Thursday, April 3, 2008

from Paul Eidelberg's "Israel Future Government"
[First published circa 2005 C.E.]

1. A survey commissioned by former Knesset Speaker Abraham Burg indicates that almost 90% of the people in Israel are disgusted with their system of government. An increasing majority feel powerless despite periodic, multi-party elections. Although Ariel Sharon was elected in February 2001 by a landslide victory to put an end to Arab terror, more than 1,000 Jews have been murdered under his premiership, some 6,000 have been wounded—many maimed for life—to which add the tens of thousands of children suffering from post-traumatic shock syndrome! Instead of destroying the barbaric Palestinian Authority three years ago in one swift blow, his policy of “targeted killings” and brief incursions has given the forces of anti-Semitism three years to spread Jew-hatred throughout the U.S. and Europe. Sharon’s premiership has been an unmitigated disaster. And what is also shocking, critical analysis of Israel’s system of government reveals that it is not representative of the people, so that even its legitimacy is questionable as the following facts demonstrate:

a. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has not only failed to protect the lives of his fellow-citizens. Acting as a virtual dictator, he has emasculated his cabinet and, in defiance of the heads of Israel’s military and intelligence services, is determined to uproot Jews from their homes in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza—thus violating Israel’s Basic Law: Human Freedom and Dignity.

b. Members of the Knesset, hence those who become cabinet ministers, are not personally elected by, or individually accountable to, the voters in multi-district elections—the practice of 74 out of 75 democracies. The government, consisting of party leaders with safe seats, controls the Knesset and can ignore public opinion with impunity. (No Likud- or Labor-led government has ever been toppled by a Knesset vote of no confidence.)

c. The Supreme Court, as admitted by eminent Israelis across the political spectrum, is a self-perpetuating oligarchy that scorns the abiding beliefs and values of the Jewish People.

d. Current Knesset Speaker Reuben Rivlin has admitted that Israel is governed not by the rule of law but by a “gang of law.” (No wonder! Israel lacks a Constitution, which was prescribed in its 1948 Declaration of Independence.)

2. Despite Israel’s democratic veneer, the people cannot reform the system by ordinary political means; and to expect reform to originate from within the government is like asking chickens to vote for Colonel Sanders. So, what is to be done to save Israel from its own political and judicial institutions?

1. Suppose an organization was established in New York whose primary object is to do what no other American Zionist organization has done, namely, to expose the flaws of Israel’s system of government, showing how these flaws are largely responsible for Israel’s repeated disasters, which now threaten the very existence of the Jewish state. The organization I have in mind will be staffed by Americans and Israelis. It will have committees which more or less parallel government ministries—as if it were a “shadow government.” It will have a weekly TV and daily radio program, as well as a first-rate website with links throughout the world. It will establish a nationwide lecture bureau. (There are more than ten colleges and universities in the New York area alone.) It will conduct seminars and publish articles and policy papers. It would even start a grassroots movement among college students. All this is quite doable. True, pro-Israel media exist, but they are not institutionally oriented. They do not have regime change as their goal.

2. I have lived and taught in Israel almost three decades. I have written several books and countless articles on Israel’s institutions, its policies, and even on the mentality its ruling elites; and I have also spoken to various Israeli prime ministers and cabinet ministers. I see no statesman on the horizon, and if one should appear he would be thwarted by Israel’s grotesque political system. Hence I see no future for Judaism in Israel given its present governmental system. But without Israel, how many Jews will lose faith in Israel Eternal?

3. The two most pro-Israel organizations in the U.S. are Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). The heads of both KNOW that despite all their heroic efforts during the past three decades, they have had NO impact on the territorial retreat and defeatist policies of Israeli governments. So what, in brief, do these fine organizations accomplish? First, they educate many people in the USA. Second, they enlighten some congressmen. What’s missing? These Zionist organizations—all honor to them—never engage in significant critique of Israel’s regime, its system of governance. They focus on the flaws of Israel’s foreign policies. They are silent about Israel’s flawed political and judicial institutions. They know these institutions are defective, but to criticize them would be to “interfere” in Israel’s domestic affairs—or so they would have us believe. This is nonsense, since AFSI and the ZOA have been criticizing Israeli governments throughout the past three decades.

4. Serious political scientists know that regime questions precede policy questions, that the latter are the consequence of the former. I have lectured before scores of Anglo-American and Russian audiences which, after hearing my arguments and evidence, fully agree that it’s the SYSTEM, the SYSTEM, the SYSTEM that is ruining Israel. It’s this system that entrenches Israel’s flawed politicians in power and perpetuates their suicidal policies. The 1993 Oslo Agreement was foisted on the people without Knesset or public debate! And the Supreme Court has circumvented a petition by eminent Israelis challenging the legality of that agreement. This alone demonstrates the need for systemic reform.

5. To overhaul Israel’s system of government, our New York organization will be integrated with a parallel organization in Jerusalem. Given electronic modes of communication, coordination of activities and transmission of articles and policy papers present no problem.

6. What shall we call this New York-based organization? Suppose it’s called “Israel’s Future Government—In Exile.” By IFG-In Exile I do not mean a “Government in Exile,” but the form of Israel’s future Government, which is now in exile! (No equivalent to a French or Polish government in exile is intended.) Calling it “Israel’s Future Government-in Exile” means that we are preparing, in exile, but in coordination with a parallel organization in Israel, the future ideological foundations, institutional reforms, and public policies for what will eventually become the Government of Israel in Eretz Yisrael.

7. The impetus for the formation of that parallel organization in Israel will actually depend on the establishment of IFG-In Exile. Only such an organization can unite Israel’s disparate non-parliamentary Zionist groups and provide the inspiration and support required to mold these groups into a nationalist camp or a Jewish National Movement. The JNM (see below) will initiate a massive grass roots movement having as its goal the reconstruction of the State of Israel on solid Jewish, democratic foundations.

8. The JNM will metamorphose into a Constitutional Party. Like no other party in Israel’s history, the candidates of this party will be professionals familiar with the various sectors of public life. The citizens of Israel would know, for the first time, who and what they are voting for.

9. Given the political discontent and anarchy now existing in Israel, and recalling how the “Dash” reform party won 15 Knesset seats in 1977 under far less perilous circumstances, our Constitutional Party could readily win a decisive number of seats in the Knesset, more than enough to place on the public agenda a Constitution as called for in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. (IFG-In Exile will have a veritable library of policy papers and books with which to equip this Constitutional Party and educate the public—a public longing for fundamental institutional reform.)

10. Members of IFG-In Exile do not claim to represent the people of Israel from a legal point of view. But we do claim to represent the people of Israel in terms of their Jewish heritage and aspirations on the one hand, and their many grievances against the existing government on the other—which grievances cannot be remedied under Israel’s existing political system. Therein is the justification of our projected organization.

11. Of course, there will be Jews in Israel who will laugh at this enterprise. Some may even be angered. But there will be many others who will be SHOCKED—and this is one of the organization’s objectives. Jews in Israel must draw the logical conclusion of their own disgust with the Knesset: that their government does not represent them, indeed, is their enemy! The necessity of our proposed organization logically follows.

10. We must confront the fact that there is NO force in the Knesset or in Israeli society that has the wherewithal to prevent Israel’s further retreat and ultimate demise. We must do something now—BEFORE the uprooting of Jews takes place.

a. Generalissimo Sharon has declared: “By the end of 2005, not one Jew will remain in Gaza.” This uprooting of 8,000 Jews will be followed by the uprooting of countless more in Judea and Samaria. Many of these Jews, especially Americans, will leave Israel. This is reason enough to establish IFG-In Exile, which can tap the talents of these exiled American Jews.

b. I am ready to work full time without a salary to make IFG a reality.

11. Obviously, IFG-In Exile will require a first-rate funding network, not only to sustain its own operations, but to assist the Jewish National Movement in Israel. A fully staffed IFG will consist of an experienced executive director; two lawyers (one general, the other constitutional); two political scientists (one general, the other an expert in electoral systems); an economist; a businessman; a rabbi with a degree preferably in the sciences; a public relations expert; a communications specialist; a webmaster; writers in various fields; linguists; a full-time secretary; and many volunteers. (Obviously IFG can start with a more modest staff.)

12. IFG-In Exile will have an executive committee consisting, say, of nine members, five of which should be Israelis. (Some will be dual citizens.) Roughly half of IFG policy committees should be chaired by Israelis.

13. IFG will seek endorsements by prominent Americans and Israelis


The Jewish National Movement will address the urgent need of Jewish national unity and security and will do so by means of clearly defined, goal-directed Jewish leadership.

more . . .

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