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Democratic Methods US & Global Policy

How Dictatorships Stay in Power

Only From Yamin Israel.

To stay in power, dictatorships make their subjects feel dependent on their rulers. To this end they must (1) concentrate decision-making in their own hands;   (2) dominate the economy;   (3) control the mass media;   (4) breed mutual distrust among their subjects to make them incapable of joint action;   (5) break their spirit by arousing fear of war.

Contrast the preceding with the situation in Israel, reputedly a democracy.

(1)  Decision-making in Israel is concentrated ostensibly in the Cabinet but actually in the Prime Minister. The PM can take unilateral actions the Cabinet dares not veto lest new elections result and terminate the posts and powers of cabinet ministers. This is why no Labor-led, no Likud-led, and no Kadima-led government has ever been toppled by a vote of no confidence. This means that the Cabinet pretty much controls how their colleagues vote in the Knesset. Furthermore, since members of the Knesset, hence MKs appointed to the Cabinet, are not accountable to the voters in constituency elections, they can ignore public opinion with impunity.

(2)  The government owns or controls most of the nation’s assets.

(3)  The government effectively dominates the mass communications media via its licensing regulations.

(4)  Mutual distrust and incapacity for joint action is the norm in Israel because of its multiplicity of parties fostered by proportional representation and a low electoral threshold.

(5)  Fear of war is magnified by the government’s defeatist policy of “land for peace,” which undermines national self-confidence.

Israel does not appear as a dictatorship because of its periodic, multiparty elections and multiparty cabinets. However, one must be very naive or “politically correct,” i.e., disingenuous, to call Israel a democracy if defined as the rule of the people. In addition to the fact that no single party-led government has ever been toppled by a vote of no confidence, government violations of civil rights have skyrocketed since the implementation of “unilateral disengagement” from Gaza. The truth is this: on an average of every two years, the people of Israel exercise their political freedom and then relapse into servitude. But this is only part of the story.

Consider the fifth factor, fear of war. The government has the means of deterring Israel’s enemies and thereby increasing Jewish confidence in the country’s future. The contrary is happening: Gaza terrorists are bombing Israel with impunity and ethnic cleansing threatens 300,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria.

Is it not ironic that Jews feel powerless toward, and so dependent on, a government they deem weak, inept, and corrupt?

Aside from their powerlessness resulting from the absence of personal election of representatives, the government magnifies this powerlessness by making the people feel dependent on the United States, Israel’s chief military supplier. Ponder, however, the following facts, whose significance the government conceals from the people:

● For FY2006, U.S. military grants to Israel was $2.28 billion (= $2.28B). Since Israel’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2006 was $170.3B, total U.S. aid to Israel was less than 1.5% of its GDP! (Tax evasion probably exceeds $2 billion.)

● Viewed over a longer period—say between 1991 and 2006—total U.S. military grants and economic assistance to Israel was approximately $47.5B. But what has the U.S. received from Israel in return?

● Israel must spend about 74% of U.S. military aid in the United States, where it provides jobs for an estimated 50,000 American workingmen.

● Total exports from the 50 states of the American Union to Israel between 1991and 2006 was $102.4B—more than twice the $47.5B Israel received in U.S. aid during this period. The annual average of U.S. exports to Israel was $6.4B per year, more than twice the average American aid package. In fact, total exports to Israel from the 50 states in 2006 was almost $11B—more than four times the U.S. military-economic aid package!

● Another well-kept secret: U.S. military aid to Israel creates a demand for, and the purchase of, tens of billions of dollars worth of U.S. weaponry by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. U.S. grants to Israel actually enriches the American economy. (American arms manufacturers know this. So do Senators and Representatives who represent states in which corporations such as Boeing and Lockheed are located. These elected officials, along with these corporations, have vested interests in opposing any sanctions against Israel if its government were to take a more independent and vigorous stand against the Palestinian Authority.)

● According to Gen. George Keegan, a former chief of U.S. Air Force Intelligence, between 1974 and 1990, Israeli aid to America was worth between $50-80B in intelligence, research and development savings, Soviet weapons systems captured and transferred to the Pentagon, and testing Soviet military doctrines up to 1990 when the USSR collapsed. Senator Daniel Inouye put it this way: “The contribution made by Israeli intelligence to America is greater than that provided by all NATO countries combined.”

● Without Israel, the U.S. would have to deploy tens of thousands of American troops in the eastern Mediterranean Basin, at a cost of billions of dollars a year.

● In 2005, Israel provided America with the world’s most extensive experience in homeland defense and warfare against suicide bombers and car bombs. American soldiers train in IDF facilities and Israeli-made drones fly above the Sunni Triangle in Iraq, as well as in Afghanistan, providing U.S. Marines with vital intelligence that saved many American lives.

Despite the above data, Israel’s government, regardless of which party is at the helm, exaggerates the country’s dependence on the United States. By so doing, it allows Washington to exert more diplomatic pressure on Israel to withdraw to her 1949 borders. But this means that by exaggerating Israel’s dependence on the U.S., Israel’s government breaks the spirit of the people and increases their fear of war.

Dictatorships use such techniques to stay in power.

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