and logic, but also in philosophy and the sciences, and many were involved in affairs of state. These Rabbis had to deal with a hostile gentile world. They risked their lives adhering to the Torah. They displayed a wisdom and courage Jews may well emulate today. (Imagine the edifying influence on youth when they read of the courage and wisdom of the great Nachmanides in his Disputation at Barcelona!).

Jewish statesmanship requires Jews educated in Jewish history. Youth should learn about the unequaled creativity of the Jewish people in the domain of civil law, so important in the daily social and economic life of any community. They should know that throughout the dispersion prior to the Emancipation, Jewish communities enjoyed juridical autonomy and enacted legislation to deal with changing social and economic needs. They will be amused to learn that Gentiles sometimes preferred to take their disputes to Jewish courts. They will appreciate how Jewish communities deferred to halachic authorities, but that with or without such authorities, they governed themselves in democratic ways while remaining loyal to the Torah.

Here mention should be made of the monumental work of Professor Menachem Alon, former Deputy President of Israel’s Supreme Court, Jewish Law: History, Sources, and Principles (Ha-Mishpat Ha-Ivri).[14] Used in Israeli law schools, this four-volume work, which won the Israel Prize, may gradually overcome secular prejudices about Jewish law which is erroneously and mischievous associated with “coercion” and “theocracy.”[15] Study of Alon’s masterpiece is indispensable for the promotion of Jewish statesmanship.

Consider in this connection the Foundations of Law Act which the Knesset passed in 1980. This most important statute severed Israel’s legal system from the binding force of English common law, and created a link with Jewish law to which it gave official status as a complementary legal source, making Jewish law a part of Israeli positive law. The statute reads, in part: “Where a court finds that a legal issue requiring decision cannot be resolved by reference to legislation or judicial precedent, or by means of analogy, it shall reach its decision in the light of the principles of freedom, justice, equity, and peace of the Jewish heritage.” Unfortunately, Israel’s 15-member Supreme Court, in which only one member is religious, has almost reduced the Foundations of Law Act to a dead letter.

One of the first tasks of Jewish statesmanship will be to promote legislation that corrects this judicial contempt for the Knesset and for Jewish law. “[Most] disheartening,” writes Professor Alon, “[is] the severance of the legal system of the sovereign Jewish state from the magnificently rich legal and cultural treasure produced by generation after generation of Jews without a sovereign state of their own who nevertheless ceaselessly struggled to maintain their juridical autonomy [in the Diaspora].”

Some examples of Jewish civil and criminal law incorporated into Israel’s legal system are the Wage Delay Prohibition Law (1955), the Severance Pay Law (1963), the Prohibition of Defamation Law (1965), and the Right to Privacy Law (1981). Also noteworthy are public laws which incorporate basic tenets of Judaism. The Law and Administration Ordinance of 1948 states: “The Sabbath and the Jewish festivals — the two days of Rosh Ha-Shana, the Day of Atonement, the first and eighth day of Sukkot, the first and seventh day of Passover, and the festival of Shavu’ot — are legal holidays in the State of Israel.”

The Jewish statesman will publicly honor these festivals. At the same time he will imbue his countrymen with an intelligent and not merely sentimental love of Eretz Yisrael. To instill such love in young people, the curriculum of Jewish schools should include simple to understand extracts from, or commentaries on, Orot, the profound work of Abraham Isaac Kook, the Land of Israel’s first Chief Rabbi. Love of the Land of Israel is indispensable to national solidarity. Accordingly, the Jewish statesmen will relate the wondrous places of the Land of Israel to the biblical history of the Jewish People, to Jewish triumphs and tragedies. He should also convey a realistic and manly attitude toward war and peace, for which he could hardly do better than study Rabbi Kook’s Orot.

If only because “the history of mankind,” to quote Winston Churchill, “is the history of war” — there have been more than 1,000 wars in the Western world during the past 2,500 years — the most urgent task of any statesman is to promote national unity. The Jewish statesman must therefore be thoroughly knowledgeable about the ideological and political nature of the Arab-Jewish conflict. He must know how to enlighten his people about Israel’s enemies, their ultimate objectives and current tactics. He must never obscure, however, Israel’s goal as a Jewish State. Critical analysis must be capped by a positive vision.[16]

Apropos of the Arab-Jewish conflict, Jewish statesmanship requires a Jewish type of diplomacy, which the present author has outlined in an article entitled “Democratic versus Martial Diplomacy.[17] This article provides guidelines for negotiating with dictatorships in general and with Arab dictatorships in particular.

If Israel is to witness much of the 21st century, it will require statesmen capable of overcoming the Arab demographic problem, which threatens to transform the Jewish State into an Islamic dictatorship. This problem can be diminished by enforcing the 1992 Party Law which prohibits any party that negates the Jewish and democratic character of the State. Also neglected and needing enforcement (and amendment) is the 1952 Nationality Law, which revokes the citizenship of any Israeli national that commits acts of disloyalty against the State of Israel.[18] For example, those Arab citizens of Israel who have become members of Hamas should, by law, have their citizenship annulled.


IN the final analysis, however, Israel’s institutional, sociological, and demographic problems require for their solution a Constitution based on Jewish principles and values, such as I have drafted for this country.[19] The establishment of such a Constitution should be the goal of the Jewish statesman.

One last word. The highest function of any statesman is to educate his people and to inspire them with confidence in the future. This the Jewish statesman must also do. In so doing, however, the Jewish statesman must bear uppermost in mind Israel’s world-historical function. For let it be known to young and old, in every classroom, from every pulpit, in every assembly, and wherever people gather, that Israel’s only justification is to sanctify God’s Name. And this Israel can only do as a nation in which freedom dwells with righteousness, equality with wisdom, wealth with beauty, the here and now with love of the Eternal.[20]

[1] See Exod. 18:19: “… seek out from among all the people men with leadership ability, God-fearing men–men of truth who hate injustice.” Similar qualifications are prescribed the original constitutions of Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. See Paul Eidelberg, The Philosophy of the American Constitution (New York: Free Press, 1968; University Press of America, 1986), pp. 266-270.

[2] In procuring their release from captivity, “a scholar takes precedence over a king of Israel” (Horayot 23a). Unless otherwise indicated, all talmudic references will be to the Babylonian Talmud, Soncino Edition.

[3] David Ben-Gurion, Israel: A Personal History (Tel Aviv: Sabra Books, 1972), p. 552

[4] The one seeming exception occurred in 1990, but that was a government of national unity.

[5] The Netherlands also has a single countrywide district election (and an even lower threshold of 0.67%); but in this homogeneous, constitutional democracy, the voters can change the order of candidates on the party’s list..

[6] See Asher Arian, Politics in Israel (Chatham, NJ: Chatham House, 1989), 2d ed., pp. 276, 284-285.

[7] See Shlomo Levy, et al., Beliefs, Observations and Social Interaction Among Israeli Jews (Jerusalem: Louis Guttman Israel Institute of Applied Social Research, 1993), ch. 14, p. 101, Table 38. See also Yochanon Peres, “Religious Adherence and Political Attitudes,” Sociological Papers, Bar-Ilan University, Vol. 1, No. 2, Oct. 1992, p. 4.

[8] See endnote 3 above.

[9] See Rein Taagepera & Matthew Soberg Shugart, Seats & Votes: The Effects & Determinants of Electoral Systems (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1989), pp. 25-26.

[10] See Paul Eidelberg, “Making Votes Count: They Don’t in Israel,” Jerusalem Foundation Paper No. 16, November 1998, p. 3; forthcoming in Hebrew, Nativ: A Journal of Politics and the Arts. See Gary Cox, Making Count: Strategic Coordination in the World’s Electoral Systems (Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 92-93

[11] See Raphael Samson Hirsch, The Pentateuch (6 vols.; Gateshead: Judaica Press, 1982).

[12] Ibid., Hirsch on Deut. 16:18.

[13] The Talmud also states that “A leader may not be appointed over the community without first consulting it” (Berachot 55a).

[14] Menachem Alon, Jewish Law (4 vols.; Philadelphia/Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society, 1994), translated from the Hebrew by Bernard Auerbach and Melvin J. Sykes.

[15] See Paul Eidelberg, Judaic Man: Toward a Reconstruction of Western Civilization (Middletown, NJ: Caslon, 1996), pp. 141-143, which shows that theocracy is not an operational Jewish concept.

[16] Therein is the merit of Dr. Mordechai Nisan’s book, Toward a New Israel: The Jewish State and the Arab Question (New York: AMS Press 1992) which should be required reading in every college and Jewish academy.

[17] See Paul Eidelberg, “Democratic Versus Martial Diplomacy: A Jewish Alternative,” Jerusalem Foundation Paper No. 9, Dec. 1996; also published in Hebrew, under the title “How Democracies Fail in Negotiations With Totalitarian Regimes,” Nativ: A Journal of Politics and the Arts, Jan.-April 1997.

[18] See Paul Eidelberg, “Arab Citizenship: Netanyahu’s Dilemma,” Jerusalem Foundation Paper No. 6, July 1996; also published in Hebrew, Nativ: A Journal of Politics and the Arts, Nov. 1996.

[19] Paul Eidelberg, “Why Israel Needs a Constitution: A Practical Proposal,” presented at the American Political Science Association annual conference, Aug. 31, 1997; also published in Hebrew, Nativ: A Journal of Politics and the Arts, Jan. 1998.

[20] See Paul Eidelberg, Judaic Man, p. 181.

Related Articles

The Norwegian Scam


Examining God’s Plan: A Book Review of A Jewish Philosophy of History


The Sacred Cow of Israel’s Electoral System Updated