Beyond the Cusp

May 14, 2019

Israeli Battle for True Democracy

 

A war of a different kind is brewing to come to a head in Israel. It will be billed as the valiant confrontation to save democracy. This is actually a very accurate summation but who is attempting to save democracy and who is simply vying for power over the future of Israel is to be determined. Another angle to decide this battle is one of political views, the old socialists attempt at a last-ditch effort to retain their stranglehold over all decisions of the realm against the Zionist and nationalist struggle to break that stranglehold and return the rule of law to all the people with the elected representatives deciding the nation’s fates. The rumors over the unfolding coalition agreements has made some strong inferences that included within is a rough sketch for judicial reform and an end to the Supreme Court’s ability to override any decision be they made by the Knesset or even military commanders during a conflict. Part and parcel of this conflict is the method by which justices are chosen. Let us start there.

 

Currently a committee is selected to choose new justices for the Supreme Court as well as the lower courts. This committee had an unassailable makeup giving the sitting Supreme Court Justices along with the Attorney General and a member of the Lawyers Guild sufficient votes to block any nominee of which they have political differences. This had continued the leftward leanings of the Supreme Court solidly entrenched. The next Knesset is set to complete the transformation begun under Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked during the past government. The new selection process being proposed would place the Knesset, the elected Israeli legislature, the power for approving judges plus there will be a twelve year term for judges such that the court will never again be stranded in the politics of two or more decades ago and always being refreshed with new judges chosen by the elected representatives. This will allow the courts to more represent the ideals and aspirations of the people and not become an elite which has fallen out of touch with the people and the government. They also are going to attempt to draft laws which will permit the Knesset to overrule any overturning of a law passed by the Knesset by the Supreme Court, something which has prevented advancement of Israel and galled many Knesset Ministers who sat helplessly being unable to get laws which the people demanded past Supreme Court vetoes. Things had reached a point a few years ago where the Supreme Court flexed their assumed control which was never enacted through legislation but was simply a usurpation of power by Chief Justice Aharon Barak, who postulated that all things are adjudicable. Through this expansion of judicial power, the Supreme Court intervened in any area they believed that their desires were not being met. This led to Israel living under a black robed form of tyranny which the justices, with the blessings of the Europeans who sided with these left-leaning justices, claiming that to limit their power or alter their monopoly on choosing their replacements was an attack on democracy. Accordingly, Israel was often beaten into submission when the United States joined the Europeans in their pressuring of Israel to simply sit back and allow their betters to dictate their laws and lives. Now that battle is about to be waged for real.

 

Chief Justice Aharon Barak

Chief Justice Aharon Barak

 

Already we are hearing the screams that Israeli democracy is planning on being assailed and destroyed if the court’s powers are curtailed in any way and the method for choosing Justices has any modification from their beloved system. Where we are confused is how anybody can confuse allowing unelected Supreme Court Justices to override the elected government, counter orders given by military officers and generally dictate to every entity of the government what their marching orders are and stand over even the Prime Minister making the entire elected governance impotent under the overview of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is already smarting from the change made whereby they can no longer decide who gets to reside on lands which are contested without requiring a proof of the claims against the placement of Jewish homes; the court never found claims against Arabs to be founded, only Jews. This was removed from their dockets and placed in the lower courts ending the practice where a largely European funded NGO would come before the Supreme Court claiming their Arab client, who preferred not to appear out of fear of reprisals, once owned an area in which Jewish communities were built, and they often did not produce any deed of ownership and yet the court nearly always evicted the Jews destroying communities. Now with these cases in the lower courts a new procedure is in place whereby such claims will require the Arab making the claim to appear unless the court can be convinced such is impractical with reason, and the producing of a deed or bill of sale which will stand up to review before such decisions are reached. Further alterations allow the courts to order reparations rather than eviction, something the Supreme Court refused to consider as they appeared to have been operating under the concept that the Jews required being removed such that the Two State Solution could be enacted using the pre-Six Day War borders. The Supreme Court appeared loath to move beyond this idea and spent far too much energy in their crusade to make this happen. Now their screams of the death of democracy echo hollow as the people largely see this as the rescue of democracy from judicial tyranny.

 

The coalition will be formed within the ensuing few weeks and a new Knesset will be seated with very much the same breakdown as the last Knesset, sixty-five nationalist-Zionist-religious-economic capitalist or, as the media calls them, right-wing Ministers and fifty-five socialist-Arabist-two state solution supporting liberal or, as the media calls them, centrist or left-wing Ministers. Isn’t it simply amazing that almost anywhere one goes on this globe, those who are even slightly right of true center are called extreme-right-wing-fanatics, and we do not even want to know what they call true right-wing-fanatics, hint, their name is Nazis or fascists, and left of center is often referred to as centrist and far left are left-leaning. There really is only a true leftist in the more conservative news, the minority of the media, while the rest of the media are often far left and see old-style liberals as right-wing fanatics as they are not even left enough to be called centrist. As some have said, often with remorse, I did not leave the left-wing as a liberal, the left-wing left me and went places I do not care to visit. We will hear the caterwauling from the leftist media in Europe and the plethora of leftist politicians all echoing the same mantra that Israel is having the basis of democracy attacked by fascists in the government. We are confused as to how the elected government which can be changed by the people in any election are fascist while unelected Supreme Court Justices ruling by judicial fiat is democracy. If these definitions are correct, then perhaps I do support fascism as at least it comes with elections, but we all know deep down that those definitions are backwards. Even the Supreme Court Justices realize they are selling a bag of rotten to the core goods and stand against democracy. Anyway, who ever said Israel was a democracy? Israel is a Parliamentary Democracy under the rule of law as stated in the Basic Laws.

 

Now, if people would like a few suggestions for making some needed changes, well, who are we to disappoint. First thing is should they decide that the Knesset can overrule the Supreme Court veto, it should be by some form of super-majority, be that sixty-percent which is seventy-two Ministers, or two-thirds which is eighty Ministers or lastly three-fourths which is ninety Ministers. We would also prefer to see that any legislation require a super-majority for establishing a new Basic Law in place of a simply majority and an even higher bar for the repeal of any Basic Law. Another alteration would require that a quorum be required for any legislation to be voted upon thus making sneaking legislation through would become impossible, a tactic seldom utilized but even once would be too many times. And while we are at making modernizations, how about we make the letters of the law regarding electioneering, elections, term lengths, appointment of judges and Supreme Court Justices by defined methods, qualifications for offices, defining the threshold permanently instead of allowing it to be modified by the whims of each government, removal from office for impeachable and other crimes, and the other definitions required to set straight a framework around which the governing bodies are wrapped including a prescribed method for amending said constitution which would then be presented to the people for ratification. Lets make the Constitution an actual representation of a democracy by allowing the people to have the final say such that they can send the drafts back to the government with a note stating, try again, here are a few suggestions, and eventually the process will produce something we can all get used to and learn to live under. The world is screaming for democracy, how about we give them a real example and a real taste of what a modern democracy can produce and how well we know how to be a democratic country. Perhaps some of those crusted old-school Europeans will be able to learn something from the upstart nation which is over four-thousand years old and has seen all the forms of governance the world has ever produced and found that they all often lacked the protection for the weakest amongst us, and often those weaker ones were us Jews. The world oppressed the Jews for thousands of years and now they demand to tell us how to run our own nation which we finally are returning home after those two thousand years of torment and really have had more than enough of the world telling us what it is we can and cannot do and what we are permitted and how we must listen to them for what is right. We had a code for governance while these upstarts were still living in tribal villages and they want to tell us how to rule Israel. Well, we could simply use the Torah but that would really upset the world, so maybe that would not be such a bad idea, if only to hear the howls.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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March 27, 2019

Israeli Absurdity of the Rule of Law

 

There will very probably be any number of reports about how the Israeli government is working to destroy the democracy. These screams and wails of lament will be coming from some justices from the Supreme Court, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit but most prominently from those on the political left. The further into the progressive and even communist left one travels, the ever louder the banshee screams will be heard. There is a very simply reason behind this, and it has to do with the last stand of the rascals. For quite some time the Israeli population, and thus the Knesset, have been moving inexorably towards the nationalist and Zionist end of the spectrum, in Israel that is called the right wing. Another trend has been for the percentage of the population which is religious orthodox, but not Haredi, has been increasing and keeping pace with the Haredi if not surpassing them. Meanwhile, the liberal-progressive-left has watched their percentage slide slowly in an ever-decreasing spiral with their holding out largely in the Tel Aviv leftist echo-chamber. This has been cause for their lament as they watch their path of last recourse to halt their slippage from power slowly being brought back into proper proportion. Ever since the former Supreme Court Chief Justice (President) Aharon Barak ruled that “all things are adjudicable,” the Supreme Court has taken the position that they know what was best for Israel and if the Knesset could not agree, then they would take matters, and the law, into their own hands. This meant that should the Knesset pass legislation with which the liberal left disagreed; they would employ the Supreme Court to overturn the law. This also allowed for the leftist Supreme Court Justices to implore the court to overturn any legislation without the need for any petition from outside the court. Then they decided that perhaps they could and should write the needful laws as they viewed Israel. They went as far as countermanding orders given by IDF commanders even during times of conflict if they believed that the IDF might cause suffering upon those they were fighting. These justices did not understand the principle that you win conflicts by making your opponents pained or worse. The Supreme Court went to such extremes that even the most casual observers were taking note and starting to complain that the Supreme Court was superseding the will of the people and their duly elected government, and this was indeed troubling to many.

 

Then there is the case of the Attorney General, almost every Attorney General. Every election cycle, whether the previous government went full-term, a great rarity, or whether early elections were called after dissolving the Knesset, invariably the candidate who was atop the ticket for the leading right leaning party which was predicted to be tapped, if they took sufficient Ministerial Mandates for the upcoming Knesset, would have announcements that they could or were coming under indictment for bribery, kickbacks and other unethical behavior. These charges were often frivolous and seldom ever came to trial. As for Bibi Netanyahu, he has had the same cases used for the past decade. Originally, there were around eight separate investigations kept simmering on the back burners never quite coming to a close. With the upcoming elections it has been announced that, surprise, surprise, Bibi Netanyahu might be arraigned on any of three separate charges after he has been interrogated and a deposition taken which, of course, will be scheduled for some time after the election. One would not be out of line to ask, after which elections, this election, the next election or forever until Bibi does not run and then they would be dropped? He stands accused of bribing a news source for positive coverage after which they continued to tear him apart at every opportunity. Then there is the most ridiculous charge of them all. He accepted expensive cigars, expensive champagne and other than cheap costume jewelry as presents from a billionaire friend who had dined at the Prime Minister’s house. Really, that is the crime? What do they expect a billionaire to give as presents; cheap it’s a boy cigars, a box of Franzia wine and a Dick Tracy decoder ring for Mrs. Netanyahu? This was a billionaire, not just some paltry odd millionaire. But when one is grasping at straws, you get what you expect, total ridiculousness wrapped up all pretty so it looks authentic and real. There are some demanding that the dropped cases be reopened though they have already been played out and were seen for what they were, but it is Bibi and another elections, he must be stopped. The desperation is far too evident and all despite the polls already indicating that the Blue-White Party with former Chief of Staff General Gantz atop the ticket sharing it with ex-newscaster Yair Lapid presumably leading in the majority of the polls. But why leave anything to chance when you can potentially remove Bibi from office after the election by charging him and then having the Supreme Court order him to resign. Why stop there, order new elections and continue to do so until the Supreme Court and Attorney General get a Knesset they prefer. The Supreme Court has already moved to decide who is permitted to be on the ticket by removing a candidate who they see as too far right despite his having served on the Knesset previously and insisted that every party and candidate which believes that Israel is wrong and the Arab Palestinians are right must be permitted to be in the ballot. Why stop there when the Supreme Court could just as easily formulate a list of candidates approximately, well, exactly, one-hundred-twenty names all of which they agree with politically and then allow the people to vote to decide who will be the one-hundred-twenty Minister of the Knesset, that would remove any doubt that the Knesset would act as the Supreme Court demands. But then the Attorney General would not have any political arraignments left on his books and would be bored without having to seek out crimes where none exist.

 

Billionaire on a Budget Gift Set for the Prime Minister and Wife

Billionaire on a Budget Gift Set for the Prime Minister and Wife

 

The problem is very simple to understand. Somewhere back at the beginning of the State of Israel, those who crafted the governance in their infinite wisdom, set up a system by which the Supreme Court, Attorney General and a small group of select individuals including representatives of the lawyers guild would determine who was chosen to be a judge, any judge, including Supreme Court judges and also choose the Attorney General. This system resulted in the Supreme Court choosing identically like-minded judges in every judgeship as well as who would replace any retiring or other vacancy on the Supreme Court as well as choosing the Attorney General. Israel was a socialist and extremely leftist nation with an agrarian economy, so maybe this made sense. Israel has changed. Not only is Israel a burgeoning capitalistic economy which is partially high-tech agriculture, but also heavily into medicine, electronics, software, apps, and many, many various highly educated endeavors. The courts are still back in the glory days of the socialist utopia and refusing to be dragged along with the nation. That causes friction and resentment every time the courts attempt to undo the modernization of governance and making things progress. So we have what is called a progressive court which is against progress which has taken the nation further from being a socialist haven. The courts and their selection processes are going to change, if not now, then soon or when the people are so fed up that they demand that the entirety of the judgeships be removed, a new system put in place and then a whole new justice system enacted, selected, approved and ready to move with the people and not ruling against what the nations as a whole desires. The courts have become so reactionary that some on the left are even seeing the problem; they just are not quite ready to lose their place of final recourse. Changes have already started and will continue apace unless the elections prove to have returns which we here are not expecting. Our view of the results of the coming April 9, 2019, elections is that the Likud will once again be tasked with forming a coalition, probably first shot, but even if the Blue-White Party gets first shot, it is thought that they could only muster fifty-five of the necessary sixty-one mandates and thus have to allow another party to try. That other party would be the Likud as things currently appear. Now should the Supreme Court order Bibi to step down as the head of the Likud Party now, with less than three weeks, possibly two by the time this is published, and it would throw a wrench into the entire elections and then the Blue-White Party would be all but assured of forming a coalition and thus save the courts from the will of the people. Contrary to what is often reported, the Blue-White Party stands squarely behind the two-state-solution despite their protestations to the contrary. Now we (I) could be wrong, but my political sense is not often that far from reality, much to some people’s consternation. Given my druthers, we would very much like to see Rafi Peretz from Jewish Home and leader of the Union of Right-Wing Parties be the one tapped to form a coalition, that could only happen were Bibi removed by the Supreme Court, something few desire. The man, Rafi Peretz, is a former Chief Rabbi of the IDF, head of the Otzem Pre-Military Academy in Yated, a combat helicopter pilot, and to match the Blue-White Party claims to fame, is a retired IDF Brigadier General and from reactions to his naming, a well respected gentleman as told by IDF veterans who knew him. We could call this the pipe dream for the coming elections.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 22, 2019

It’s Official, Israel is not a Democracy

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 2:58 AM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

 

Israel, despite what most people believe, has ceased to be a democratic state. Israel has become a form of oligarchy. There exists a select group who have decided that their opinions are to be set as rulings by which everything else may proceed. These selected elite have decided that they are all-powerful. They are empowered to have the greatest say as to whom they will permit to become one of their anointed elites. They have the power to strike down any law or other decision by the elected of Israel, the Knesset. After forcing the Knesset to bow before their omnipotent powers, they then turned to the IDF. They tested the waters and found that their opinions outweighed the orders of commanders and before you know it, they were deciding every move of the Israeli military. There latest infraction was overruling the Election Commission and reversing virtually every decision they had debated and voted on concerning the next elections. The Election Commission is made up of elected members of the Knesset while these elites may never have been approved by more than one or at most two Knesset members and instead elected by an elite group of like-minded individuals of which three of the nine are amongst the sitting elites. Just in case you are still wondering of what we are referencing, the Israeli Supreme Court just decided that theirs is the last say in who may and may not be on the ballot in the upcoming Israeli April 9, 2019, elections.

 

They reached a decision which has great approval if your idea of great approval is the majority of those found sipping some exotic coffee along the beach in Tel Aviv thinking that spending seventy-five shekels for a cup of coffee is a bargain. The average Israel spends at most ten shekels for a cup of coffee, and that comes with a croissant. But who needs the input of those boors who cannot afford a decent cup of coffee. They need to be led and only provided wise choices as approved by their betters. Thus, the Israeli Supreme Court has taken up the arbitrator of who may and may not be permitted to run for the Knesset. Provided your party believes that Israel must be a multi-cultural state completely devoid of any reference to the Jews, then you are their kind of candidate. If, on the other hand, you have ever read or listened to anything by Rabbi Kahane, then you are to be stricken from the ballot as you are a murdering racist. There is that key word again, racist. Their favorite claim is that you have a picture of Baruch Goldstein hanging on the living room wall to which you face when you say your morning prayers. This is a trope with which they cast any religious-Zionist as revering the murderous, evil, and we will say it ourselves when it is required, racist maligner of all that is holy. Religious-Zionists and the vast majority of those who are cast as being of the boorish right, there is no other kind of right in their sight, are claimed to approve if not laud, what that murdering embarrassing miscreant who has provided so many with the perfect whip to try and beat any opposition into submission, his acts. That is as untrue as it could be as we treasure life, all life, as anybody who has taken actual account of Israeli actions even in time of war knows; religious Jews and Jews generally worship life and abhor death. Israel actually treasures the lives of their enemies often more so than do their enemies’ own leadership who readily sacrifice them for political expediency.

 

Those who follow, we would like to say understand but so few understand exactly how Israeli politics works, Israel and their governance realizes, ever since Chief Justice Aharon Barak who advanced a judicial activist approach ruling that everything is adjudicable. Using this crack in the door, the Israeli Supreme Court has literally blown the door right off of its hinges. The Supreme Court has gone well beyond simply striking down laws enacted by the elected Knesset, but has made law and then enforced same, overruled decisions by the Prime Minister, Knesset, Defense Minister, Field Commanders, all the way down to company commanders and anything else they saw and believed required their sagely intervention. When the selection process currently in place permits for the Supreme Court includes the Justice Minister who chairs the selection, one Cabinet Minister who is chosen by the Prime Minister’s Cabinet, two members of the Bar Association, two Knesset Members usually one member from the coalition and one from the opposition, the Chief Justice and two justices from the sitting Supreme Court. Any casual perusing of the selection committee will very quickly realize that the legal profession has a total lock on who is selected and the elected members on the committee are pretty much window dressing made to have it appear the people will have their will represented. If you take the three Supreme Court justices plus one Knesset member from either the coalition or the opposition, one of these is likely to accept a nominee while the other would not, and the two members of the Bar Association and you realize that no candidate will attain the seven votes necessary for elevation to the Supreme Court without the support of most of these individuals whose main criteria is to keep the court representative of far left, progressive policies. The Israeli Supreme Court has not seriously changes their political view or leanings since the early 1960’s, if ever. This has led to a Supreme Court which no longer represents the people of Israel. Where many in Europe and across this wide world will claim that anything which denies the average Israeli power over the actions of the nation is a good thing, such would not be approved of in any other nation. One can only wonder how long any sitting Supreme Court in the United States would remain if they were to decide that they were to be permitted final say over all decisions made by Congress, the President, the individual states and were to be allowed to review and countermand military orders to their forces. This is what the world claims is required in Israel only because the current Israeli Supreme Court is just as left as they tend to be.

 

Chief Justice Aharon Barak

Chief Justice Aharon Barak

 

There are claims that should members of some of the political parties be granted the position of Justice Minister, they will rein in the Supreme Court. Some claim they will make Supreme Court selection be made by the Prime Minister or Justice Minister and approved by the Knesset. We have heard this siren’s song before and have yet to see it come to fruition. There is a simple question which need be answered; who honestly believes that the Israeli Supreme Court, the arbiters of all that is considered holy, will allow any new means of selecting their successors which leaves them out of the loop instead of being the entire loop to stand and not simply declare such a law as void. With the Supreme Court presumably sitting in decision over everything emanating from the Knesset and the Prime Minister, Justice Minister, the rest of the cabinet and virtually everything else short of landing rights at Ben Gurion Airport (likely because they had not considered such before) would allow any law which changes their near god-like powers from continuing. If and when such a piece of legislation is passed by the Knesset, something which would require more intestinal fortitude than unfortunately is lacking in far too many Israeli politicians, and signed by the Prime Minister, another highly improbable occurrence, the Supreme Court would pounce upon it like a male guppy eating its offspring and that would be the end of that legislation. We would give odds that after such, the majority of Knesset Ministers would then claim that they had attempted to fulfill the desires of the people and were thwarted and thus there was nothing further they could do.

 

Wrong, and is wrong on so many levels. First, and equally obvious, they could continue to pass normal legislation demanding the changes they desire. But there is another step they could take which would potentially bring on what would be a constitutional crisis, if only Israel had a constitution. But Israel has what most consider the next best thing, Basic Laws. These Basic Laws are treated like the rough draft for a constitution. They are the only laws requiring that they receive sixty-one affirmative votes, a majority of the entire Knesset. Oh, regular laws only require that the Knesset be in session and then a majority of those casting votes. If you have a group of you and six (could be almost any number) of like minded members of the Knesset and a single official who is permitted to call the Knesset into session, then technically you could pass any legislation you desired, for a first vote. Every piece of legislation is required to pass three such votes and between the first and second, if not from the outset, must pass through at least one Knesset committee. This means that though you may have passed such legislation to get it on the books, if you do not have general agreement, then you legislation will fail on the subsequent votes. But a basic law requires a majority of the Knesset to pass, which is not an easy task, as we would rather have to herd a hundred kittens than herd together sixty-one Knesset members agreeing on anything including that the sky is blue and water is wet. To date, the Supreme Court has resisted vetoing any legislation which was passed as a Basic Law, but if how new Supreme Court Justices are chosen were to pass as a Basic Law, we might just see an exception and their intervening to cut it from the rule of law even as a Basic Law. This would be the declaration of war between the legislative and judicial branches of government and it would be an ugly and drawn out affair. Sure, we would have lots to write about, but who would want to read about such a bloodletting?

 

What we would wait for is when the other idea being put forth would become law, Basic Law preferably. That idea is that the Knesset could override the ruling of a law being unacceptable by the Supreme Court with a two-thirds vote of the entire Knesset, or simply with eighty votes out of the one-hundred-twenty Knesset members. Gathering such would be impossible, as it has been difficult enough to form a coalition which merely requires sixty-one members whose party leaders are willing to join the elected Prime Minister. Of course, one could claim that every Prime Minister of Israel was selected and not elected. The not elected is easy as no party in a very long time, nor is likely in the near or distant future, has received sixty-one mandates and thus able to form a coalition by themselves. This means that no head of a party received a majority of the vote, which is expected when you have at least a dozen parties. The way one becomes Prime Minister is that the President of Israel selects the party he feels is most capable of forming a coalition, and if they fail he may choose another party to give it a go, and eventually he will simply call for new elections as he would run out of leaders to choose. More often than not, the party chosen also is the party which received the most votes, though such was not the case not so long ago as a left-centrist party, Kadima, received twenty-eight mandates while the Likud received merely twenty-seven mandates, but the President chose the Likud to form a coalition first, which they were able to do easily, well, easily under Israeli guidelines. Yes, there was much caterwauling from the left claiming that Kadima could have easily formed a coalition though their arguments often only added up to fifty-seven mandates, if that, which would not be sufficient, but who needs reality when arguing politics, as many will claim, not us. In all honesty, we do attempt never to use our own facts unless we make sure to state it is conjecture, or it be obviously such.

 

Does Israel require some limitations being placed on the Supreme Court? The answer is most definitely. What Israel requires even more is an actual constitution which has been approved, even if it need be done in increments over a two-year period, by the majority of people voting on the actual wording. Having the constitution approved in its entirety would be preferable, but would also be so unlike the way things get done in Israel. The first thing which would need to be sorted out is that the Supreme Court would have absolutely no say beyond as an advisory group in the forming of said constitution. Further, the constitution would be required to address things beyond limitations on the Supreme Court or how Supreme Court and other justices are chosen. The constitution should also make a system by which the Prime Minister becomes directly elected by the people, some form of bicameral legislature and a means for amending the constitution which should include acceptance by the electorate by at a minimum, a majority and preferable sixty-percent. We even have ideas on how such could be accomplished.

 

Electing the Prime Minister would simply be convoluted, as is everything here in Israel, with each person casting three votes, a first choice weighing five points, a second choice receiving three points and a third choice receiving one point. The person with the most points wins. Perhaps that was not as painful as we thought. The bicameral legislature is going to be a bit more trouble. The lower house would be chosen exactly as is the current Knesset with the parties being the recipient of the votes and selecting their own lists. Without permitting the parties such power, no constitution could ever win approval of the Knesset. Next would be the upper house which would have anywhere from sixty to seventy-five members, we will not pick the exact number. These people would be directly elected with voters having five choices weighted as follows, ten for first, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth and finally one for fifth. The people who receive the highest number of points would make up the other house and as such would be selected directly by the people. Would such an idea ever be accepted is less the question than would such an idea ever be floated other than in an editorial. Such a constitution would not only limit the powers of the Supreme Court, it would undercut the current powers of the parties and the Knesset would share legislative power with a second body which was more responsive to the people. The Prime Minister would also now be directly elected. There would need be the allowing for parties whose members are selected for the other body to lift them from their Knesset list allowing the next person to fill the slot with a similar condition made for the Prime Minister. This is necessary simply because the individual parties would insist on placing their most popular people on their lists but would not stand losing their position if they also were selected by the popular vote. On the other side, many people would shy from seeking the directly elected position when they know they would have a safe position on their party list. The aim is to get the best people chosen by the people into the government giving the people and the parties each as much latitude as possible. Israelis deserve the best the parties have to offer and also the best individuals regardless of parties. The constitution also need make lists of those seeking office beyond the reach of the Supreme Court and possibly beyond the reach of an election commission and simply allow the people to decide. Of course, just allow the electorate to decide is an anathema to those who hold power simply because of their swelled self-worth. Personally, I would rather be ruled by five-hundred Israelis chosen completely at random than the selected candidates chosen by the parties, but that would never fly. Perhaps that could be a choice on the presented possibilities for a constitution and perhaps others will see the wisdom, if any, in that plan. At least everyone would have equal opportunity to be in the Knesset, which would make things interesting to say the least. The best we can hope for now is for integrity to slip into Israeli governance and thus the ability to form a constitution which empowers the people over the selected few who currently are placed in power. Eventually, the people will demand no less, eventually being the operative word.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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