Palestinian democracy delayed, again

12.23.02

I’m back after taking a day off from blogging. Of course, the news never seems to take a day off.

Palestinian elections have been delayed yet again. And this time, it seems that they have found a seemingly foolproof way to delay democracy indefinitely.

Blaming Israel’s continuing occupation, Palestinians have postponed elections scheduled for next month and say the vote won’t take place until 100 days after Israeli troops have left the West Bank.

Since Israeli troops are unlikely to leave the West Bank until terrorist attacks cease, and since terrorism continues to be encouraged and funded by the present PA leadership, this is an ingenious way for Arafat to remain secure in his position as dictator while simultaneously blaming Israel, as usual.

Israeli elections have their own problems, of course. The Likud party is dealing with allegations of bribery and vote-buying. Israel is fallible, like any democracy. None are immune – Canada included (do the names Alfonso Gagliano and Lawrence MacAulay ring a bell?) – and Israel is dealing with its problems openly and in the best way it can. Sharon has pledged to expel any member of his party involved in corruption. But while Palestinian supporters around the world criticize Israeli democracy on a daily basis, they never stop to realize that at least Israel has democracy, flawed though it may be. Whatever else the Palestinian Authority has been, it has never been democratic.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Peter 12.24.02 at 12:08 AM

A lot of these allegations of vote-buying
and organized crime in the Likud are very
serious. Apparently the daughter of an
organized crime figure, who is currently
working as a waitress, got a higher position
on the party list than the mayor of Jerusalem.
Another politician said he was approached to pay $75,000
to get a high place on the list.

Reply

2 Me 12.25.02 at 9:27 PM

The PA democratic? Hell no.

Israeli democracy? Well…

Recall Azmi Bishara, the Arab-Palestinian Member of the Knesset who has challenged Israel’s self-definition of “Jewish and democratic” as being unrealistic and discriminatory.

Recall the Knesset’s historic lifting of Bishara’s parliamentary immunity and Israeli Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein’s effort to indict Bishara for his political opinions in support of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation.

Recall Rubinstein’s current push to have Bishara and his National Democratic Assembly party disqualified from participating in the upcoming elections.

So…the state of Israel is democratic enough…if your political views are Zionist enough.

Reply

3 Bill 12.26.02 at 12:45 AM

I think the arabs in israel would be a
lot better off if people like Azmi Bishara
didn’t represent them.

Anyway Me, I wouldn’t call the left-wing
part Meretz very zionist, at least in your
definition of the term.

Reply

4 Dave 12.26.02 at 8:42 AM

I’m no supporter of Meretz, not by any wild stretch of the imagination. But they at least live in Israel. That’s food for thought, no?

Reply

5 Me 12.31.02 at 2:23 AM

Israeli democracy:

“The knesset has begun proceedings to bar three Arab members and their parties from next month’s general election because of their support for the Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation.

The hearings by a knesset committee are expected to result in the expulsion of Israel’s leading Arab politician, Azmi Bishara, and two colleagues. Their parties are likely to be banned, stripping Israel’s one million Arabs of their principal voices in parliament.”

“…Mr Bishara’s questioning of whether Israel can be both a Jewish and a democratic state, and his demands for better treatment of the one in five of its citizens who suffer discrimination because they are Arabs.”

“Mr Rubenstein has chosen to interpret Mr Bishara’s desire for an overhaul of Israeli democracy as a threat to the existence of the state and therefore in breach of the law.”

Interesting interpretation –democracy as a threat to the existence of Israel.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,866422,00.html

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