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Weimar and Israel - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
July 31st, 2004
09:38 pm

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Weimar and Israel
אני קורא את רשימתו המחכימה של יוסי גורביץ על רפובליקת ויימאר הכושלת, וחושב על ארצי.

יום אחד, הסטוריון צעיר (כמו יוסי) יכתוב על נפילתה של הרפובליקה הישראלית. את משפט הסיום יוכל לגנוב מיוסי.

Current Mood: gloomy
Current Music: Wagner -- The Rheingold [Goodall]

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:kakapo
Date:August 1st, 2004 11:20 am (UTC)

ואגב,

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תקרא תקרא תקרא את "סיפורו של גרמני" של סבסטיאן הפנר.
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From:ijon
Date:August 1st, 2004 03:00 pm (UTC)

Re: ואגב,

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כן, אני יודע. אבל לא נראה שאספיק לקרוא משהו בקיץ הזה. יש לי עוד שני סמינרים שאין לי אפילו מושג על מה אכתוב אותם.
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From:guygrobler
Date:August 1st, 2004 02:52 pm (UTC)

i disagree

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Sorry Ijon but i have to disagree.
The article is very good, very true and to the point.
I disagree with you linking it to the future of the state of Israel. I just dont think it will happen in Israel.
Not only are the circumstances and periods in time between Weimar Germany to Israel different, but also missing in Israel for such a "total collapse" is... well... one madman/dictator.

Im trying to wonder if you would think PM Sharon to be a "major actor" in the demise of a democratic Israel... my reply to this is that as much as some might not like PM Sharon... had he wanted Dictatorship - he would had already done it. I believe he does know he's own limits and more crucially he knows his own time is limited. When i think of Sharon's actions as PM right now (put aside whatever you think about his past) - then i think of a person who knows he's got a limited amount of time to achieve certain targets. Sharon's targets might not be to your liking... but i think that He's targets are more in the direction of "entering the book of history" in a positive manner... and therefor - i dont expect him to topple our democracy...as for Peacemaking and getting out of Palestinian territories... time will tell... and it will tell it shortly... as time is not on Sharon's side.
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From:ijon
Date:August 1st, 2004 02:59 pm (UTC)

Re: i disagree

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My comparison was not focused on the German dictator, but on the Germans' lack of support for democracy. That, I think, is similar. I don't think Sharon is a dictator.
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From:guygrobler
Date:August 1st, 2004 04:19 pm (UTC)

Re: i disagree

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emm... well the article is pretty much to the point as for the reasons for the fall of Weimeric (?) Germany. had the french not been able to "Squeeze" the germans (as they stated they would pre varsai talks) and had the 1929 crises not occured... who knows.

but i dont think that the support for democracy in israel is in danger. though there are in israel forces that are working against it, i think that the "Israeli Democracy" is strong enough to over see them. Democracy's always have "bad times" especialy when the country is in crises (and Israel certainly is... no matter what side of the map you come from) but i think that at large, the "israeli institution" is strong enough to repel.
Many South American countries are a good example of how Democracy's are toppled as soon as they seem to fail, the Israeli democracy has proved itself beyond belief realy - in a way, its unheard off - that a country that is in constant war, that spends most of its resources on a massive military budget and can still sustain a democratic regime.

The israeli democratic system (as in - Rational elections) is probably one of the reasons for instabilty in power. it would be much more stable if we were to have less parties in parliment... but then our system is very very close to being a "pure" democracy - as in - your vote DOES count... unlike in Majoritan-election democracies {UK, USA and more} were your vote might be thrown into the garbage can if your candidate doesnt win 40%.

in my opinion... Israeli politicians should listen to the Comparitive Politics proffesors and change the election system - there are various ways to make the Israeli democracy stronger in a very simple way - change the way you count.

I was more in fear for the Israeli democracy when we had that VERY STUPID direct PM election thing going on - now that was a CLEAR and PRESENT danger to democracy as there was always the possibilty of a Clash between the Elected PM and the Elected Parliment (and indeed there was a clash) and such clash's would always find their way to the Supreme Court of Justice that rightfully wanted to stay out of it but was forced to taking a position and hence - losing its trust from the losing side.
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From:ijon
Date:August 1st, 2004 05:55 pm (UTC)

Re: i disagree

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But Israel is not sustaining its democracy, don't you see?

Arab-Israeli citizens are still considered second-class, including de-facto discrimination (see the details about Arab towns in Gurvitz's article on the municipalities' crisis, for instance); left-wingers are close to being demoted to second-class citizens, too, as Aviv Lavie's article in Ha'aretz of some months ago showed; the people of Israel feel that it is permissible for the state to kill unarmed people without trial; all members of Knesset have long since figured out that they can get away with anything, without suffering electoral repercussions, et cetera et cetera ad nauseam.
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From:shunra
Date:August 1st, 2004 10:52 pm (UTC)

Re: i disagree

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Add to that the status and living conditions of the Palestinian Arabs under occupation (they're under de facto rule of Israel, have been so for the past 37 years, and are entirely devoid of any civil rights within the state).

Add to that the ghettoization of the Palestinian Arabs, and the manner in which they are corralled and basically, removed from any feasible economic existence.

Add to that theclear abhorrence of democratic principles by various major parties (mafdal, shas, agui, as well as likud and some sections of the even-further-right wing), and the fact that most adults neither want to participate in the democratic dialogue nor are capable of doing so (education being a sorely underprioritized goal).

And about the system in the US (I can't vouch for the UK!) - voting is only a tiny portion of how people make a political difference, here. Elections are held on all levels (from county commissioner to superior court judge, along with fire department chief, sherrif, and other jobs you'd think of as bureaucratic).

Politics is about making the place you live a better place - from your neighborhood right on up to your whole world. Democracy is about having a place at the table for everyone, within the political discourse. Israel is so far from that ideal that the word oligarchy (ethnocracy, if you want to stretch the definition) would fit much better.
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From:guygrobler
Date:August 2nd, 2004 12:36 am (UTC)

Re: i disagree

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I admit that Israeli Arabs are discriminated and that this is a ticking time bomb in the Israeli society. Its Ironic and sad - The Israeli arabs are the only arabs in the world to enjoy a democracy and yet they will turn against it (and no matter how discriminated they are now, they are still FAR FAR better off then in any neibouring arab country... take Health for example - I did a course in Demographics in university... its Amazing how the Israeli Arabs are enjoying the benefits of living in a western state with western health standards... the Israeli Arabs unlike Arabs in "Arab-Ruled" nations have actually completed the transition from Traditional Society to Modern Society living standard... and again - this despite the discrimination. Israel might not be the land of Equal, but it sure is more Equal then its niebours. I know its no excuse for discrimination but i think that it is wrong to judge Israel in the wrong context. Our circumstances are different from those that other western states enjoy, like it or not.

Left Wingers being demoted to 2nd class citizens: I DISAGREE. Why is it that whenever the Right is in power - The Left complains of demotion and whenever the Left is in power - The Right complains of basicly the same?
Its a matter of perspective i guess.

Killing unarmed civilians without Trial - you mean targeted assisnations? Im all pro for that. Let them run, let them hide, let them never see light, let them never sleep. When your business is terror dont be surprised if death will come knocking on your door.
I guess you mean the Innocent civilians that will sometimes die as a result of a targeted assisnation... well... war is war. I know you wont be satisfied with the answer but thats all i can realy say.

Israeli Members of Knesset being corrupt - Sadly, this is true for any democracy... i guess its one of the "negative" sides of democracy. I will admit however that in Israel the political corruption is so discusting that the politician, even if caught red-handed, not only will they not apologize and resign... instead they will claim they "were acting perfectly ok"... i think this is to blame on the fact that Israel doesnt have much of a Political tradition to it, the fact that we are still living in the phrase that Itzhak Rabin warned us from living in: "the Ihiye Be'Seder culture". Here... i admit the situation is hopeless as everyday something new comes up.

I still dont think however that the Israeli democracy is in danger... I do think that a cultural change is needed in Israel but i believe this change must not come from the left, nor from the right because if so - it will not be accepted by the opposing sides. It needs to come from the system. The system needs to change. If we change the system - we change the way the system effects EVERYBODY. Imagine an Israel with a law that states that a certain % of Civil-Jobs must be reserved for Minorities. Imagine an Israel were when you go to vote - then even if you vote for a party and not your personal candidate - you can still mark candidates you favor or object too in that party, and thus when votes are counted - some candidates who thought they were gonna be in... find themselves - out. I bet that would make our MK's work harder to keep thier promises.
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From:shunra
Date:August 1st, 2004 11:00 pm (UTC)
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I've been reading as much as I can about the way it *felt* to be in Germany, in the 20s and 30s. People wrote autobiographies which give a pretty good sense of the feelings at the time.

Israel is not entirely *there*. But the process is evident: people are divesting en masse from the sense of responsibility for their place. The "bubble" people surround themselves, with the cotton-wool of "this couldn't happen in MY quiet street"... ...and then, contrast that with the people who are looking for the quick knife-slice of a revolution. THAT is scarily similar.
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