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Israel is on the verge of a revolution, inevitable as the rising sun. Within three years Israel will either become an authentic Jewish State or a blood-drenched Lebanon. Whether it becomes one or the other will depend very much on the ascendancy of a few clear-minded and dauntless Jews. These Jews will possess the courage to see that merely reacting to Israel's incessant crises accomplishes very little. Instead, they will be guided by a clearly articulated Jewish agenda. Going beyond the vague idea of Jewish leadership and the equally vague goal of a Jewish State, they will publicize and pursue the axiomatic requirements of a Jewish national strategy.
Before discussing these requirements, consider the results of a recent study. During the last six years, more than 200,000 Israelis have become observant. Another 130,000, formerly secularists, now identify
themselves as "traditionalists." From this and other demographic data one may reasonably conclude that Israel can at last become an authentic Jewish State.But Israel cannot possibly become an authentic Jewish State so long as its advocates and their financial supporters fail to address the demonstrable fact that the principle of one adult/one vote operative in Israel makes an authentic Jewish State impossible. Even now that culturally neutral principle can give Israel's burgeoning Arab citizens 20 seats in the next Knesset. Indeed, in two or three decades, that dogmatic principle of democracy will transform Israel into an Arab-Islamic dictatorship. Long before that, however, Israel will succumb to a Lebanese-type civil war.
It requires no great wisdom to enumerate the axiomatic requirements of a Jewish national strategy. Only needed is candor and courage, without which no Jewish leadership movement is worthy of moral and financial support. The axiomatic requirements of a Jewish national strategy are simply these:
1. Public affirmation that Israel is the State of the Jews.
2. Public affirmation that a Jewish State must be based on Jewish principles and values.
3. Public affirmation that the primary source of Jewish principles and values is the Torah.
4. Public affirmation that only Jews, whether religious or not, can formulate a Jewish national strategy.
5. Public affirmation that the previous axiomatic requirements preclude complete equality of Jewish and non-Jewish residents of Israel. (As the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin explained on May 6, 1976: "There is room [in Israel] for a non-Jewish minority on condition that it accept the destiny of the State vis-à-vis the Jewish people, culture, tradition, and belief. The minority is entitled to equal rights as individuals with respect to their distinct religion and culture, but not more than that.")
6. Public affirmation that Israel's system of government -- its laws and institutions -- must be consistent with the foregoing axiomatic requirements.
Authentic Jewish leaders and their financial supporters must acknowledge these axioms -- meaning these self-evident truths. Having done so, they must then go on to expose those basic flaws in Israel's system of government which make an authentic Jewish State impossible. These flaws -- they are largely responsible for Israel's disasters and humiliations -- should be publicized throughout the country:
1. The dictatorial concentration of power in the Executive Branch. An Israeli prime minister can (a) make agreements with foreign states and even criminal organizations without serious Knesset or public debate; (b) dispose of the land and holy places of the Jewish People; (c) release Arab terrorists who have murdered Jewish men, women, and children; (d) ignore the convictions of those who elected him to office.
2. The impotence of the Legislative Branch. Lacking constituency elections, Knesset Members are subservient to party leaders, hence incapable of exercising independent judgment vis-à-vis government
policies. Conversely, citizens lack power to influence government policies via their own elected representatives.
3. An unrestrained Judicial Branch. The absence of a Knesset accountable to the people augments the power and "judicial activism" of the Supreme Court, many of whose decisions violate fundamental Jewish principles and values.
4. A grotesque Electoral System. Proportional representation with a low threshold multiplies parties, fragments the Government and renders the latter incapable of developing coherent and comprehensive national policies.
5. The lack of a clear and concise and coherent body of fundamental laws -- say a basic document with which to educate youth and thereby promote civic virtue and national unity. These flaws point to only one remedy: a Constitution. Furthermore, anyone who thinks Israel can be or become a Jewish State without a Jewish Constitution, meaning a Constitution that institutionalizes the primacy of Judaism, is suffering from ignorance or intimidated by the bogeyman of "racism." And if he is a philanthropist supporting Israeli "causes," he is probably squandering, or not putting to best use, a great deal of his money.
Fear of the racist canard dominates Israel's political and intellectual leaders and their financial backers in the Diaspora. Even among Jews who want a Jewish State, most are afraid to draw the logical consequences of such a state, namely, that its laws and policies must be determined exclusively by Jews as prescribed in a Constitution. I have written lengthy moral and philosophical justifications of such a Constitution and have elaborated on its necessity and practicality. Although more and more Jews in Israel and in the United States are rallying to the idea of a Constitution, the time is short and the need is great.
Summing up: Authentic Jewish leadership is impossible given the flaws in Israel's political institutions, which flaws can only be remedied by a Jewish Constitution. A fragmented Cabinet will undermine any decent prime minister and make it impossible for him to pursue a Jewish national strategy. He will be undermined by a faction-ridden Knesset whose Arab members will hold the balance of power on many issues affecting foreign and domestic affairs.
The Jews of Israel have only two alternatives: preserve the existing political system, which can only lead to disaster, or promote a Constitutional Party that advocates a Jewish Constitution. Without such a Constitution there can be no authentic Jewish State. Hence the present writer will make himself available to any Jewish organization or philanthropist that has the vision and courage to support such a Constitution.
Prof Paul Eidelberg is President of FOUNDATION FOR CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY 244 Madison Avenue, Suite 427, New York, NY 10016, TEL212-372-3752