Friday, January 21, 2011

On the death of Israeli Democracy

Just to make it clear - I don't actually think that any major "Death of Democracy" event took place this week. I've yet to figure out what great crime Barak is meant to have committed against democracy, or why this is considered such a "Stinking" event.

Mk Einat Wilf (One of those who left with Barak) wrote an interesting analysis of the Labor Party in "Israel Today" weekend edition (sorry for the rough translation):

"From a certain aspect the reaction reminded me of the reactions of a cheating husband, who belittles his wife daily, and mocks her attempt at creating family life. Suddenly one day he is shocked that she gets up and leaves. He curses her, accuses her, and completely forgets all of his actions up to that point."

And a bit further in..

"Part of the explanation (for the death of Labor) can be explained by the parties shift to the left.- not in the wish to come to peace with the Palestinians – most Israelies are willing to do so – but in the constant self degredation that Israel is to blame that we have yet to make peace.
However the main reason in my eyes is demographic/ The inability of the party to change its ways in accordance with the changing reality of Israeli society. We have turned from the party that created the state, to the party "of those who's state was stolen from them".

I've only really had one case in my life, where I felt that Israeli Democracy was on the point of failing - and that was during the Hitnatkut (Aka the disengagement from Gaza). I'm going to have to come clean - at the time I grudgingly supported the Hitnatkut. That was why I voted  for Labor in the election proceeding the Hitnatkut. People have forgotten - The Hitnatkut was the Labor leader Amram Mitzna's idea (Though he was against leaving the northern region of Gaza). It was Labor's flagship plan during the Mitzana-Sharon election. Sharon won that election, famously saying "The future of Netzarim (an Israeli Gaza Settelement) is as the future of Tel-Aviv." Then a few months later he flipped. I'm far from thinking that leaders shouldn't change their minds - they can, and probably should quite often. However in this case - this issue was the heart of the elections. Changing your mind was literally stealing the ballots of the right wing, which had just won the election. I was even more surprised that the courts did not come out against it. (Legally it was kosher- it just stank). I stated then, that the precedent of trampling the democratic will of the people for the sake of "peace", will come back to bite the left in the future.  

That was the one act that I think should have had all real lovers of democracy up in arms. This week's break up of the Labor party does seem to me to have stolen anyone's votes - There is no noticeable difference between "Independence" and "Labor". 


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