Where Is the Outrage?

Many Iranians were outraged by the June 12 presidential election. They know that Irans democratic elections are a charade. They know that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the real power in Iran. The election was merely a facade to dignify the re-appointment of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president.

Iran's leaderless (hence doomed) revolution was not merely against an ostensibly rigged election, but against the system, the mullocracy [a mullah is an educated Muslim trained in religious law and doctrine and usually holding an official post]. This is why John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations, is calling for regime change.

Even if the elections were not rigged, it needs to be stressed that democratic elections do not guarantee government of the people, for the people, and by the people. Witness Israel.

As I have often pointed out, Israel's first prime minster, David Ben-Gurion, saw that the absence of regional elections in Israel makes a mockery of democracy. He saw that so long as Members of the Knesset [MKs] are not individually accountable to the voters in constituency elections, democratic elections are a charade. And since the Cabinet consists of MKs not accountable to the voters in constituency elections, the Government can choose to ignore public opinion with impunity.

This is exactly what happened under the Sharon government, when 23 Likud MKs voted for Labor's policy of unilateral disengagement, a policy they campaigned against, a policy overwhelming rejected by the public in the January 2003 election.

But what about the February 2009 election which produced another Likud travesty, now under Benjamin Netanyahu? The Likud won only 27 seats in that election, less than one-fourth of the Knesset's membership. During the election campaign, Netanyahu cunningly refrained from endorsing a Palestinian [sic] state. Had he done so he would have won far less than 27 seats, several of which would have gone to the National Union party.

It was only when he spoke on June 14 at Bar-Ilan University that he endorsed a Palestinian state. Who gave him the authority to endorse that perfidious policy, a policy that betrays the heritage of the Jewish people, a policy that violates the sacred teachings of their Prophets?

But where is the public outrage? Are the Jews in this country [Israel] less public spirited than the Iranian's who rebelled against their government on June 12? Let me address these Jews.

Don't you see whats on Netanyahu's agenda? He is going to emasculate you. He is going to erase your Jewish pride, your historical memory, your national purpose. He is going to expel 300,000 of your brothers and sisters from their homes in Judea and Samaria and he'll start doing this as confidence-building measures. I ask you: why no public outrage to prevent a crime that recalls the Nuremberg Laws? The Americans of 1776 rebelled against a government that raised the tax on tea!

Netanyahu wants to build up the economy of the mytho-Palestinians. He may very well start by giving Arabs the homes, farms, and factories of the Jews expelled from Judea and Samaria. Where is the outrage? Have Jews returned to the Land of Israel only to be deported or transferred like cattle?

Do you think you are free because you have democratic elections? Did Jews have democratic elections under King David or King Solomon, the kings who taught you Psalms and Proverbs? Do you think you have been free under prime ministers who have taught you nothing but territory for peace?

Do these prime ministers really believe that genuine peace is possible in the Middle East so long as Muslims worship Allah, venerate Muhammad, and teach their children the Quran's ethos of Jihad? Are these prime ministers useful idiots or moral cowards?

Or do you think your present prime minister is the Messiah? Have you forgotten that he was an accomplice to the crime of disengagement for which he has never repented?

Here I am reminded of Ben Hecht's book Perfidy: "Guilt", he says, "does not make a politician [an] outcast ... For the politician is never guilty as a wrongdoer; only as a wrong thinker or wrong guesser. Even if his thoughts and guesses set bonfires raging in the world ... he is still immune from guilt in the eyes of the law, and in the eyes of his contemporaries." Democratic elections brought Netanyahu to power, enough to exempt him from any guilt for what he did and does.

What good are your democratic elections which give prime ministers the power to betray your cherished beliefs and values without which you are mere flotsam? What good are democratic elections in a political system without constitutional checks and balances, a system more conducive to mendacity and perfidy than to honesty and fidelity?

You know this. In one poll after another you have said the Knesset is corrupt, a haven for job-seekers. You know that the system produces one inept government after another, with rival parties in the cabinet more concerned about their perks and partisan advantages than about the national interest. And now, this decrepit government is endangering your very existence by its servile endorsement of a Palestinian state, which Netanyahu sugar coats, saying it will be demilitarized — yes, just as Germany was demilitarized after the First World War. You are being treated like children!

Indeed, Israeli governments have repeatedly treated you with contempt. One government after another has allowed Arab terrorists to murder your loved ones. They call this self-restraint, which really means they don't really care for you or your loved ones. 10,000 Jewish casualties since Oslo. 10,000 bombs on Sderot. The government retaliates intermittently only to fob you off, lest you protest like the Iranians. The government has murdered moral outrage.

It mollifies you with democratic elections, another chance to change the person or party in power. But one thing has not changed: the system. Hence, every prime minister, and every party, you have placed in power pursues the same policy: retreat, retreat, retreat. What about the Iranians? They know it's the system that disempowers them, they're not stupid. Of course, Iran is not a democracy, not even a reputed democracy. So those who were engaged in the rebellion knew that another election would change nothing. The mullahs would remain in power. So the issue is regime change, but this also holds true for Israel.

The six elections that have taken place in Israel since the Oslo Agreement of 1993 has not produced a single government committed to abrogation of that disastrous agreement. Six elections and thousands of Jews killed and wounded but not a single prime minister with the courage to reject a Palestinian state, and without the wisdom to explain to the people of Israel that the establishment of such a state not only violates Jewish law, but also Israeli law and objective international law, adding that such a state will bring Iran into Israel's back yard.

I'm not rejecting democratic elections but not with 30 parties that splinter the nation and produce cabinets with six or seven rival parties, making it virtually impossible to stand united and pursue a coherent, resolute, and long-range national strategy. The average duration of Israeli governments is not even two years, a fact that should also be construed in moral terms, because a multi-party cabinet government is an engine of self-aggrandizement.

No doubt the flawed and uninspiring character of Israeli politicians must ultimately be attributed to serious shortcomings in their education. Moral relativism is prevalent in Israeli universities and has even influenced the Command and Staff College. Relativism erodes conviction in the justice of a nation's cause. I saw it Sharon, in Barak, and in other politicians. No wonder they endorsed a Palestinian state. Relativism can transform heroes into men without chests.

Barack Obama, never a hero, was weaned on the moral relativism prevalent in American universities. No wonder he's the darling of the anti-American internationalists. No wonder America's two-dimensional president did nothing to aid the Iranians who rebelled against the mullocracy. No wonder anti-war movements flourish on American campuses where relativism is rampant.

The Obama administration is trashing the American heritage, a heritage very much influenced by Jewish law, as was recognized by learned men of eighteenth-century America. Are you going to let the Netanyahu government trash the Jewish heritage by allowing the followers of Muhammad establish an Islamic state in Judea and Samaria? Where is the outrage? Where is a Tom Paine, a Patrick Henry? Do we have only Benedict Arnolds?

[ Prof. Paul Eidelberg | Published: June 29, 2009 / Edited transcript of the "Eidelberg Report", Israel National Radio, June 29, 2009. ]

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