Wednesday, January 20, 2021

  • Wednesday, January 20, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon


Steffi Hentschke, in German newspaper Die Zeit asks whether Israel is even a democracy. Its subhead asks that question explicitly. 

Then we read the article.
Israel is making a name for itself these days because of its successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Three weeks after the first vaccination, around 1.8 million citizens - around 20 percent of the population - have been vaccinated. But this success cannot hide the fact that, 72 years after the founding of the state, Israel is in its deepest domestic political crisis. For the fourth time in two years , parliamentary elections are due at the end of March . In a recent study, 19 Western democracies were compared; nowhere else have there been so many elections since 1996 as in Israel.

You get that? Israel cannot be a democracy because it has too many elections.

Many in the country have long since doubted whether Israel is still a democracy at all . Thousands of citizens have been taking to the streets for months, criticizing the erosion of democratic structures.  The focus is on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu , who has ruled the country for 14 years.

 Israel cannot be a democracy because the people can protest the Prime Minister every week without worrying about being arrested.

This makes him the longest-serving head of government in Israel's history - and the first incumbent to stand trial for criminal offenses, corruption, breach of trust and bribery.

Israel cannot be a democracy because its elected leaders aren't above the law and can be prosecuted like any other citizen.
Israel has no constitution. After the founding of the state, they could not agree on it, especially the first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was against and declared that as long as the majority of the Jewish people still lived in the diaspora, no stable constitution could be passed. Instead, basic rights with constitutional status were drawn up, which to this day form the foundation of the rule of law. These basic laws include the right to freedom of the press, the protection of minorities and the independence of the judiciary. 
Israel cannot be a democracy because it has basic laws that include freedoms that no other non-democracies have.
The Supreme Court in Jerusalem takes care of compliance , a massive building made of sandstone with panoramic windows. Men in black robes hurry through the bright hallways, only the creaking of the soles of their shoes on the polished marble floors can be heard.
Israel cannot be a democracy because it has a judicial system that enforces freedom and democracy.

Do you see a pattern here? The very things that makes Israel a free country and a democracy are used to claim the opposite. 

The article was also skewered in MENA-Watch.

(h/t someone on Twitter, sorry, didn't save it)





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