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.
Logically speaking, to replace Israel’s parliamentary system with one that improves decision-making, one must replace Israel’s current system of multi-party cabinet government with a Unitary Executive or Presidential System of Government. Sound familiar?
However, a Unitary Executive or Presidential system of government requires that the President’s cabinet consist of ministers who share his political principles and goals and who, in good faith, discuss and promote his public policies. This logically excludes from the President’s cabinet the leaders of rival parties represented in the Legislature. Sound familiar?
Further, such is the power of a Unitary Executive or Presidential System of government, that it requires, as a check against possible abuses of such power, an Independent and Strong Legislature—be it unicameral or bicameral. Therefore, the members of the Legislature must not be primarily dependent for their office on party machinery but on the voters in constituency elections. Sound familiar?
Moreover, to replace Israel’s parliamentary system in a simple and effective way necessitates scrapping Proportional Representation and voting for fixed party slates. Or, to put it more precisely and cautiously, most if not all members of the Legislature must be elected by, and individually accountable to, the voters—not in a single nationwide electoral district—the present system in Israel—but by the voters in geographically defined districts. This, too, must sound familiar to my readers and those familiar with the innumerable publications of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy.
Congratulations to Professor Yehezkel Dror. Of course, not for his also advocating continuance of the Oslo death process that commenced, officially, on September 13, 1993, when Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook the blood-stained hands of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat.
How strange that Dror can discern the ineptitude of Israel’s parliamentary system of government yet fail to recognize, or draw rational conclusions from, the fact that that handshake on the White House lawn led to the murder and maiming of some 10,000 Jewish women, men, and children!
How strange that this venerable political scientist, who said he wants to educate the public, obscures the fact that the Oslo policy of “land for peace” led to the Gaza policy of “land for terrorism”—yes, would have the public believe that the question of whether to continue this horrendous policy is a matter of “subjective judgment.”
How strange that he should lend “subjective” support for the very policy that encouraged Hezbollah to initiate the war which he, as a member of the Winograd Committee, was charged to investigate? Yes, and to inform the public of who was responsible for the government’s inept prosecution of that war—a government consisting of rival political parties, which alone obscures who, exactly, was responsible for the flawed and fatal decisions made in that war.
It seems Dror abandoned the logical reasoning that enabled him to see the flaws in Israel’s parliamentary system of government. It were as he followed in the footsteps Yossi Beilin—another political scientist that has sacrificed his intellect to the cult of peace or, perhaps, to keep Ehud Olmert in office?
Nevertheless, let us credit Dror for recommending a more efficient system of government, something long advocated by the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy. If only other prominent individuals, without Dror’s subjectivism or leftwing baggage, would endorse—on public forums—a Presidential system, the logically objective alternative to parliamentarianism.
Needed on this issue, however, is not only logical reasoning, but courage commensurate with such reasoning. Indeed, courage linked to logic is perhaps the one thing most lacking in Israel, and not only among the Left.