Democracy? Elections?

Part 1

It’s been a topsy-turvy few years, and Israeli elections are once again looming.  With all that we’ve been through, what’s a responsible, self-respecting citizen of this “democracy” to do?  And why the quote marks around “democracy”?

If a democracy is a system in which the people rule themselves (Greek demos = people, and kratos = rule), we are a long way from that.  Yes, we vote, but not for someone who either represents us and our needs, or is accountable to us in any meaningful way.  Our MKs are selected by their parties, sometimes by the heads of their parties, and it is to their parties and the coalition agreements their parties make that they are accountable — not to us, the voters.  Voters have virtually no voice in our “democracy”; our votes are almost meaningless, not just because individual MKs must follow party dictates rather than the interests of their voters, but because parties do what parties decide to do without respect for the interests of their voters—right or left wing or anything in between.

Examples are rife, but because we have had “right-leaning” governments for most of the last decade, let’s begin by looking to the right.  Netanyahu, the right wing king, managed to rule for more than a decade by again and again wooing right wing voters with his words and promises while delivering more left wing policy.  His bag of tricks apparently included:

1) passing “right wing” laws (such as the law requiring the State of Israel to offset payments to the PA by an amount equivalent to the PA’s payments in their “pay for slay” program), and then refusing to enforce them;

2) selectively acquiescing to Supreme Court rulings (examples:  When the Supreme Court ruled again and again that Jews were permitted to pray on the Temple Mount, “his” police force absolutely and completely refused to allow it; when the Supreme Court ruled again and again that Khan al Amar must be dismantled, he delayed and delayed for years; but when the same Supreme Court ruled that entire Jewish communities in the Shomron must be dismantled because of the evidenceless possibility that half of one house was built on Arab-owned land, it happened immediately “because we are a law-abiding society”);

3) packing his coalition with left wing defense (e.g., Ehud Barak) or justice (e.g., Tsipi Livni) ministers who played the “bad cop” while he presented himself as the “good (read ‘right wing’) cop” and thus delivered a reality in which, for example, over and over again Jews who built without proper permits in Area C were brutally removed by the Civil Administration while Arab permitless buildings and tree plantings mushroomed across Area C choking the Jewish presence, and still stand to this day — thanks to the millions of euros that spoke louder than Israeli law.

And what about the COVID fiasco/fraud?  Whether it was Netanyahu’s coalition or the Bennett-Lapid coalition:

  • Did we, the people, ask to have our education system shut down along with a huge segment of our jobs and small businesses in order to protect ourselves from a disease less serious than the annual flu?
  • Did the Israeli demos rule that we should masquerade like pretend-bandits with masks of zero scientifically proven value?
  • Did we, the people, decide that we should buy overpriced and untested “vaccines” and become the world’s guinea pigs for Pfizer’s unproven pharmaceutical (with a contract which is to this day unavailable for any of us to read) while proven therapeutics were taken off the shelves, and doctors who objected lost their jobs?

No, no and no.  These policies, without regard to morbidity, recovery or mortality statistics, were shoved down our throats (or into our arms) without once asking what the people wanted.  This is not democracy.

From a more left wing perspective, the “Crime Minister” protest movement, rejuvenated in recent days in anticipation of the possibility that Netanyahu might become prime minister once again in November, calls for some serious national introspection.  A whole segment of the population feels that its views are so entirely unrepresented in this “democracy,” even after a year and a half with ALL the left wing parties participating in the government coalition, that their only option is to go to the streets in public protest.  So if one’s vote counts for nothing, the court system counts for nothing, and one’s public protest counts for nothing, what is next for disaffected citizens of this “democracy”?

The apparent fact is that every party has failed its electorate — time and time again.  Every party (except the Joint List) has evidently participated in the fraud of foisting Pfizer’s pharmaceutical on an unsuspecting population, studiously ignoring the science against it, and hiding the true story from the Israeli public.  Every party appears to have sacrificed the needs of Israelis to the interests of the European Union, the UN and the US, and even foreign drug companies!

Returning to our starting point, what are responsible, self-respecting citizens of this “democracy” to do as we face the upcoming elections?  To (once again!) vote for any of the parties which have been part of either of the last two governments (which is every last one except the Joint List), is to vote against democracy itself.

It is time for us to come to the grim realization that this “thing” that we call democracy is not a system through which we are ruling ourselves.  Rather, it appears to be a thinly veiled pretense by which foreign governments, foreign and local business interests, and an Israeli elite, are able to secretly subvert the interests of the Israeli public with their own interests, at our expense, while we march blindly to the polls believing (or pretending) that we are participating in our own democratically created destiny.

If we are truly to be a democracy, some major changes must happen—and at once (not dragging on in committees for years without resolution)—changes which fundamentally alter the relationship between us, the people, and our government.  These are changes which none of the current parties would likely be willing to enact simply because, in this system, they are not there for us—they are there for themselves and the interests that support/control them.  The only thing we can realistically hope for if we vote for any of the current parties is more of the same—they tell us what we want to hear, and then do whatever they want or feel compelled to do by other interests, not by us.

Once we understand that our votes will be of little consequence unless the system itself is changed, it becomes clear that we—whether right, left or in between—are in more or less the same predicament as the Crime Minister protesters.  Regardless for whom we vote, regardless whether or not we protest, we have no reason to expect any change.  So, once again, what are responsible, self-respecting citizens of this “democracy” to do as we face the upcoming elections?

Let’s explore the kinds of changes we desperately need in Part 2.

About the Author
Born and raised in Buddhist Thailand as a Christian missionary kid, I was also schooled in Viet Nam, Malaysia and the US. I trained and worked as a minister and educator in the US, Philippines, Thailand and Australia, discovering at 55 that I'm Jewish. A new chapter began with the bet din, bar mitzvah training and a Jewish marriage, and then we made aliyah in 2014.

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