The Paradox of Israeli Politics: Vote Right, Get Left
Many supporters of Israel are continually bedeviled by a glaring contradiction within Israeli politics. How can it be, regardless of which party wins the election, that leftist policies are invariably implemented?
As a backgrounder, from 1977 to date (excluding an eight-year period), Likud won elections based upon a platform of a "Greater Israel." That being the case, nevertheless, it was under Likud PM Menachem Begin whereby the entire Sinai was relinquished. While there are too many substantive examples to enumerate, essentially proving that leftist policies continually supplant right-wing Likud electoral platforms, two stand out as "poster children" and therefore warrant special attention.
Likud's Ariel Sharon was elected on February 6, 2001 by a landslide margin, defeating Labor's PM Ehud Barak 62.4% to 37.6%. Sharon's win should have handed him a wide berth to govern from the right, regardless of outside pressures. (It behooves mentioning that Israel's structural deficiencies, due to proportional representation and fixed party lists -- as opposed to truly democratic constituency elections -- vitiates democratic electoral outcomes. Professor Paul Eidelberg elucidates the prescriptive polices required to achieve said reforms at his policy institute, the Israel-America Renaissance Institute.) However, policies of appeasement were in full swing during Sharon's first year. This was especially ironic, particularly since the well-known hawkish general -- nicknamed "the bulldozer" -- was nowhere to be found as his politician counterpart "fought" Arab terror. Moreover, there were higher casualties from Arab terror attacks during Sharon's first year in office than in previous combined years. It wasn't until the bodies started piling up, coupled with a hue and cry from the general public, that Operation Defensive Shield was finally belatedly launched on March 29, 2002.
Similarly, Sharon, paradoxically dubbed the "settlement builder," executed the wholesale expulsion/destruction of the once-glorious Gush Katif "settlement" enterprise, as well as that of communities in the northern Shomron. The expulsion/destruction took place despite a Likud-led referendum (due to massive nationalist outcry) which squashed any mandate to push forward with "disengagement." Even though Sharon promised to abide by the referendum, he did no such thing.
How can this be? How can an overwhelming majority of the electorate's voice be negated, thus allowing the left to rule, regardless of the majority's wishes?
Briefly, according to Dr. Martin Sherman (an eminent Israeli political scientist and the founder of The Israeli Institute for Strategic Studies) in "Who really runs Israel?" (Ynet, 4/21/2010), "[a]lthough the right wing consistently wins elections, it never really gets into power. It is a phenomenon that can only be explained by the existence of some influence extraneous to the political system that imposes policy outcomes that diverge radically from those that should be expected from regular operation of political routine."
Furthermore, few understand the "unholy alliance" among Israel's civil society (funded and fueled by foreign NGOs), AKA its ruling elites, and their pernicious affect upon Israel's policy outcomes. They operate with impunity inside media, legal, diplomatic, and cultural institutions, mainly schooled by post-/anti-Zionist academics headquartered within social sciences/humanities departments. The above unelected functionaries act as cheerleaders/disseminators for rulings imposed (or about to be) by a predisposed leftist, pro-Arab court system. In turn, pressure is exerted upon the political leadership to execute their dictates. Indeed, Israel's court system has supplanted its legislature.
The toxic mixture of civil society elites servicing unelected Supreme Court justices (they choose their own replacements) led to the following recent -- out of volumes of others -- pro-Arab ruling.
According to Moshe Dann (a Ph.D. historian) in his op-ed "Who makes the law?" at the Jerusalem Post (March 28, 2012):
Once again former chief justice Dorit Beinisch and a few of her colleagues have usurped the role and powers of the legislature and sought to create new law. The same tactic of appealing directly to the Supreme Court which does not examine evidence has used in legal disputes over contested areas such as Migron. But in Lessans' case (a dispute over the ownership of dunams in Kedumim, located in the Shomron) the court went beyond deciding on a specific place and issued a discriminatory edict. The justices did not rule on who owns the land since the Arab claimants clearly do not. They ruled on who did not own the land, namely Michael Lessans, because, according to the court, the right to acquire land by chazaka does not apply to Jews. (Holy smokes) This ruling should send shivers down the spine of everyone who respects the rule of law.
Due to the above, and to so much more, it is overwhelmingly the case that Israel's policy-making and electoral systems (one piggybacking upon the other) must be overhauled. It is no doubt a Herculean task. Nevertheless, instead of lamenting that nothing can be done, all supporters of Israel must shoulder the burden. In fact, as referenced herein, there are two core policy institutes ready to fix Israel's broken system.
An accurate articulation, coupled with nation-saving policy strategies, can be found at Dr. Sherman's policy institute. In tandem, mandatory changes to Israel's electoral system (its structural flaws) are requisitely addressed by Professor Paul Eidelberg's institute.
If all lovers of Zion become involved -- in whatever way possible with both of these institutes -- Israel's policies will consequently reflect the will of its majority, Zionist citizens -- ushering in a true Jewish democracy.
Adina Kutnicki has lived in Israel since 2008. She is a political commentator on Zionist and conservative-related issues at various media outlets.