Alex Rose

Manifestation of jealousy

“——an ostensibly democratic electoral system can enable the ruling political party or parties to ignore the concerns of most citizens between elections and thereby make a mockery of democracy. Such is the case in Israel.” [‘Jewish Statesmanship Lest Israel Fall’ by Professor Paul Eidelberg].

“Wall Street Journal: Only Bibi can achieve compromise, but the A-G won’t let him “by Nitsan Keidar appeared on Mar 13, 2023. The introduction: Most Israelis accept reform is needed, but aren’t convinced the current plan is the right one, article claims.

Continuing, the reason used to bar Netanyahu from involvement; [his conflict of interest due to his ongoing criminal crime] is just as applicable to the attorney-general and the entire judicial system itself.

On the same day, Israel National News posted Jay Shapiro’s, “The Least Justified Protests in Israel’s History.” He assuredly informs us that the protest against the changes in the judicial system wasn’t based on democracy issues. The goal is to dismantle the Netanyahu government.

JVS -Mar. 10, 2023 Jack Engelhard’s, “Why is anger forbidden to Jews” provides an interesting insight into today’s hypocrisy? His response – Chances are that Smotrich will emerge from all this a better man. Can the same be said for his detractors?

Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich made a mistake. He subsequently offered a correction by way of an apology. Not only that, his message of regret also went nationwide, as one who had suffered regret. Via literally thousands of deeply felt words, he expressed sorrow. This good man surely deserves a pass.

And yet, from around the world, from within his country, from within his own party, and most certainly from the Left came a storm of denunciations.

Has anybody ever apologized for the firebombing of Dresden?

Did Desmond Tutu ever say he was sorry? This world-renowned bishop was the founder and instigator of the false claim that Israel practices apartheid. The damage he did lives, harms, and kills to this day.

Antifa feels no remorse for the 2020 riots. Who can recall Arafat apologizing for his carnage against Israeli civilians, even after Oslo. Can one remember the “international community” demanding his regrets?

“Making Votes Count. They Don’t in Israel” by Paul Eidelberg is the title of a paper, he authored for the Ariel Center for Policy Research, published in 1999, it is useful in understanding the current dilemma. Apparently, there are many Israeli citizens rioting in the streets, who comprehend little about the subject topic.

As an introduction, Eidelberg remarks that as long as Israel lacks district elections, it will limp from crisis to crisis or from Jerusalem to Washington, until it collapses. What seems to be apparent is the fact that over many years, there have been Israeli citizens who have attempted electoral reform, but failed. Some even advocated the positions previously, which they now oppose.

A few examples of prior attempts:

[a] JNS— Amid ongoing political deadlock, is it time for Israel to consider electoral reform by Josh Hasten on Jan 16. 2022?

[b] Jerusalem Post—Israel’s electoral system is in urgent need of reform by Neville  Teller on April 28, 2021.

[c] NY Times— As 4th Election looms, Is Israel’s Democracy Broken by Patrick Kingsley on March 24, 2021?

[d] The Interpreter – Israel’s democracy: a Systemic Problem by Ian Parameter on  Feb.17 2020. “Israel will go to the polls for the 3rd time in less than a year.”

[e] TOI at the Blogs—Agenda Item for the next Knesset: Electoral Reform by Dov Lipman on April 7, 20i9.

[f] INQISITR—–Organized Treachery verses Organized Hypocrisy: A 35 Year Study of Israel’s Dysfunctional Government [with Dr. Paul Eidelberg] by Wolff Buchner on  Nov.11, 2013.

[g] Jerusalem Post—Israel’s “Anti-Democracy” by Evelyn Gordon on June 9, 2011.

[h] JCPA—-Electoral Reform for Israel by Daniel J. Elazar on Sep. 1982.

As regards Israel, since their rank on the election list depends on their party, Knesset members are accountable, not to the voters, but to their party leaders. The result is party dictatorship, which tends to lower the quality of politicians and of public life. Virtually, any system of district or constituency elections is preferable to fixed party lists. In fact, 76 out of 77 countries rely exclusively on district selections for the lower [or only] branch of their legislature. The exception is Israel.

The voters of different countries, and even of the same country have different ways to vote. In a single ballot system, the voters vote just once. in multi-ballot systems, 2 or more rounds of voting, make votes count. They don’t in Israel. Sometimes, citizens vote for candidates only, sometimes for part lists only, and sometimes they have the option to do either or both.

Split-ticket voting was made possible in Israel in 1996 when, for the 1st time, the Prime Minister was directly elected by the people. Citizens could then vote for one party’s candidate for Prime minister, while voting for another party’s candidates for the Knesset. This is precisely why the religious parties won 32 seats in the election, 7 more than in the previous 1992 Knesset election.

District elections obviously entail decentralization of power. Besides, district elections, especially with residency requirements, strengthen the “representational bond” between the parliamentarians and voters. Although, this would make a Knesset Member [KM] more dependent on his constituents, it would also enable him to establish a local power base, that would render him more independent of the  national party.

As stressed by Eidelberg, this represents solid evidence that the absence of district elections in Israel produced Oslo and subsequently Wye. Then, there is the method of voting. Hand-in, mail-in or both? How can one assure security and honesty?

Since district elections would augment the power of the people and diminish that of the parties, it follows that only a new party emerging from a powerful grass roots movement could possibly bring about this most needed kind of electoral reform. “Studies indicate that an increasing majority of the people favor such reform. Until such reform takes place, Israelis will vote, but their votes will not count.”

Israel Hayom: How 10 weeks of protests finally exposed the underlying truths in Israeli politics by Ariel Kahane – Mar. 14, 2023. The ongoing protests in Israel these days only highlight the distorted reality since 1977; The Left keeps losing elections, but holds a grip on the state’s power centers.

Little understood by the Left, it is clear that without Judaism, we have no identity and no reason to be in this Land. As is recognition of the major cultural talents, we have produced being affiliated with the Right, despite opposition.

The ongoing protests in Israel now only highlight the distorted reality which has existed since 1977. The claims that the reform will bring about dictatorship is just an excuse which is designed to rally the masses against the legislation.

Levin is adamant about not sharing the same fate of past justice ministers who witnessed their judicial reform shelved by the opposition after being duped into embracing stalling tactics.

Ariel Kahane believes that subsequent to Pesach, when Israel celebrates 75 years of independence  the reforms will have passed. Israel will continue to thrive and be a democracy.

JNS on Mar.2023 editorial, “Netanyahu: Opposition using judicial reforms as pretext to undo election”, concludes with his final words, “But in any case, let no one make a mistake. We received a mandate from the public, and we will fulfill it.”

About the Author
Alex Rose was born in South Africa in 1935 and lived there until departing for the US in 1977 where he spent 26 years. He is an engineering consultant. For 18 years he was employed by Westinghouse until age 60 whereupon he became self-employed. He was also formerly on the Executive of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA, New York (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and today one of the largest media monitoring organizations concerned with accuracy and balanced reporting on Israel). In 2003 he and his wife made Aliyah to Israel and presently reside in Ashkelon.
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