Michael Benjamin

The Second American Revolution

Every democratic election has the potential to be a revolution; a bloodless revolution; however, a revolution nonetheless.

The Second American Revolution is similar in many respects to the first one.  Britain sowed the seeds.  In the first revolution, the Americans wished to remove themselves from Britain.  In the present one, they wish to imitate Britain.  The Americans went to the polling booth with Brexit very much in their minds.

The American Revolution took place when the Americans felt that they were no longer truly represented, their economy was not intended to support them, but someone else, and they were angry.  Then as now there were ruling classes, and the populace no longer wished for them to rule.  Few would have predicted the first American Revolution and few predicted the present one.  But the revolution has taken place.  Then as now the causes fomenting the changes were worldwide.

In Israel, we have had a similar revolution.  It was only a partial one.  In Israel, there was a ruling class, the left-wing Ashkenazy male third and fourth-generation Israelis. They ruled for nigh on a half century.  They too were living in a no man’s reality which only they seem to understand.  The Americans had Obama and Israel had Rabin.  The populace liked Obama but rejected his policies; the populace liked Rabin but rejected his policies.

In the make-believe world of the so-called Rabin legacy, most Israeli voters did not understand just what the legacy was.  It was part of a myth which the deposed ruling class trotted out to show that the Likud government-usually led by Netanyahu-was completely in the wrong.  What exactly the Rabin legacy was, until this day, is still far from clear.  Let us be brutally honest: Rabin, as commander-in-chief, spent the vital days of the Six-Day War at home with a nervous breakdown.  When the Oslo negotiations took place, Rabin did not know what was going on.  Peres hoisted the agreement upon Rabin. Rabin had no control over the process and pernicious contradictions riddled the Oslo agreement. in contrast, the meticulous and painstaking Begin insisted on safeguards as an essential part of the Camp David peace accord with Egypt. The Camp David agreement covered every eventuality; the agreement works to this day.

The Oslo agreement was vague with many a loophole- it never worked.  In the aftermath, we heard vague and contradictory soundbites: ‘we will fight terror as if there was no agreement ‘; ‘we will honor the peace agreement as if there was no terror.’  The Israeli left had never overcome the shock that Begin had made peace in almost a year whereas they had taken over a quarter of a century had not achieved it.  They grasped at a poorly formed agreement and sold unbelievable statements to the populace. The Camp David Accord is the bedrock of our foreign policy. The Oslo accords are a constant source of distress.  Until this day, the Israeli masses have not forgiven the party that brought us Oslo. They threw them out immediately.  The Israeli partial revolution preceded the present American Revolution.

Nevertheless, there are still many similarities between the US and Israel which still cause the populace to feel disenfranchised and second-class citizens.  Both in America and Israel journalists and the judiciary have taken it upon themselves to lecture us and tell us what is good for us.  They have led us into a new society of politically correct norms.  Some of them are justifiable some of them seem to be parodies and gross exaggerations.  A result of all this is a society which is hidebound and rigid.  The legal profession is the only profession I know of which has divorced itself completely from society. Instead of serving society, like any other professional, it feels society should serve it and bow down before it.  Of course, we need a working legal system.  But this working system should serve us and our need and not dictate to us.  Similarly, the media-journalism should remember it is there to report news, not make news and not be the news.  The interviewer is there to facilitate the point of view of his guest, not to use the person to bring across the interviewers’ point of view.  Over the last decade, we have been witness to various agenda orientated journalism and self-promoting journalists.  Many journalists who insist on a cooling-off period for the military and civil servants before entering politics, do not find any reason to propose it for themselves.

Because of the obduracy and narcissistic self-satisfied insularity of both professions, they are undergoing severe criticism.  It seems the cause of the criticism is beyond their conception.  As in narcissistic responses to any criticism, they subject us to raucous self-righteous scorn.  It is little wonder legally elected representatives of the alienated are questioning both professions.  The time has come for the legal profession to realize it is not the equivalent of the House of Lords in Britain.  Like George III it has no divine right, and like George III, this attitude is leading to a revolution.  The media can no longer hide behind vague statements which protect their rights and not ours.  Freedom of expression in no way is an excuse to allow a frustrated deposed former ruling class to hijack the media and express its point of view.  Having done this, the complete lack of professional has brought the profession into danger.  For freedom of expression to exist, there must be control.  Ideally, it should have been self-control. Unfortunately, journalism today, as a profession possesses neither insight nor self-control.

America has undergone a revolution.  We are not witnessing a sea change; it is not an evolution it is a revolution.  Threats appear and endanger the vestiges of a previous hegemony.  The alienated have taken control.  In Israel, the political part of the revolution occurred many years ago.  Nevertheless, we can fully expect changes in other branches of society where alienation occurs. The old ruling class hijacked and suborned essential organs of democracy.  We can fully expect to see, both in America and in Israel, enforced changes in the behavior of the legal profession and journalism. And, for obvious reasons, they will struggle and protest vigorously. It will be of no avail.

About the Author
Born in Leeds in 1944, Michael Benjamin is a retired Psychiatrist and medical auditor, co-founder of Oranit, aspiring author and inveterate cynic.
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