Beyond the Cusp

May 14, 2016

How Democracy Dies in Israel

 

Though we had discussed thoughts of this nature we could only obliquely refer to our suspicions but thanks to Caroline B. Glick for her article which is the meat of our commentary and worth reading as her manner and ability to cut to the bone and serve the meat on any subject is particularly poignant and we would feel as if we had deprived our readers of every morsel and fact within her article The Fruits of Subversion which we read in Jewish World Review which is one of many places where Carolyn Glick can be found. The discussion we will attempt will be to delve into some of the ramifications; both the potential, and the other simply dread and hopefully never come to pass. Needless to point out, adding to a Caroline B. Glick article is not a task for the queasy and in this endeavor failure is not only an option but even a probability. I guess by now we can simply assume that Caroline B. Glick is a reporter and editorialist extraordinaire whom we hold in high esteem. Now let us proceed and try and tackle this not so simple task and hope for the best.

 

There has been a shadow government operating in concert with the administration of a foreign power, that of President Barack Obama and the United States Department of State. This government has taken upon itself the pursuit of an agenda which is completely the opposite of that of the elected government. These individuals have taken upon themselves to assist the aims of President Barack Obama and report to the State department, administration appointees and even the Secretary of State or the Director of Central Intelligence Agency any deviations from the presumptive and United States approved policy potentially taken or in the plans of the government in Israel. Examples from the article included reporting the plans for a strike on the Iranian nuclear sites and we might discern that other such treasonous revelations granted the United States and Obama Administration would include any objections or arguments which Prime Minister Netanyahu might have regarding any peace and concessions and any resistance to of President Obama’s carefully laid out agenda which he and his tools in Israel believed to be superior and a better path for Israel going into the future and against the will of the voters and their elected governance. The problem is that this infection had spread throughout much of the highest ranks including the general staff as well as the intelligence community. Caroline Glick mentioned some names but we suspect, as does she more than likely, that the disease is rotting through many institutions who see their job description to include preserving the democracy their politics support, the people be damned, as what do the people know about the realities of the world and the best of paths for the state of Israel. Another place where this rot had held sway since the beginning of the state of Israel and through the same process of self-appointing replacements and choosing those of identical political philosophies while punishing those who hold contrary opinions even to the point of demotions or forced retirement from serving the country is the Supreme Court and likely the entire legal and judicial system.

 

Perhaps this might be a good time to confess that we did not vote for Likud and much of the reasoning was a dislike and distrust of Prime Minister Netanyahu and wished that there was some way of either limiting the number of total years or terms a Prime Minister is permitted to serve and after that set period of time they would need to set aside their leadership of the nation and allow another to be the representative of their party as Prime Minister even if they continued to lead the party. Such an example might be that Prime Minister Netanyahu after serving, say, a decade holding the office of Prime Minister he would need appoint another from the party, or better yet, have the party choose the new Prime Minister designate to represent that position for example it might be Gilad Erdan, Yuli Edelstein, Yerael Kats or any other Likud member in good standing. Perhaps with such a limitation allowing for fresh leadership even if the same party remains as leading the government year after year after year which might prevent the self-appointed demi-gods from perverting the elective process and the choices of the people and destroying the democracy in order, in their minds, to preserve the democracy.

 

Part of the problem, as we estimate the situation, is that due to sclerotic and often paralytic political power structure which retains a small group of leadership holding all of the positions including Prime Minister and his Cabinet that stresses the top positions in the military, courts, intelligence and other political and security positions which are not elected directly or indirectly by the people into using their privileged positions and access to the decisions, plans and other intelligence including both external, internal and even secretive plans which only the very highest military position and heads of intelligence have privilege to acquire and who are trusted by the people not to overstep their boundaries and serve the people and its government. What is even more disturbing is the seeming support these paragons of perfect knowledge, or at least self-perceived as such, have abused their positions and forfeited the trust of the people and the government they are presumably serving have been celebrated and even granted privileged acceptance and praises from their political allies who are leaning on these people of rank to allow for their political goals and views to be implemented through abuse of force and forfeiting the votes of millions of their nation’s citizenry. The actions of the previous Director of the Mossad, Maj. Gen. Meir Dagan, and commanders such as Deputy Chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Gola, compared Israeli society to the Nazis on Holocaust Remembrance Day; the General Staff’s vilification of Sgt. Elor Azaria, for killing a wounded terrorist in Hebron; and the drumming from his position as a commander of an Infantry Company of Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner for striking a European leftist instigator who had earlier broken a number of Eisner’s fingers and caused other equally painful injuries which required medical treatment.

 

Ya'alon and General Staff

Ya’alon and General Staff

 

The general policy being empowered by these paragons of democracy, well, at least in their own minds, and that of the extreme leftists, the defeatists, the leftist media which is to say the majority of the mainstream media, the European Union, United Nations, European government and media, and worst of all the anti-Zionist, anti-Israeli Administration of President Barack Obama is one duly leftist in its approach to all policies and completely placating and forgiving empowering the Arab Palestinians and the terror infrastructure and support systems all in the name of peace at any price even to include the complete compromise of the freedom and identity of Israel as the Jewish State. The obvious question is why these generals are not simply forced from service and replaced with other senior officers who hold more reasonable understandings of the power and responsibility of the military to serve the governance elected by the people. One reason is that it is very likely that the Supreme Court would intervene and return these general staff officers and likely find some choice names of officers who are approaching senior positions and blame them for attempting to overthrow the general staff and they themselves would find themselves drummed from service and potentially incarcerated, thus is the established leftist shadow governance. As far as removing such generals from the IDF, such a move would necessarily require the support of the Defense Minister and MK Ya’alon leans left himself and would likely defend these generals and may be partly the reason that Ya’alon was chosen for the position such as to have a person who could work with the generals the IDF offered and not one to shake things up and rock the boat. The entirety of the system of unelected policy experts who are pursuing their own agenda is an echo chamber which amplifies the problem which will take a brave and ready to fall on their political swords for the nation and its people.

 

The final item we will attempt to cover is why it may be time to find a new Prime Minister to replace Netanyahu, from Likud if necessary. The nation needs a bold leader who is willing to take whatever steps are required to enforce the will of the people. Such a person would be, by necessity, somebody with an almost careless outlook and one who does not prefer the limelight and instead simply desires sacrificing to serve the nation and its people. Unfortunately such a person is unlikely as a parliamentary system is not usually capable of taking dire steps even when many see it as necessary. A Parliamentary system most often places a party functionary who has the right pedigree often the result of years of steady service to the party as a dedicated soldier. This is how Ya’alon became Defense Minister as did the rest of the Prime Minister’s inner cabinet. One of the complaints we have often heard was that there was such a seeming dearth of politicians who would be worthy of being the next Prime Minister. Even when other parties are added to the discussion with their presumed additional candidates there are still very few if any additional candidates who might excite the people, or at least none of us here. We did have one we would have hoped would offer themselves as a challenger for the office of Prime Minister as the lead of their party but they made a couple of defeatist comments, one in particular which displayed a serious deficiency which displayed they were not ready for prime time, let alone Prime Minister. If anyone has any ideas on a viable challenger, please encourage them as Israel cannot long survive these closed systems and their ruinous effect acting against the will of the people. The leaders in the legal systems, military, intelligence and law enforcement systems are presumed and designed to serve the people and the government and to implement the desires and policies of same, not take it upon themselves to be gods and rule taking power upon themselves simply because they see themselves as superior to the elected governance. Such is a closed system free of outside forces for change thus not reflecting the will of the people as they serve and should not be placing themselves above the people and their welfare, which is also against Torah.

 

Thank you all,

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 1, 2015

The Great and Powerful Bibi

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu has announced another power which he has awarded unto himself. I had attempted to think up some comical manner based on Toto, the Scarecrow looking for a brain, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man desiring a heart and Dorothy who would have played the part of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Of course Bibi (read respectively as Prime Minister Netanyahu and also intended to give the thought of ‘The Great and Powerful Bibi’), as stated in the article title, would have played the Great and Powerful Oz which was manipulated by and represented the timid little man behind the curtain who decided on the new persona so as to give himself gravitas and impressive dimensions he feared he lacked in person. With Bibi now taking a new and almost completely original definition for veto power over legislation, the comparison might have been appropriate. Unfortunately for you and a letdown for me, I am not the greatest of comic writers if I might be called such at all. So, instead we are left discussing this new power, its ramifications and perhaps a look into the crystal ball to try and divine the real reasons and what future this portends.

 

First-off, the comparison of the veto power as explained that Bibi has assumed and the veto power of American Presidents have only one real comparison, they are both referred to as ‘veto power’ by the executive be they President or Prime Minister. Where the American President must wait for legislation to be passed and then he is able to veto the bill which then returns to the Congress where a two-thirds vote by both houses can override the veto by the President making his veto not necessarily the last word on the legislation and it becoming law. Prime Minister Netanyahu has a completely different veto as he informs a ruling member of the Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. Levin also serves as deputy to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, chaired by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, of the Prime Minister’s desire to kill any legislation and he is empowered to kill the bill right there never even allowing a reading before the Knesset or any form of vote or override. This makes the veto by the Prime Minister a preventive action making this particular power more attuned to an Emperor or a Monarch with supreme and undisputable powers. Levin stated speaking with Haaretz that the veto will be used very rarely adding, “I don’t want to make serial use of it,” as Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and he shared a “good rapport.” That is all well and good, but any use of such power and even its existence makes the Prime Minister all powerful beyond the norms of his office, but if he was able to get this approved by the coalition, then, obviously, more power to him.

 

The question that this begs is when does the Prime Minister intend that this power be exercised. There is one obvious and one which strikes fear in us here where this power would be wielded, one widely and one to rein in those the Prime Minister fears inside his coalition who might have more extreme views, some might say were made of sterner stuff. The obvious use of such an extreme veto power would be that it was expected that having such a narrow, actually the most minimal, coalition majority at a mere sixty-one that it might be expected for a series of critical maneuvers might be made by swamping the Knesset with divisive legislation not intended to ever pass but to expose and widen differences eventually tearing down the coalition forcing another election cycle and in order to achieve anything productive and agreed upon within the coalition. These petty targeted legislation would be best nipped in the bud and prevented from doing their intended destructive influences. Then there is the feared use where Bibi would be implementing this power to prevent any confrontations between himself and the Knesset with the Judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court. Justice Ayelet Shaked has stated she intends to cut the Supreme Court’s overbearance and overwhelming power to dictate and influence laws by actually reviewing every law passed by the Knesset and then vetoing whichever laws they disagree with and even rewriting or writing original laws and through judicial fiat making these laws be enforced. Many have referred to the Supreme Court as a second or shadow government far more powerful than the Prime Minister and Knesset combined as their veto is not made available to review and their enacted by judicial fiat laws are also not reviewable or removable as any attempt at doing so is simply struck down by the Supreme Court.

 

This is, unfortunately, a trait which has plagued Bibi in his role as Prime Minister and is something his impressive and well recognized military career would not have given one to expect such hesitance and insecurity from one such as Prime Minister Netanyahu. Should this power be intended to avoid any confrontations with the Supreme Court and used to strike down those instances where the Justice Minister takes on the court too directly and with what Bibi fears is too little tact and delicacy. Unfortunately, the only way the Supreme Court will be reined in and brought to more represent the people of Israel and not be a self-selecting and self-sustaining clique which wields power beyond measure will be a direct assault with the full support and backing of the Knesset and the Prime Minister. Currently the Supreme Court Justices in combination of near even representation between the coalition and the opposition as well as the head of the Bar Association and the Attorney General, who is appointed largely by the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court has influence and a leftist influence which has only been further exaggerated through a string of leftist appointees being placed on the Supreme Court Bench as well in the Attorney Generals spot and any other institutions which are under the direction of these offices instituting an echo chamber where these legal arenas are resistant to change in their political viewpoints and still are representative largely of the early socialist, almost communist, political ideals which were the vast majority the first few decades of the history of Israel which cemented the courts in place and sustained such views across the six decades of the nation’s history.

 

One change which has been proposed both within the government and amongst the legal and popular representatives of the people and the media that the court appointees should have to pass through some review by the Knesset in order to bring the courts and legal system of the State of Israel more closely aligned and able to be altered as the citizens themselves develop, mature and take on new ideas and choose to stress certain political ideals which might differ with an unalterable and moribund court still stuck in the viewpoints of the initial decade of Israeli existence, an extremely leftist viewpoint which stands in opposition to much of the current societal views. Should this and the ability to prevent any of the more extreme and untried views to solve many of the most pressing problems facing the nation and people of Israel be presented by those more to the right or of a more strident form of Zionism attempt to press legislation, this veto power would grant Bibi with relatively unprecedented and supreme power to prevent such views from being debated. We will have to wait and see how often and in which manner this unalterable veto is used. Sometimes it will have to be divined by the media and public whether the reason that certain ideas seem to go silent extremely suddenly and unnaturally. This Prime Minister normally has great amounts of power in a Parliamentary form of governance but this new veto, more of a kill switch, power over legislation will require great and astute scrutiny in the coming months in this new government and perhaps might result in a call for new elections with the greatest question of who other than Bibi can be chosen as Prime Minister? Perhaps this is the greatest question which may fall upon the Likud leadership to decide, but here too Bibi has gathered great centralization of power to himself making uprooting him from the lead of the Likud apparently impossible for now. That may force the people of Israel to seek a new leader elsewhere which should be a step taken with care and serious deliberations well before any action. Such a question would merit being a central issue for the citizens of Israel to consider amongst themselves in the immediate future rather than waiting until the next elections are upon us. Time’s a wasting.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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