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Karny on Barak and the Labor Party - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
June 14th, 2007
06:48 pm

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Karny on Barak and the Labor Party

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From:guygrobler
Date:June 15th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
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it was a very good read indeed.

israel has no political culture... it shows.
From:assafr
Date:June 15th, 2007 11:26 am (UTC)

I think that's a silly analysis

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The fact that it's not similar to the American one, or that it's quite sub-optimal, doesn't mean no political culture exists.

I might say it owes it's connected to very different roots - for example the Jewish parties in Poland, the pre-state struggle between labour and "revisionists", and more.

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From:guygrobler
Date:June 16th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)

Re: I think that's a silly analysis

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I think its wrong to call it a silly analysis before you even ask:
"why do you think that?" as i didnt put any explanations in my entry.

but anyway.
why israel has no political culture?
- dont get me wrong. I think Israel has a very strong democracy:
1. its survived existenial crises, unfriendly neighbours (to say the least), wars and political murder. Many people do wonder how on earth democracy exists in israel when all around us are tyrants.

2. its based on a two party system... well used to be, right now its over fragmented thanks to a very pure form of democracy we have - that is - counting the vote per ratio, not by majority and first past the post per area.

3. in many ways, if we were to adopt the German 5% bar on a similar per ratio count, or the UK styled first past the post per area style vote - we would have a much much more stable democracy with a better quality of governance as theyre would be less coalition party mouth's to feed.

4. regards adoption of the american system - im not sure, on the one hand - why not, it works pretty good and the israelis are only getting more and more american in way of life and thought. on the other hand - the USA is the only succesfull and stable over long period of time form of presidential rule, other countries with presidential rule either dont qualify or havent been stable enough over time.

5. so why do i think Israel has no political culture?
- its not the politics, its not the political structure either. in theory - it can all very easily change, all it takes is a change to vote counting method.
INSTEAD - its the fact that the Israeli people either have the patience of a camal crossing the desert towards an oasis or that they are just numb and forgiving like no other nation in the world - we israelis get fed shit with a spoon and then go and vote that person back into power, asking for desert.

- political leaders in Israel dont lose, instead they take a break (peres, bibi, barak, and even Sharon to an extent) and they take a break because the israeli voter will re-elect them. in other stable democracies a political leader that loses the election stands down and doesnt come back to lead.

- political leaders in Israel have no shame WHAT-SO-EVER, in the west - they resign, even if they claim innocence, they resign until proven not guilty. they dont make a noise about being interrogated because they are suspected of fraud, they dont go on campaigns to declare innocence. instead they do it in silence in court and if they lose - they are out. finished. done and dusted. they dont go on and on saying - "oh but the people want me" and then prove it to our shame by being re-elected. what a coup! - fraud is ok if your a politician in israel.

- and most of all, at least in the UK, it seems politicians treat their job for what it is - running the country, or auditing those that run country - wednesday prime minister question time is an absolute delight - real debate between PM and the head of the opposition and shadow cabinet, a real debate with proper q&a and yes - some banter, in Israel - the PM cant be bothered to show up and usually they just end up calling each other names, welcome to the kindergarden.

- the biggest crime of all the above is that being a politician in israel seems to mean that you do nothing else but political back stabbing, and no serious work what so ever (when was the last time the Israeli government decided on a long term plan... for the next 10-20 years??) and that that is the norm. whatever happened to sane, honest, non corrupt politicans? they dont exist and thats ok in Israel.

Even now, you would think that the winograd commission would be enough to get this government sacked... but no.

So thats what i mean in lack of political culture - our democracy is still young, but the conditions are unforgiving and I dont think anyone has a clue why the Israelis keep on voting in the same people that failed them earlier. Maybe were looking for a scape goat if the re-elected fail again...
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 15th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC)
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I would take the Israeli political culture over the American one any day – Having just two parties, both saying pretty much the same thing, with rock bottom voter turnout time and again. Great democracy.
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From:guygrobler
Date:June 16th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)
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see my reply to assafr, also has to do with your reply.
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From:mousa
Date:June 16th, 2007 03:49 am (UTC)
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can you direct me to an article about Ehud Barak, about his failures and so on? I hear many comments about it, but I don't really know what happened in Taba on Camp David.
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