July 4, 2019 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm #1752481
Eretz Yisrael is of course the most beautiful place on earth, it wasn’t for nothing that such beauty this land was given to hashems choeen people.
My question is on the Current day state of Israel.
Read wikipedia and other information outlets and they will all tell you aimilar things: Israel is the only democratic free nation in the middle east woth courts, elections, free press
and a high standard of living.
I don’t believe israel is democratic . here are a few reasons
1 The parliament is accountable to the unelected members of the supreme court who can and do overturn votes in parliament.
2 Violence and agression is used routinely by police officers and othe public officials as is well documented.
3 Institutional Discrimination, bribery and slander is everyhwere within the political class and government be it anti arab, religious, or ethiopian
I don’t believe Israel is a country with a high standard of living.
around 1/3rd if israeli children are malnourished to some degree,
salaries are low and expenses are very high leaving little disposable income.
People say, well israel has one of the strongest armies in the world, beautiful parks, rail network , toads etc etc
the fact is that virtually every ambulance, park, community centre, and many synagogues, schools and roads were donated by international donors.
Also the talk of the start up nation is very nice but all these inventions are helping the world, far more than they are helping israel.
for example it is not in israels interest to keep jaffa oranges at home when they can send them to finland, germany or switzerland and profit significantly more, the same is with the inventions and intel in a different way.
So where does this idea come from that israel is rich and democratic?July 4, 2019 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #1752695
The OP is well stated and makes excellent points.July 4, 2019 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #1752700
1. In almost every democratic country there is a court which can strike down laws. This is part of democracy. The judges are chosen by a committee that includes members of both the government and the opposition. It is, in fact, number 30 on the Democracy Index sandwiched in between France and Belgium (it fell in the civil liberties category, probably because of the connection between government and religion and especially the fact that there is no civil marriage), not far behind the US and ahead of Italy and the Czech Republic.
2. Security forces are supposed to use violence. See Rashi on שוטרים. What do you think they should do? Say “Please accompany me to the police station so that I can fill out the arrest form”.
3. You are greatly exaggerating the extent of corruption in Israel. This is a grievous sin. The fact of the matter is that nobody knows how corrupt a country rally is. There is only perceived corruption. However, this is can be lower or higher than actual corruption. A bureaucracy can succeed in covering up its corruption or a people can be very critical by nature. It also depends on how one defines corruption. For example, one of the indices in the Perceived Corruption Index is “ease of doing business”. Most would not consider regulation to be corrupt.
4. Actually the average salary in Israel is comparable to that of the US. Most Israelis are affluent to the point where foreign vacations are (unfortunately) common. Israel is actually only number 19 on the list of most expensive countries. It is, however, close to the happiest country. It is among the top 20 on the UN’s Human Development Index.July 4, 2019 2:55 pm at 2:55 pm #1752731
It’s a Jewish nation-state that has elections. Evrry country gets richer through foreign investment.July 4, 2019 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #1752780
1. If you define “democracy” as a government based on free elections where the winner of the elections runs the country, Israel is clearly a democracy. There are two caveats. One is that if one considers “Eretz Yisrael” rather than “Medinat Yisrael”, Israel is clearly not a democracy since about 40% of the inhabitants (the Palestinians not holding Israeli citizenship) can’t vote. Second, many Israeli use the word “democratic” to mean “secular” and Israel is not exactly a secular state sine much of its culture and laws reflects Jewish perspectives.
2. Economically, Israel is now considered to be a developed country, though as is the case in many countries, not everyone gets to benefit. The Upper class tend to be secular and westernized, with the result that many Israelis are “left out” of the mainstream economy, and left trapped in the “third world” economy of the frum communities, the peripheral communities and the Palestinian Arab communities. Israel has one of the most unequal distributions of wealth of any of the developed countries (unlike 70 years ago, when Israel was clearly a developing country, but with very little economic inequality).July 4, 2019 5:48 pm at 5:48 pm #1752786
It isn’t a Jewish state.July 5, 2019 1:49 am at 1:49 am #1752912
1. No country allows non-citizens to vote. Switzerland has such a tough law (prospective citizend have to stand for election in their cantons and details about them and their families are published in the press) that very few succeed. Their is also no birthright citizenship.
2. The relative poverty (compared to how they lived in Europe and Arab countries they are rich) of Chareidim and Arabs is their own fault. The former choose to live on tzedaka and the latter vote dor parties that function as propaganda tools for Abbas rather than trying to help their constituents. Just to give one example, they even oppose national service within their communities. This closes many opportunities for job training.July 7, 2019 6:47 am at 6:47 am #1753314
Transparency International publishes something called the Corruption Perceptions Index. Israel is ranked #34, tied with Botswana. The U.S. is #22. The lower the number, the less corrupt a country is.July 7, 2019 6:50 am at 6:50 am #1753321
It’s not a halachic state, that would be a theocracy. It’s a Jewish nation-state.July 7, 2019 6:54 am at 6:54 am #1753356
Avi K: If you consider Eretz Yisrael to be Israel, then the Palestinians being non-citizens is similar to how Blacks were non-citizens of the USA prior to 1865, or how Jews were non-citizens of most countries until the 19th or 20th centuries. Israel requires Chareidim who wish to be part of the economy to modify their Torah observance, which is no different than what was the case for thousands of years (if only Jews would give up their religion, they could be rich like goyim). And the truth is that if most Palestinians and Afr-Asian Jews outside the big cities wanted to move into upper class housing in Tel Aviv, they wouldn’t be allowed since the lack the money – the economy is Israel’s “periphery” is very third world, still.July 7, 2019 1:46 pm at 1:46 pm #1753537
1. The Palestinians can be citizens of Jordan. That is their state. Similarly, Europeans, both Jews and non-Jews, who came during the Ottoman period had extraterritorial European citizenships. This was also true in China. Actually according to all polls most are willing to admit that they want to leave (80% in Gaza). The PA is a brutal kleptocracy. An international resettlement fund should be established to help them emigrate to countries that need immigrants. Canada, for example, needs 350K new immigrant workers. Plus their families that would take care of most of them.
2. As for the Jews living on the periphery, how is that different than Americans who live outside the east and west coast megalopolises or in small enclaves in those areas? Why does every Jew have to live in TA? FYI, these areas have industrial parks and hi-tech parks. With the Internet and telecommuting they could even eventually work for companies in the TA area.
3. Israel does not require anyone to modify his religious observance (unless you consider it to be a mitzvah to schnor). You are motzi shem ra on the whole country.
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