Violent revolution would have erupted in any country had its people suffered what the Jews in Israel have suffered since Oslo 1993: deceit, betrayal, bloodshed, humiliation.
Can you imagine any Christian country tolerating the violence Israeli governments have tolerated since Oslo—the butchering of Jewish women, men, and children by Arab terrorists? Can you imagine the leaders of any Christian country raising money for their people’s enemies, as Shimon Peres has been doing for Yasser Arafat and the PLO-Palestinian Authority? A government that included the likes of Shimon Peres would have been overthrown.
Israel, however, is virtually immune to revolution. The mere fact that this country has democratic elections induces Jews to believe that they can change things for the better merely by changing the prime minister or party in power. They are deceived and disarmed by democratic elections. The system of fixed party lists and the absence of regional elections render Jews powerless. Nothing really changes. Arabs continue to murder Jews—almost 1,000 under three Labor and two Likud prime ministers; more than 500 during the first 18 months of the Sharon regime.
Unfortunately, security is not the only existential threat facing Israel. Regardless of the party in power—regardless of the results of democratic elections—neither Labor nor Likud addresses the demographic problem. Not a word about the burgeoning Arab population and the influx of hundreds of thousands of gentiles from Russia, even though the Jewish majority in Israel has declined from 82 to 72 percent in the last two decades. At this rate, the Jewish state is doomed. Rest assured Israel’s ruling elites are aware of all this Hence I ask: Can it be that Labor and Likud, to say nothing of other parties, have a vested interest in preserving the existing system of government, whose institutions and modes of election enable the ruling elites to perpetuate their power, perks, and privileges?
Oslo has taught many Israelis that the Likud is the right wing of the Labor Party. But this has been the case since Menachem Begin appointed Labor’s Moshe Dayan as foreign minister in 1977. Thereafter the Likud betrayed Eretz Yisrael, did nothing to curb the disloyalty of Israel’s Arab citizens, and Israel still has a Bolshevik economy which, like Arab disloyalty, makes a mockery of democracy. Labor still controls all the levers of power: the country’s economic assets, the bureaucracy, the military, the police, the Intelligence services, the media, the educational and cultural institutions, the Supreme Court, etc. In this democratically elected despotism revolution is out of the question.
Do not be deceived by its human face. Yes, it preaches pluralism, tolerates many parties, gives interviews to many newspapers. But Jews continue to be murdered and Israel’s future as a Jewish state remains dismal. Against this despotism—some prefer to call it a “mafia”—demonstrations, full-page ads, newspaper articles, pamphlets, petitions, bumper stickers, video cassettes, law suits, are futile. Millions of dollars have been wasted on these efforts. Not that such expressions of opposition are of no value. But when millionaires and activists support seemingly rightwing prime ministerial candidates, thinking this will prevent Israel’s leftwing drift toward oblivion, one can only raise one’s hands in despair. Had much of the wealth and energy been focused on efforts to change Israel’s political system, whose corruption is unspeakable, there would be no talk of a Palestinian state and the demographic problem would no longer threaten Israel’s existence.
I am speaking of making Jews aware of the fact that institutional change is a necessary precondition of policy change. Israel cannot survive with multi-party cabinet government. It cannot survive so long as Knesset Members, instead of being individually accountable to the voters in constituency elections, can ignore them with impunity—indeed, can hop from one party to another to obtain a safe seat or a cabinet post or a Mitsubishi. And heaven knows that Israel cannot survive as a Jewish state with a Supreme Court that scorns the Jewish heritage.
The only revolution possible in Israel is a bloodless one. This can only be accomplished by empowering the Jewish people by more democratic, more professional, and more Jewishly oriented institutions.