Thursday, February 16, 2006

Why We Have Lost Faith in the System

Evelyn Gordon has an excellent piece in the Jerusalem Post summarizing the reasons that the teenagers at Amona, and many of us who live in Judea and Samaria, have lost faith in the democratic system in Israel.

"In a democracy, victory is supposed to be achieved by winning an election. Yet
settlers twice won democratic votes against the disengagement, only to see their
victory nullified by the government and Knesset."

If you want to understand current events in Israel, this is a must read.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Don Radlauer said...

I read the article, and I'm afraid that I disagree with it. The previous elections were not a referendum on Disengagement, nor is it correct to say that Ariel Sharon ran "against the Labor platform". Sharon ran against Avram Mitzna, who had little relevant experience and ran an inept campaign, and won handily.

While there's no question that Ariel Sharon pulled a bit of a switcheroo policy-wise (understatement deliberate), we have to remember that in a representative democracy we vote for people, not platforms; and our recourse is to vote for someone else next time if we don't like what our elected representatives did this time.

To the extent that the polls so far indicate anything (and of course, the only poll that really matters is the one on 28 March), they indicate that a majority of the voting public likely will not vote to repudiate Ariel Sharon's switcheroo.

Of course, some voters who voted for Ariel Sharon last time will vote against Kadima this time; but others who voted for parties to the left of Likud last time will vote for Kadima this time. I'm not aware of any principal of politics that forbids a politician from forsaking one group of voters for another. If Ariel Sharon figured that the electorate had shifted leftwards and decided to follow that shift, he was perfectly within his rights to act on that perception. We'll know soon if he was right - although the waters are a bit muddied by the fact that a much less charismatic and popular politician will be carrying the flag for Sharon's policies this time around.

7:02 PM, February 16, 2006  
Blogger bec said...

i understand the idea of voting for the lesser of two evils (i voted for bush on the israel issue alone)but i have to say that i completely agree with the jpost article on this one. when we vote, whether in the US or Israel, we're voting for the person and the platform. if sharon had promised pizza parties every motzei shabbos and then got into office and suddenly made it illegal to own pizza and the pizza making ingredients, i would be pretty annoyed, and i'm sure that a large chunk of the population would be upset--and rightfully so.
it's one thing for an elected candidate to change a little once he is in office, but to do a complete turn around to the point of being a good representative for the other side is, at best, traitorous. At worst, well, you can just read the news for that.

10:06 PM, February 16, 2006  
Anonymous Tovya @ Zion Report said...

Yeah I read that earlier.. very impressive for the JPost I have to admit.

12:40 AM, February 17, 2006  
Blogger Scottage said...

Hi Westbank,

I really like your site. I'm not sure I have a comment on your article yet, I need to grok it a while, but I did want to tell you I was impressed with what I saw, and that I'll be back.

8:10 AM, February 17, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

Don - In this country we vote for parties, not people. If you look at the results of the Likud referendum, it is blatantly obvious that Sharon went against the parties' wishes. The fact that we have another opportunity to vote now, does not justify what Sharon did retroactively.

bec- yes, we were betrayed, period.

tovya - they do publish Evelyn Gordon and Carolyn Glick on a regular basis. Their problem is that some of their reporters are biased to the left, and some are biased to the right. You never know what you are going to get, and have to read carefully. The headlines are also sometimes very biased. That is why some people claim that JPost is ok, while others decry that it has turned left.

Scottage - welcome to my blog. It is good to have a commenter who is not Israeli, and may be more objective than those of us in the thick of it. It helps hone the brain cells!

10:10 AM, February 17, 2006  
Blogger muse said...

The system encourages graft, but it's what we have, and we have to fix it.

4:52 PM, February 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don -

Mitznah ran explicitly on a platform of unilateral withdrawal - later euphemized to "disengagement" but the exact same animal.

Sharon run on a tough-guy image backed by a "no more concessions" platform.

The landslide given to Sharon was most definitely a clear rejection of Oslo-style unilateral concessions - including the mother of them all, withdrawal from territory.

3:58 PM, February 19, 2006  
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