Archive for GOVERNMENT BRANCHES

Uncomfortable Issues

Israel’s ruling elites—politicians and judges, academics and journalists—say that Israel is a democracy, and most people believe them. Let’s examine this issue.

A basic principle of democracy is government by the consent of the governed. The meaning of the term “consent” becomes evident when we speak of individuals reaching the “age of consent.” At that time, individuals are deemed responsible for their behavior. They can sign contracts and participate in voting.

The term “consent” thus involves volition qualified by reason. Government by the consent of governed thus requires well-informed citizens. Being will informed necessitates knowledge of the true nature of Israeli government. Unfortunately, most Israelis, including many of the educated, are sadly lacking in such knowledge.

For example, Benjamin Netanyahu was asked by a representative of the media whether he favors a presidential system of government. He replied that such a system would give the president unlimited power! » Continue reading “Uncomfortable Issues”

Comments off

Professionalism

Israel desperately needs professionalism. Needed is a presidential system that relegates to the dust heap the system of multiparty cabinet government that enabled the Kadima-led coalition to achieve power and degrade as well as endanger this country.

One thing lacking in Israeli government is professionalism. What is a profession? What makes medicine, physics, mathematics, political science, architecture, astronomy, law, “professions”? They are also called “disciplines” because they require sustained and systematic learning. Professions, however, involve the transmission, from generation to generation, of organized knowledge and methods of inquiry that enable us to comprehend and perhaps control various domains of reality. Such knowledge is not necessarily progressive. Alfred North Whitehead, a philosopher-mathematician and historian of science, notes that “In the year 1500 Europe knew less than Archimedes who died in the year 212 BC.”

One finds in all professions outstanding minds. The history of philosophy, Whitehead remarked, is little more than a series of footnotes to Plato. Plato’s greatest student was Aristotle, the founder of political science who wrote treatises on 150 different regimes, in addition to original works on ethics, rhetoric, logic, poetics, physics, metaphysics, etc. The unequaled vastness of Aristotle’s knowledge dominated the curriculum of Western universities for two thousand years, and much of his knowledge is still relevant, especially Books III to VIII of his Politics. Indeed, what Machiavelli, the father of modern political science, knows compared to Aristotle can be put on a postage stamp! » Continue reading “Professionalism”

Comments off

Poli. Sci. 101 for MK Yitzhak Levy

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, June 23, 2008.

Knesset Member Yitzhak Levy wants to raise the number of Knesset members from 120 to 150. As reported in The Jerusalem Post last week (June 18, 2008), Levy complains that “the workload placed on MKs had grown to such an extent that it was simply impossible to adequately study the issues upon which MKs were expected to vote in a plenum, as well as in committees in which they sit.”

Mr. Levy also complains that, given the system of coalition cabinet government, some 30 MKs—one out of every four members—currently serves as either a minister or deputy minister, and that’s an additional assignment which distracts from their participation in the legislative function.

Levy’s proposal to increase the Knesset’s membership may be indicative of the incompetence of Israel’s legislative body. Let’s compare the Knesset with the American House of Representatives, beginning with the House. » Continue reading “Poli. Sci. 101 for MK Yitzhak Levy”

Comments off

Theocracy Versus Judaism: How the Jews of Israel Have Been Deceived and Disempowered (I)

Part one of a series.

The Bogeyman of Theocracy

Israel’s Guardians of Secularism are fond of using the bogeyman of “theocracy” to frighten the public on issues involving the relationship between religion and state. They have conditioned Israelis to believe that “theocracy” means the “rule of priests,” and hardly anything can be more undemocratic—right? Israel’s Secular Priesthood associate theocracy with the Dark Ages, the Catholic Church, Ayatollah Khomeini, Inquisitions, auto-de-fés, tyranny—something utterly contrary to the Enlightenment embodied in “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

The Illuminati are ever vigilant about “religious coercion.” They fulminate against Sabbath restrictions on commercial activities in a reputedly Jewish state, yet they applaud the secular coercion of a government that expelled 8,000 Jews from their homes in Gush Katif, leveled theirs schools and synagogues, destroyed their farms and factories, and traumatized women and children as well as the elderly while pulverizing their flourishing communities. The hypocrisy of Israel’s Secular Guardians betrays their hatred of Judaism.

All the talk about theocracy is obscurantism: there never has been a theocracy—thank God! What the Guardians of Secularism regard as a theocracy or theocratic state is in fact a “clerical” state, where a small minority uses the aura of religion to rule ignorant masses. Today, a small minority in Israel uses the aura of democracy to rule the masses. This ruling minority employs the myth of theocracy to obscure the fact that Israeli democracy is also a myth, except on election day. On that marvelous day the masses vote. How? » Continue reading “Theocracy Versus Judaism: How the Jews of Israel Have Been Deceived and Disempowered (I)”

Comments off

Curbing Judicial Despotism

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio. April 14, 2008.

A Jerusalem Post article of April 11, 2008 says: “Former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak has called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to fire Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, whom he accused of threatening to destroy Israeli democracy.”

Barak’s statement is either disingenuous or rooted in willful ignorance. Israel cannot honestly be deemed a democracy if only because Barak’s notorious dictum, that “everything is justiciable,” renders the unelected Supreme Court superior to the legislative and executive branches of government. Indeed, if “everything is justiciable” the Court can prescribe the morality or way of life of the Jewish people: Consider a few judicial rulings:

  • ● The Court ignored the Attorney General’s decision, affirmed by the Knesset Elections Committee, to disqualify the Balad Party for violating Basic Law: The Knesset, which prohibits any party that negates the Jewish character of the State. » Continue reading “Curbing Judicial Despotism”

Comments off

The Hidden Agenda of Judge Aharon Barak: Despotism in the Name of Democracy

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, February 11, 2008.

If you see a generation which is constantly on the decline, go and investigate the Judges of Israel.
-Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 139a)

At the recent Herzliya Conference, former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak warned or threatened the audience about attempts to introduce changes in the method of appointing judges of the Court—which critics have called a self-appointed oligarchy. Hence this essay.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, a brilliant lawyer, regards Judge Robert Bork as one of the finest legal minds in the United States. Judge Bork has said that Israel’s Supreme Court is the worst in the world—and he said this while Aharon Barak was Israel’s Supreme Court president.

In fact, eminent citizens of Israel across the political spectrum have been very critical of the Court, especially under Judge Barak. Here are the names of some of the critics: » Continue reading “The Hidden Agenda of Judge Aharon Barak: Despotism in the Name of Democracy”

Comments off

Eureka!—Enlarged

Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. Professor Yehezkel Dror, a member of the Winograd Committee as well as a world-renowned Israel Prize Laureate in public policy, announced, at the prestigious Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, that Israel must replace its parliamentary system to improve decision-making, which failed so miserably during the Second Lebanon War.

Professor Dror thereby affirmed what the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, founded by the present writer and Dr. Mark Rozen of blessed memory, have advocated in books, policy papers, public lectures, radio and television programs, and countless articles since 1995.

Let me explain Dror’s statement insofar it was reported by The Jerusalem Post on February 6, 2008. » Continue reading “Eureka!—Enlarged”

Comments off

There are No Zionists in the Knesset!

Although the title of this article may appear outrageous, it is the only logical conclusion one can draw from irrefutable facts about Israel’s Knesset..

No one will deny that the Knesset’s three Arab parties (10 seats) are not Zionist—right?

No one will deny that the Knesset’s “ultra-religious” parties, Shas (12 seats) and Torah United Judaism (6 seats), are not Zionist—right?

No one will deny that Kadima (29 seats), Labor-Meimad (19 seats), Gil Pensioners (7 seats), and Meretz-Yachad (5 seats) are not Zionist—indeed, all support the policy of “Jewish land for peace”—right?

But what about Israel Beiteinu (11 seats), Likud (12 seats), and the National Religious-National Union coalition (9 seats)? Sorry, but they too are not Zionist! » Continue reading “There are No Zionists in the Knesset!”

Comments off

An International Jewish Parliament

First published April 1996, Jerusalem Foundation Papers.

Overcoming Israel’s Fatal Flaw: Plan III—An International Jewish Parliament

“The majority of the people living in a Jewish State must be Jewish. We must prevent a situation of an insufficient Jewish majority and we dare not have a Jewish minority….There is room for a non-Jewish minority on condition that it accept the destiny of the State vis- -vis the Jewish people, culture, tradition, and belief. The minority is entitled to equal rights as individuals with respect to their distinct religion and culture, but not more than that.”

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Tel Aviv, May 6, 1976

 

Israel’s Fatal Flaw

The most neglected and most urgent issue confronting Israel—the issue implicit in the above headnote—is the Arab vote. It was the Arab vote that brought the Labor Party to power in the June 1992 Knesset elections. It was the Arab vote that led to the Oslo Accords and the shrinkage of Israel. Unless this issue is resolved, Israel will not see much of the 21st century.

Increasingly obvious in Israel is a fatal flaw. The flaw originated in the Proclamation of the Establishment of the State of 1948. » Continue reading “An International Jewish Parliament”

Comments off

Some Prerequisites of Representative Democracy: They’re Missing In Israel

Few people in Israel have anything but the most superficial knowledge of representative democracy and its prerequisites. But then, what else should be expected in a country whose ministry of education systematically omits this topic from the public school curriculum and where even universities seem to be black holes on the subject?

It should first be understood that constituency or multi-district elections is a prerequisite of representative democracy. What is not widely known is that representatives divide their constituencies into four distinct groups of voters, each of which they treat differently.

  1. 1)  The largest group of voters is the district as a whole, or the Geographic Constituency. » Continue reading “Some Prerequisites of Representative Democracy: They’re Missing In Israel”

Comments off