Archive for Electorate/Demographics

The American & Anti-American Revolution

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, August 17, 2009.

The monumental significance of the American Revolution is articulated in the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration teaches that to merit obedience, the laws enacted by any State must be consistent with the “laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” This “Higher Law” doctrine provides grounds not only for civil disobedience, but even for violent revolution if the acts of the State evince a design toward tyranny. Not the State but God is the ultimate source of authority.

Such is the profundity of the Declaration that it was incorporated in most of the thirteen original state constitutions. Abraham Lincoln regarded the Declaration as the credo of the American people and the political philosophy of the American Constitution. Thus understood, the Constitution is based on certain immutable ethical and political principles. Most fundamental is the primacy of the individual, from which follows the principle of limited government. Limited government requires separation of legislative, executive, and judicial branches. This produces institutional checks and balances to prevent majority as well as minority tyranny. The Constitution thus prescribes institutional means to safeguard the individual’s rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

It may shock you to learn—but some scholars believe I am the first political scientist to reveal—that the seed of the anti-American revolution was planted by Woodrow Wilson. Influenced by German historical relativism, Wilson rejected the natural rights doctrine of the Declaration of Independence. Instead of immutable “laws of nature” he posited evolutionary laws of history. He originated the idea that the Constitution must evolve with the changing circumstances of society. The Supreme Court must therefore interpret the Constitution not according to the intentions of its Framers, but according to the progressive opinions of the day—the opinions of the “enlightened” members of society ensconced in academia. » Continue reading “The American & Anti-American Revolution”

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Why Diogenes Can’t Find an Honest Man in the Knesset

“Diogenes in Israel” is the title of a report I made on Israel National Radio on September 8, 2008. In that report I set forth compelling evidence confirming the public’s assessment that 95 percent, hence 104 of the Knesset’s 120 members, are not honest. In fact, the evidence indicates that the public was being generous in its judgment!

If we consider the various parties which propped up the Sharon government and which are therefore complicit in the crime of disengagement, there is hardly a single honest MK, even if he or she subsequently voted against disengagement. (See “Diogenes in Israel” for further clarification.)

The day after “Diogenes in Israel” first appeared, The Jerusalem Post published an article entitled “Who’s in charge here?” (September 9, 2008.) The author is professor of law Amnon Rubenstein, a former minister of education. He asks:

Who are Israel’s leading personalities? The Marker, an economic supplement of Haaretz last Tuesday selected the 10 most influential. The list begins with the all-powerful attorney-general, continues with a number of officials—the state comptroller, the state attorney, two senior police officers, the president of the supreme court, the governor of the Bank of Israel—and ends with a number of bankers and tycoons. It can be summarized as a who’s who of “wealth and law-enforcement,” as distinct from the much-touted “wealth and government.” » Continue reading “Why Diogenes Can’t Find an Honest Man in the Knesset”

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Why People Think Israel is a Democracy

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, July 7, 2008.

For most people, the mere fact that Israel has periodic, multiparty elections convinces them that Israel is a democracy. This is naive. Democratic elections do not necessarily render the government of a country accountable to the governed, and without accountability, there is no genuine democracy. Nevertheless, although accountability is lacking in Israeli government, Israeli society is pretty democratic.

A better guide to understanding “democracy in Israel” is Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic, Democracy in America. For Tocqueville, the decisive principle of America is not democratic elections or even the structure of government, but equality of conditions. Equality of conditions means that no citizen is bound by law to the station of his birth. Equality of conditions enables any citizen to rise on the socio-economic ladder. A person of humble origin may become a country’s leader. Hence, nepotism aside, there are no hereditary privileges or privileged class.

However, while a country may be democratic from a sociological perspective, it may be very undemocratic from a political perspective, as I have already indicated. » Continue reading “Why People Think Israel is a Democracy”

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Electoral Reform—A Public Query

During last month’s Jerusalem Summit, the world renowned Professor Bernard Lewis said, in effect, that democracy in Israel is endangered by the fact that members of the Knesset are not individually accountable to the voters in constituency elections.

Another distinguished professor, who once served as a science adviser to the government, has gone even further. He concluded that “electoral reform in Israel is a necessary precondition for changing the disastrous course of this country.”

The reform in question means nothing less than empowering the people. » Continue reading “Electoral Reform—A Public Query”

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How Israel Became Dysfunctional

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, January 7, 2008.

Having learned of my critique of Israel’s political system, people have asked me how did this dysfunctional system originate? To answer, I will cite a publication of the Beth Hillel Society for Social Research in Israel supplemented by passages from David Ben-Gurion’s Memoirs.

In June 1953, the Hillel Society published a pamphlet “Electoral Reform in Israel.” The pamphlet was based on discussions the Society held in October 1952. The pamphlet outlines the emergence of Israel’s parliamentary system.

Thus, on May 14, 1948, 37 Jews met in Tel-Aviv and published a Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed the creation of the State of Israel. These 37 Jews constituted the Jewish People’s Council, which had been set up in two months earlier. The Council was composed firstly, of all political parties in the country, and secondly, of the Executive of the Jewish Agency according to the election returns of the twenty-second Zionist Congress, which had convened in Basel, Switzerland in 1946. This 37-man body declared itself, on May 14, 1948, the Provisional State Council of Israel. » Continue reading “How Israel Became Dysfunctional”

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To Set the Record Straight

The present writer is often accused of proposing institutional reform as a panacea. Never mind my books Demophrenia, Beyond the Secular Mind, and Judaic Man, which transcend institutions by discussing the unJewish mentality of Israel intellectual and political elites. To set the record straight, here is an article of mine published on June 6, 1990 under the title “In the Name of Democracy.”

President [Chaim] Herzog, like many others, calls for fundamental reform of Israel's political institutions. But hardly anyone calls for fundamental reform of men's character, that is, the character of those elected to public office. The reason is fairly obvious: It's easier to change institutions than to change men. But anyone who believes that Israel's present plight will be overcome by electoral reform is suffering from either mental fatigue or fatuity.

Institutions ultimately depend on the moral and intellectual qualities of those who run them. To be sure, well-designed institutions can sometimes compensate for defects in the character of men. » Continue reading “To Set the Record Straight”

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Vital Questions for MK Aryeh Eldad

In word and in deed, MK Aryeh Eldad [National Union/NRP] has been perhaps the most outspoken and courageous opponent of Israel's withdrawal from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Many people look to him as a possible leader of the “nationalist camp.”

I place the words “nationalist camp” between inverted commas because there is no such creature. It's merely an aggregation of individuals and groups which, year after year, have monotonously opposed the policy of “territory for peace.” Alas, these right-minded people not only lack a coherent, comprehensive, and realistic program to save Israel from the deadly consequence of the “peace process.” They also seem to be unaware that a nationalist camp cannot be truly nationalist unless the nation—the Jewish People—is properly represented in the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial institutions of government. The State of Israel has never had such institutions. Here I am merely paraphrasing what David Ben-Gurion wrote in his Memoirs. » Continue reading “Vital Questions for MK Aryeh Eldad”

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Prof. Eidelberg on Middle East Radio Forum

Courtesy of  Free Republic.

Posted 15 August, 2007 by Mike Baker.

Through a chain of events and people I have met online, I became aware of the Middle East Radio Forum (MERF), hosted by Attorney William J. Wolf, based in Phoenix. I have listened from time to time, as most of the time we are out and about Sunday at noon.

Friend Dr. Steve Carol, retired historian, sent out an email imploring his email list to listen this past Sunday, August 12. I was home, so I did. I am very glad I did.

The guest was Professor Paul Eidelberg with the The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, interviewed from Israel. The topic was “The lack of leadership in Israel and is a two-state solution possible?” » Continue reading “Prof. Eidelberg on Middle East Radio Forum”

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On Revolution

[December 10, 1994—updated June 16, 2007]

A respected political scientist has said that a revolution would have erupted in any Third World country had its people suffered what the people of Israel have suffered under the Rabin (now read the Sharon or Olmert) government: deceit, betrayal, Jewish bloodshed, humiliation:

  • Releasing and arming thousands of Arab terrorists

  • Exercising self-restraint while Arab terrorists murdered 1,500 Jews

  • Expelling 10,000 Jews from their homes in Gaza and northern Samaria

  • » Continue reading “On Revolution”

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What Voting Meant to James Wilson: And Why Voting in Israel Yields Corrupt Government

James Wilson of Pennsylvania was one of six men who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. His contribution to the deliberations of the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787 was second only to that of James Madison. He was also the principal draftsman of Pennsylvania’s own constitution of 1790.

Mr. Wilson was one of the original Justices of the Supreme Court as well as one of the first professors of law. He was widely regarded as the profoundest legal scholar of his generation. » Continue reading “What Voting Meant to James Wilson: And Why Voting in Israel Yields Corrupt Government”

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