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Israel's Problem, and Getting Back to a National Camp

Israel's Problem, and Getting Back to a National Camp
A WORKING PAPER PREPARED BY THE FOUNDATION FOR CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY

PART I. DIAGNOSIS OF ISRAEL’S MALAISE

1. In 1992, two Arab parties with five Knesset seats made the Rabin Government and Oslo possible. Seven years later three Arab parties had 10 Knesset seats. In two decades, the democratic principle of one adult/one vote will transform Israel into an Islamic dictatorship. Long before that, however, Israel will succumb to a Lebanese-type civil war. Yet no party in the Knesset has the courage to address this ominous state of affairs. » Continue reading “Israel's Problem, and Getting Back to a National Camp”

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A Plan for Israel's Future

NOTE: There is a new, unique developing website dedicated specifically to this plan. Please visit there and join the plan via the registration form there, at www.FutureIsrael.org

“By the end of 2005, not one Jew will remain in Gaza.”
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon » Continue reading “A Plan for Israel's Future”

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Policy Papers – An International Jewish Parliament

An International Jewish Parliament Versus The Jerusalem Summit
Professor Paul Eidelberg

Back in April 1996, the newly established Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, recognizing the demoralized state of affairs in Israel, cognizant of the fragmented and inept character of Israel's system of government, and seeing that Israel's political elites were trapped in the impossible policy of “territory for peace”—a policy that is undermining not only Israel but even world Jewry, proposed the establishment of an International Jewish Parliament. » Continue reading “Policy Papers – An International Jewish Parliament”

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Policy Papers – Jewish National Agenda

A Jewish National Agenda
Professor Paul Eidelberg

A. Parliamentary Electoral Reform

As indicated in the previous article, statesmanship requires (1) well-educated statesmen, (2) a well-disposed people, and (3) well-designed political institutions. It will be obvious that of these prerequisites, indeed, of all the various elements of political life, the easiest to change are election rules. » Continue reading “Policy Papers – Jewish National Agenda”

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Policy Papers – Making Votes Count

Making Votes Count – They Don't in Israel
Professor Paul Eidelberg

Introduction

Making Votes Count is the title of a book by Gary Cox, a leading expert on electoral systems.[1] Here I shall try to simplify his mathematically oriented research by paraphrasing and reorganizing statements scattered throughout his study of 77 countries listed by Freedom House as having democratic elections (circa 1992). » Continue reading “Policy Papers – Making Votes Count”

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Policy Papers – A National Camp

Israel's Problem, and Getting Back to a National Camp
A WORKING PAPER PREPARED BY THE FOUNDATION FOR CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY

PART I. DIAGNOSIS OF ISRAEL'S MALAISE

1. In 1992, two Arab parties with five Knesset seats made the Rabin Government and Oslo possible. Seven years later three Arab parties had 10 Knesset seats. In two decades, the democratic principle of one adult/one vote will transform Israel into an Islamic dictatorship. Long before that, however, Israel will succumb to a Lebanese-type civil war. Yet no party in the Knesset has the courage to address this ominous state of affairs. » Continue reading “Policy Papers – A National Camp”

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10 Short Position Papers – X

X – Democracy and Judaism
Professor Paul Eidelberg

If it be said that democracy is inconsistent with Judaism, no less than Spinoza would agree. Spinoza, the father of liberal democracy and of modern biblical criticism, deemed the Torah anything but democratic. Yet distinguished rabbis and jurists contend that the two are consistent. To resolve this contradiction, I shall distinguish between two types of democracy, “contemporary” or normless democracy and “classical” or normative democracy.

Democracy has two basic principles, freedom and equality. Whereas freedom, in contemporary democracy, means “living as you like,” equality legitimates all “life-styles.” This is why moral equivalence and hedonism now permeate democratic societies. Hence one may ask: “What is there about democratic freedom that would prompt youth to restrain their passions, to be kind, honest, and just? What is there about democratic equality that would prompt a person to defer to wisdom or show respect for teachers or parents?” » Continue reading “10 Short Position Papers – X”

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10 Short Position Papers – IX

IX – Importing Political Wisdom From America to Israel
Professor Paul Eidelberg

One cannot possibly appreciate the political wisdom of America's founding fathers without assiduous study of James Madison's notes on the debates of the Constitutional Convention together with their elucidation in The Federalist Papers, which he co-authored primarily with Alexander Hamilton.

One of the principles of statesmanship manifested at the Constitutional Convention and virtually forgotten in our own time is this: how to get men to agree to a common course of action for different reasons. Superficial commentators find the answer in the notion of “compromise”; indeed, they describe the American Constitution as a “bundle of compromises.” This partial truth obscures the nature of philosophic statesmanship. Here I shall present an example of this statesmanship most relevant to Israel. » Continue reading “10 Short Position Papers – IX”

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10 Short Position Papers – VIII

VIII – Judicial Dictatorship
Professor Paul Eidelberg

“The Supreme Court rules… The Court [has] asserted its power over every branch and level of government …” Thus begins a two-page NEW YORK TIMES article of June 27, 1999, detailing how the US Supreme Court has altered the character of American society.

Although the Court does not make many decisions – roughly 170 of some 7,000 annual petitions for review – their decisions impact society's pressure points, from police authority to questions of privacy, discrimination, citizenship, free speech, employment, federalism. Scholars refer to the Court's expanding power as “judicial dictatorship.” This is the title of an essay by Professor William J. Quirk (Transaction, Jan.-Feb. 1994). » Continue reading “10 Short Position Papers – VIII”

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10 Short Position Papers – V

V – A Critique of the Reichman Constitution
Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Introduction

The so-called Reichman Constitution (hereinafter, the “Constitution”) was published in 1988 under the chairmanship of Uriel Reichman, professor of constitutional law at Tel Aviv University. The drafting committee consisted of ten academics, none of whom was a rabbi. The committee consulted more than twenty other academics on various constitutional issues. Included were professors from prominent American universities—but again, not a single rabbi. Yet the constitution in question was intended for the Jewish State of Israel, a state in which 82% of the population were then Jewish (the figure is now 79%), of which 25% are Orthodox, while another 55% are traditional.

Although the Constitution is a well-crafted document, its 48-page length and technicalities render it largely incomprehensible to ordinary citizens, for whose benefit it was ostensibly designed. Unlike the Torah, it was written for lawyers, not laymen. Not only is the Constitution a thoroughly secular document, but it was made for Israel's ultra-secular Supreme Court and clearly intended to augment and legitimize the Court's enormous de facto power. Nevertheless, despite its fundamental ideological and institutional flaws, this constitution is preferable to the Israel's existing system of government, which is leading to the country's self-destruction. What follows are actual chapter headings used in the document and a brief critical analysis. » Continue reading “10 Short Position Papers – V”

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