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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Modern Democracy, Does it Give Us Good Leaders?

Israel isn't the only country in which many voters are disgusted with the turnarounds, completely opposite policies from the campaigns our elected officials produce.  Ever since Menachem Begin shocked the world by offering the Sinai to Anwar Sadat on a silver platter decorated by the Nobel Prize officials, nothing really surprises me.

Prior to Begin's taking over as Israel's Prime Minister, everybody had expected him to annex all of YESHA and the Sinai. We were psyching ourselves up for it in great excitement. Others were dreading it, but it had been expected.  That's what he had been elected to do.  And it would have had been accepted, perhaps grudgingly, but it would have been.  Such an act as the result of a defensive war, when the victors find themselves with more land than at the start, the land goes to the victor.

When Arik Sharon and Ehud Olmert suddenly transformed into Jewish town-destroying Leftists I knew for sure that democracy was just one big con game.  Disengagement, Sharon's decision to unilaterally, which means doing it for nothing--getting nothing in return, withdraw from Gush Katif and a section of Northern Samaria made absolutely no sense.  And here we are almost a decade later still trying to make sense out of it.

The Likud Party, which Sharon headed did not campaign promising or even hinting at Disengagement. People who voted for Likud, in Israel you vote for a political party, not individuals, hadn't a clue that they were going to get a policy diametrically opposed to the campaign promises.

Not in their worst nightmares did Likud voters think they were voting for people who were planning on destroying Jewish life in Gush Katif.

I'm sure that many of them (I did not vote Likud) remembered Menachem Begin promising that his Sinai withdrawal would prevent further withdrawals.  It would protect Jewish Life in Judea and Samaria.  All it did was to grease the engine and give Arik Sharon experience in bulldozing Jewish homes.

Some of the communities in Gush Katif were davka established as a memorial for the destroyed communities of Northern Sinai.  I remember hearing that they were guaranteed to exist forever as a "compensation."

All the "I knew Arik Sharon" interviews on TV keep stressing how sincere and likable he was.  People trusted him and that's how he was elected.  Menachem Begin was a courtly and charming man.  Even now, I can't imagine Begin lying.  I believe that he did think he was doing the right thing.  And it's possible that the depression he suffered from in his latter years was as a result of feeling some guilt for destroying Jewish communities.  After his Sinai withdrawal, he lost the support of Israel's Right and the war in Southern Lebanon caused the Left to also abandon him.

Arik Sharon ended his career with Disengagement, so the Left still loves him.  And he wanted that love.  You could see the enjoyment he got bantering with the journalists and celebrities in the clips shown on TV since his passing.

Politicians need certain skills to get elected.  They must get people to trust and like them, and that is true in any democracy.

The problem is that once elected and we discover that we've been "had," we can't can't "undo" as if it's a computer game.  I can replay free cell or spider solitaire over and over until I win.  We can't do that we our politicians. We can't go back and re-vote after discovering that we'd made a mistake.

We need a better system. Where's Shmuel Hanavi, Samuel the Prophet when you need him?

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