On Israeli Democracy

Haaretz has published a troubling editorial on Israeli Democracy on the retreat, saying that less Israeli citizens believe that democracy is the best form of government than ever before.
Coupled with an article by Caroline Glick in The Jerusalem Post, on Israeli academia, a pattern emerges: Israelis are taught to think that their government is bad, and thereby either damn the system itself, yearning for strong leaders to clean up the mess.
In truth, the Israeli political system does deserve blame for its unattractive portrayal of democracy. A single-district list-system parliamentary government, Israel certainly does not have a tradition of representation which is key to successful democracy. No member of Israel’s Knesset can truly say that he or she represents Israeli citizens from one group or area or another, because they are not picked directly by the people, but are accorded places on a list.
This means that regional leaders or mayors have no national power, and no-one looking out for their constituents’ interests in the highest body of Israel’s democracy. Coupled with the security threat, which would make any government look bad, the unrepresentativeness of the system is leading to a loss of faith amongst the peoples.
We cannot allow this to occur. Even under fire, Israelis should rethink the Israeli political system to make it more representative and responsive to the will of the people. Citizens should feel that they have someone in Knesset who is looking out for them and their interests, and not only scrounging for money for his or her interest group.
Until serious reform is carried out in Israel, and a constitution is set to guide the political process and protect civil liberties, the Israeli people will continue to loose faith in the process of democracy.


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