Lack of accountability wins the election again

Dr. Norman Bailey

The fact that Israel has become a scientific, technological and military giant with a thoroughly dysfunctional political system is nothing short of a miracle.

Well, it’s past, and the merry-go-round of negotiations will begin and eventually will end with the formation of a government likely to be temporary at best and unstable at worst. Frankly, the fact that Israel has become a scientific, technological and military giant with a thoroughly dysfunctional political system is nothing short of another miracle in the multi-millennial history of the Jewish people.

The campaign was almost entirely devoid of policy debate on any of the domestic or foreign challenges that continue to confront the country. It primarily consisted of personal attacks, of the most disgusting and often totally inaccurate kind. Among the very few exceptions (such as the legalization of recreational marijuana), was Ayelet Shaked’s promise to eviscerate the Supreme Court, a terrible idea since under the present structure the Supreme Court provides the only element of checks and balances to the will of the Knesset or the cabinet.

The most significant problem is that the members of the Knesset represent no-one but themselves. Their only constituents consist of their party leaders and colleagues. This results in campaigns and governments centered on individuals, not ideas or policies. Real problems of real people are simply ignored, whether it is inhabitants of areas near Gaza subject to frequent bombardment, desperately ill people waiting for hours in emergency rooms or young couples unable to find affordable housing, along with a myriad of other problems.

It also leads to pervasive corruption in the political class at all levels, and to such disgusting phenomena as convicted felons being appointed to the cabinet. Even more serious, the atmosphere of corruption spreads to society as a whole, with rampant fraud, thievery, lying, cheating, and a general attitude of screw the other if possible. This behavior proliferates among and between individuals, between companies and their customers and clients, organizations and their members as well as within the religious establishment, with chief rabbis convicted and imprisoned for theft.

It is not that solutions to this political swamp are mysterious. They are well-known and include changing the system to limit further the number of parties and have candidates nominated from specific electoral districts around the country. What is lacking, aside from honesty, is accountability. The politicians are accountable to no-one and therefore report to no-one.

The resulting political incest means that the politicians have no incentive whatsoever to reform - because the current swamp favors the swamp-creatures at the expense of everyone else. The system will continue until there is a massive popular movement to demand honesty and accountability which will lead to the formation of a new political party dedicated to clearing the swamp. Only then will the politicians take notice and then action to reform the state.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 15, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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