Monday, November 13, 2006

Ehud Olmert Copperfield

A country's system of government is not a politician's plaything to be toyed with, thrown around the room, and modified at whim.

Any self-respecting country invests thousands of hours planning their system of government -- France, England, the United States, all great bastions of democracy and government.

And then there's Israel. With no constitution, no checks and balances, we unfortunately have many of the semblances of a banana republic. Yes, it's embaressing -- but the emperor has no clothes. Israelis honestly believe they live in a real, vibrant democracy -- and yet I've personally heard politicians say, "Democracy in Israel comes to the electorate once every 4 years at election time. After that, shut up."

Under the guise of "improvement", Israeli politicians have a knack of selling "new and improved" ideas to the public, which are really only methods which benifit them to retain or gain political power.

Let's look at some examples:

1. In the 1980's, Rav Meir Kahana's party was gaining rapidly in the polls, to the point that at a random sampling in Tel-Aviv, they were getting over 20%. So what did Likud and Labor do? They outlawed the Kach party for the sake of "democracy" (but really to keep their electorate). And who was partner to this? The ultra-nationalist party, Techiya, which stood to lose the most votes to Kach. While they "claimed" they were taking the "moral highground" by outlawing the Kach party, they really just wanted to get the votes.

2. The "Direct Elections of the Prime Minister" -- in a crafty sell to the Israeli public, they were led to believe that the single most important change to Israel's form of government, would be that of direct elections of the Prime Minister. All sorts of individuals had their own agenda for "Direct elections"...Ehud Barak was among them. In the end, this was another failed quickie experiment in Israeli civics, that was changed back to the exclusive party system.

3. Olmert's latest: Radically increasing the power of the Prime Minister at the expense of the Knesset. Obivously, there are no checks and balances in play, since his entire policy is to allow him to push whatever platforms he wishes to implement without the hindrenace of the Israeli parliment. This hastily put-together radical change of government spells bad news, and reeks of Olmert's typical small-minded politicking, with the end result, a government of quasi dictatorship.

As noted Israeli columnist, Sever Plocker wrote in YNET:
Here are the words of the magician in his last show: "Ladies and gentlemen, closely watch my hat, because I'm about to do an amazing magic trick. The hat seems empty to you, right? But, hocus-pocus, and I'm about to pull out the rabbit of the year: Government system revolution. R-e-v-o-l-u-t-i-o-n, ladies and gentlemen, no less.

Pay attention, ladies and gentlemen: This isn't the white mouse I pulled out of my sleeve in the previous show. I nicknamed the previous mouse "government system reform". Unfortunately, the exposure wasn't good for it, so we were forced to butcher and bury it.

Ladies and gentlemen, my dear audience, now I present to you a whole new, different crossbreed. "The government system revolution." I'm holding on to its ears so it doesn't run away, so you can see it from all angles. Isn't it wonderful? Unique? The best there is? The government system revolution I pulled out of my magic hat has the neck of a bulldog, the spine of a mole, the legs of a stork, and the muscle system of a carp…what does it remind you of? Come on, I'm waiting for answers from the audience.

A duck? Who said a duck? Why duck? This is a government system revolution, ladies and gentlemen, not a duck. You don't believe me? Ladies and gentlemen, I know that recently I presented more magic shows and you may have tired of them a little. But you have no choice: You paid good money for this show. Some gambled their entire political fortune only to win a ticket! At such prices, you simply cannot afford to yawn and doubt my magic abilities.

You have to, my precious audience, trust me and my instincts. The government revolution I pulled out of my hat is very good. For me.

After this revolution, the prime minister (that is, me) will always be the head of the largest party, even when it is a small party. It's enough that all other parties are smaller. How convenient, how efficient! In order to be a prime minister there's no need to work hard to win the people's trust. It would be enough to end up with one more Knesset member than opponents in the elections. And then, there we go, you automatically become a prime minister. Automatically! Think about it when you look at me.

The show has only started

I request that the lightening technician turn up the spotlight. Yes, that's better: You see only me and my magic hat, and not the dark corners where my enemies whisper. And music, more music, so we don't hear the sounds of Qassam rockets and artillery fire outside this hall. We came here to be entertained, not to worry. In my magic space I'm protected and you're my captivated audience.

Following the government system revolution, I'll be a thousand times more protected. You won't like my show? You want to topple my government and dismantle the Knesset? Forget about it! The revolution will attach the prime minister to the chair. So many Knesset members will be required to dismiss me that it won't happen at any point during my term.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the cherry on top, the climax: Following the revolution, I and only I will appoint the ministers. Their fate will depend on my words. They won't even serve in the Knesset. Think about it, ladies and gentleman, when you recall the appointments in my government to this point.

I'm repeating the question: What does my government system revolution remind you of? What, still a duck? Ladies and gentlemen, impossible, I'm really disappointed. You're so narrow-minded! Where's your vision? Where is your loud applause? Why is everyone no longer impressed with my coalition tricks and the way I manage to emerge out of investigations unscathed? What happened, my dear audience, you don't like my magic anymore?

I promise: The government rabbit I pulled out will be roaring like a lion. And what if it won't? What if it quacks like a duck? We'll butcher that one too, as we did its predecessors.

Those are the words of the magic. And the show has only started.

Olmert spells disaster for Israel.

And if you read this and say, "Why the heck would I want to move there?"

Because despite all of them, it's ours. And the more like minded people we have here, the more possibly we could change things.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Anonymous said...

England may have taken 1000s of years to perfect its system of government, but it only took Tony Blair 8 years to dismantle most of that. See for example the Abolition of Parliament Act. No checks and balances can work without a vigilant (and, preferably, armed) populace, otherwise it's all just a giant game of Nomic.

Soccer Dad said...

Don't forget that Netanyahu broke with the Likud to cast the deciding vote in the direct election vote.

He was confident of his own ability and charisma. And it worked for him, for one election (though barely). By the time 1999 rolled around the direct election law made him a liability (though Likud may well have won under the old rules.)

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, Jameel. Great post. Anyone who has a problem with the way things happen in Israel, stop making excuses and make aliyah! Help us change it here, so that we can eventually be a light unto the nations.

Anonymous said...

You have just got to be kidding.
One of the worst, most intractably corrupt, democracy-denying nations on earth, where the Praetorian Guard of Caesar (sorry: Yasam) breaks the heads of other Jews and there's no way to effectively complain, and I should MOVE there? Why? Because it's "ours"? It's yours, buddy, not mine. My being there is just another head to be cracked open by dogs in black uniforms swinging a bat. Time for Israelis to shoot to kill Yasamniks wherever they find them, maybe create an ambush, take a page from Hamas, do whatever it takes, to put an end to the police state which is Israel. I'll stay here in the galus, where we hold crazy, evil cops accountable. Enjoy yourselves, suckas. I'm not joining you.

Gee a Moron! said...

The Israeli lame duck is meeting this week with the American lamne duck. A perfect match for two alter-quackers.

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